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21.10.2009

Less human trafficking abroad, but domestic slavery on the rise

   

According to the International Women’s Human Rights Centre “La Strada – Ukraine”, Ukraine has demonstrated progress in the fight against people being sold into slavery abroad. There has, however, been an increase in the number of cases of labour and other forms of bondage of Ukrainians within the country.

Speaking on European Day against Human Trafficking, human rights organizations and the International Labour Organization tried to draw the attention of the authorities, the press and the public to the sale of people into slavery in Ukraine. President of La –Strada – Ukraine, Kateryna Levchenko stressed that Ukraine’s legislation needs to be brought into line with international conventions which it has ratified. For example, the term “sale into slavery” should be introduced into the system of national jurisprudence. Ms Levchenko says that the most widespread form of human trafficking is illegal labour exploitation, most often of men.

Slavery is on the increase in Ukraine

The Head of the State Department for overseeing observance of labour legislation, Volodymyr Sumovsky acknowledges an increase in the number of cases where labour legislation has been violated. “Eight percent of employees are effectively working as slaves at the present time”. Representative of the International Organization for Migration Oksana Horbunova reports that according to a study carried out, internal human trafficking is no less widespread than the sale of people into slavery abroad. She points out that of particular danger is the labour exploitation of children, forcing people who are ill or disabled to beg, and also the use as labour slaves of employees who have become unemployed during the economic crisis.

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