IOM supports Ukrainian law enforcement combat modern-day slavery

At the end of August, IOM organized a training workshop in Kyiv on the detection and investigation of crimes related to human trafficking and assisting its victims. The workshop targeted officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs from Kyiv and various regions of Ukraine. Representatives of prosecutor’s offices and the courts experienced in dealing with such cases also attended the lectures and discussion panels.

The workshop was led by Mykhailo Andrienko, Head of the Department for Human Trafficking Crimes Combating at the MoI/MIA. The participants discussed the challenges of qualifying and taking procedural decisions concerning crimes related to human trafficking. They also reviewed successful cases where criminal proceedings were finalized, lawyers’ representation of trafficked individuals in court, and learned how to best use the Internet to identify and document trafficking-related crimes.

Olena Kustova, Law Enforcement Section Legal Adviser of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, presented the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report and briefed the audience on the international assessment of Ukraine’s efforts in combating transnational organized crime.

The event was held in the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the IOM Mission in Ukraine.

IOM Ukraine estimates that more than 120,000 Ukrainian men, women and children have fallen victim to modern-day slavery since 1991. The Russian Federation remains the top destination of trafficked persons for Ukraine: it accounts for 84% of the returnees who have turned to IOM for assistance in 2014. The majority of persons who have sought help from IOM this year are victims of labor exploitation (88.5%). Most of the identified victims are men, and this also represents a sustainable trend (56% - in 2014, 52% - in 2013, and 56% - in 2012). Most of the current year’s victims are young people under the age of 35.