Ukraine - A former victim of trafficking, a Ukrainian counter trafficking police unit and an NGO were among the recipients of this year’s Sixth Combating Human Trafficking Awards celebrated at a ceremony held today (4/12) in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
The Awards are hosted annually by IOM Ukraine to recognize individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions in the fight against human trafficking.
The former trafficking victim was recognized for her personal bravery in saving another girl from traffickers. The Ministry of Interior Counter Trafficking Unit in Volyn region, north-western Ukraine, which rescued a group of workers enslaved at a garbage separation plant, was also recognized.
Other awards went to the NGO “Spring of Hope,” based in the central region of Vinnytsia, for assisting and empowering victims of trafficking, and the Ministry of Social Policy for leading government’s efforts in countering modern slavery in Ukraine.
Ukraine is a source, transit and increasingly a destination country for human trafficking. IOM estimates that since 1991, some 120,000 Ukrainian men, women and children may have fallen victim to human trafficking in the country.
With the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation in 2011 and 2012, Ukraine has established a state support system for trafficking survivors, who currently receive assistance mainly through IOM, with international donor funding.
“Combating an evil like human trafficking is only possible with coordination between the Ukrainian Government and the international community through applying best international practices,” said Serhii Tihipko, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy.
“The IOM Mission in Ukraine is proud to have provided some 9,000 victims of trafficking with support to enable them to re-start their lives. Apart from victim reintegration, we try to make migrants aware of their rights and improve the government’s ability to protect its citizens from the dangers of modern-day slavery and to prosecute traffickers,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.
The Sixth Combating Human Trafficking Awards ceremony was organized through IOM’s USAID-funded Countering Trafficking in Persons in Ukraine project, and co-funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
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