KYIV, 18 October 2010 - Marking European Anti-Trafficking Day, the international and non-governmental organizations supporting Ukrainian efforts to combat human trafficking called today for the adoption of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and the State Programme Against Human Trafficking for 2011-2015.
At the request of the Ministry of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sports, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator assisted the Ukrainian authorities in drafting the anti-trafficking law and the State Programme.
"This comprehensive legislation will help prevent human trafficking, protect the rights of the victims and support prosecution of these crimes. It is also a tool to provide solid background for various stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, to join efforts in combating human trafficking in accordance with the rule of law and human rights principles," said Ambassador Lubomir Kopaj, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.
"This legislation and Programme will help Ukraine implement a comprehensive approach in combating human trafficking and comply with commitments the country made when it adopted the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beingsin 2003," said Kopaj.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Ukraine, most of the 827 victims identified in 2010 have been trafficked to the Russian Federation and Poland, and more than half are exploited as forced labour. There is an increase of people trafficked internally within Ukraine. Exploitation in the construction and agriculture sectors is also on the rise while trafficking for forced prostitution, though it is still seen as predominant feature of modern day slavery.
"IOM hopes that fighting human trafficking will remain high on the agenda of the Government of Ukraine. We welcome the fact that the draft new State Programme Against Human Trafficking focuses also on rendering direct assistance to victims of trafficking," said Manfred Profazi, Chief of the IOM Mission in Ukraine.
"However it is vital to ensure sufficient budget allocations to social service providers so that help remains available to victims of this crime even after international donor funding subsides," he added.
Kateryna Levchenko, President of the International Women's Rights Centre "La Strada-Ukraine" presented an open letter of the Ukrainian NGOs to the Ukrainian authorities regarding the development of new State Programme Against Human Trafficking.
"The Programme should have clearly formulated and objectively verifiable tasks aimed at improvement of the situation in Ukraine and provision of assistance to people. It should be developed in a constructive partnership with non-governmental organizations having extensive experience in the field," said Levchenko.
OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, IOM Mission in Ukraine and the International Women's Rights Centre "La Strada-Ukraine" co-ordinate their efforts in supporting anti-trafficking activities in the country.