Ukraine: First report on impact of human trafficking

Experts from the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking unit have published today their first evaluation report on Ukraine.

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) welcomes the steps taken by Ukraine to develop the legal and institutional framework for combating trafficking in human beings. This includes the adoption of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, national anti-trafficking programmes and a formal procedure for the identification and referral to assistance of victims of trafficking.

The Ukrainian authorities have also set up anti-trafficking co-ordination structures at central and local level and specialised police units.

However, the report notes that “a number of challenges remain to be tackled through legislative, policy or practical measures.”

According to GRETA, “additional measures should be taken to raise public awareness about human trafficking and address the root causes of trafficking.”

The report also draws attention to the need to address emerging trends, such as the increase in trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, internal trafficking and trafficking of foreign nationals to Ukraine.

GRETA is “deeply concerned” by the “negative consequences of the current crisis in Ukraine on anti-trafficking activities and the growing number of internally displaced persons, including women, children and persons with disabilities, who represent a group vulnerable to human trafficking.

“Additional measures are also needed to ensure that victims of trafficking have effective access to compensation, including through the setting up of a State compensation scheme.

“Moreover, GRETA urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that human trafficking offences are effectively investigated and prosecuted through developing the training and specialisation of investigators, judges and prosecutors, and making full use of the measures available for protecting victims and witnesses.”

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