17:55 29 Nov 2022

Ukrainian women are at high risk of trafficking, including risk of sexual exploitation — UN

The UN mission gender adviser, Jo Ann Bishop, says that due to the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian women are at high risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

She emphasized this during a joint meeting of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament on the topic "Combating trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation (in the context of the war against Ukraine)," Ukrinform reports.

"Because women make up 80% of Ukrainian refugees during the war, Ukrainian women are at high risk of trafficking, including the risk of sexual exploitation and prostitution," Bishop said.

According to her, after a few months since the beginning of russia's invasion of Ukraine, women's civil society in Ukraine reports an increase in human trafficking across the borders and outside of Ukraine, as well as women seekers in Ukraine.

"We saw almost a 300% increase in the purchase of pornography," Bishop said, adding that traffickers increasingly use online platforms to recruit victims for exploitation.

According to her, 65% of victims of human trafficking are young women and girls who are usually trafficked for sexual exploitation.

"Women and girls face economic difficulties, physical danger, and separation from social networks. Especially during mass displacement, this increases the speed of women falling into human traffickers," Bishop emphasized, adding that many subjects had warned from the first days of the war in Ukraine about the risks of human trafficking.

At the same time, according to her, Ukraine already has many measures for the implementation of the plan to combat sexual exploitation, prepared under the leadership of the Ukrainian government with the participation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Conflict Issues, as well as partners from civil society.

This plan includes measures to reduce vulnerability, improve legal protection and economic security, and strengthen interagency cooperation at all levels.

She also noted the importance of clear and specific funding mechanisms for relevant funds dealing with combating exploitation issues, such as the Women and Peace Fund.

"These resources allow women's organizations to do the important work they were created to do, including services for survivors of violence, victims of sexual exploitation, and helping social support structures," Bishop said.

"We hope we will be able to continue partner actions in this work," the UN representative concluded.


The European Parliament adopted a resolution to protect women fleeing Ukraine from the war with the russian federation.

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