Ukrainians Underestimate Dangers of Human Trafficking, Report Finds

The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians have a limited awareness of
the dangers of human trafficking, a newly published survey

The opinion poll conducted by a market research company GfK
Ukraine for IOM Ukraine was carried out among a sample of 1,000
respondents (representative of Ukrainian population 14 – 65
years old by administrative units, types of settlements and
gender). It found that 70 per cent of the interviewees believed
they were not personally at risk of being trafficked.

While the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (92 per cent) said
they were aware of trafficking for sexual exploitation and 82 per
cent conscious of the fact that Ukrainians are being trapped into
forced labour, it is their low economic status and previous
successful migration experiences which determine the level of risk
they are under. 9 per cent of the poll respondents said they were
planning to go abroad in search of living. Almost 80 per cent of
this group's representatives would agree on illegal employment, 13
per cent are ready to work for any employer who would offer an
attractive payment. Residents of the Central region are more
inclined towards risky behaviour. According to GfK data, 36.6 per
cent of Central Ukraine's population have to save on food and
clothes. Up to 16 per cent of the Central Ukraine's residents have
external migration experience.

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"Although considerable numbers of Ukrainian migrants have
experienced exploitation and abuse abroad, the poll suggests that
many more are willing to engage in risky practices in their often
desperate search for employment abroad," says IOM Ukraine's Chief
of Mission Manfred Profazi. "This risk taking behaviour is often
fuelled by migrants who have successfully escaped exploitation and
have returned home with earnings."

Another disturbing finding of the survey is that Ukrainians tend
to accept mistreatment and even rights violations in order to keep
their jobs. According to the poll, 24 per cent of all respondents
said they were willing to accept penalties from their employer for
making mistakes at work. Further 11 per cent would accept
withholding of their salaries, a method regularly used by
traffickers to coerce migrants into exploitation.

More than 110,000 Ukrainians are believed to have fallen prey to
traffickers since 1991 and Ukraine remains one of the main
countries of origin of exploited labour in Europe.

As part of efforts to reduce the vulnerability of migrants to
trafficking and exploitation, IOM Ukraine recently launched a
website ( "" target="_blank" title=
""> aiming to raise general
public awareness of the irregular migration dangers and foster
further cooperation among all partners fighting traffickers who
increasingly use the internet to lure their victims into situations
of exploitation.

"This is why IOM and its partners are increasingly going online
to combat human trafficking," says IOM's Profazi. "This means
getting our awareness message across job searching sites and
employment portals, which regularly contain false promises of easy
work abroad."

Since the start of its counter-trafficking activities in Ukraine
in 1998, IOM Ukraine assisted almost 8,000 victims of trafficking,
both women and men who suffered from sexual and labour exploitation
mainly in the Russian Federation and Poland.

For more information please contact:

Varvara Zhluktenko

IOM Ukraine

Tel: +38-044-568-50-15

E-mail: "">