Hotline Combats Human Trafficking, Helps Victims

Posted: 
09/03/07

Since its launch in April 2007, IOM‘s national toll-free
counter-trafficking hotline "527" has received a total of 1,697
calls.

The hotline, which operates five days a week, is backed by
national mobile phone operators LLC Astelit, KyivStar and MTC.

It routes all calls to a free service, which provides
information on the pitfalls of irregular migration, human
trafficking and up-to-date information on options for legal
migration.

In July, LLC Astelit sent text messages to more than 200,000 of
its subscribers to inform them of the existence of the toll-free
number.

Close to 80 per cent of all calls to the hotline relate to
requests for general information promoting safe migration, but the
service also reaches out to victims of trafficking.

One former victim who had been trafficked for sexual
exploitation to Portugal called the hotline on her return. 
The operators identified the woman as a victim and referred her
immediately to a local NGO, which in turn contacted IOM.

"Thanks to the 527 number, we were able to provide this woman
with the medical and psychological care she desperately needed,"
says hotline coordinator Maryna Pasichnyk.

The hotline is one of a number of IOM activities aimed at
countering human trafficking and promoting legal migration from
Ukraine. Others include European Union–funded migrant advice
centres established in partnership with local NGOs. 

Since 2001, IOM Kiev has provided assistance to more than 4,000
victims of trafficking, including medical care, psychosocial
counselling, reintegration grants, vocational training and legal
assistance.

An estimated 100,000 individuals have been trafficked from
Ukraine for various forms of exploitation since
1991.  

For more information, please contact:

Natalia Krivtsova

IOM Kiev

Tel: + 380 44 568 50 15

E-mail: "mailto:nkrivtsova@iom.kiev.ua" target="_blank" title=
"">nkrivtsova@iom.kiev.ua