Human trafficking is big business, with profits of trafficking worldwide estimated at $32 billion by the International Labour Organization. Men and women are smuggled across borders and often fo rced to work against their will but as ILO TV reports from Ukraine, trafficking is rooted in unemployment and poverty.

Date issued: 22 June 2005 | Size/duration: 00:02:06 (3.65MB)
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There’s not much to be harvested from this part of the Ukraine, neither in crops or in jobs, it’s fertile land for human trafficking.

“Luda”, trafficking survivor

I was in a foreign country, I didn’t know what was happening, and I was very, very scared.

Luda and Ruslan saw an ad in a local paper promising good factory jobs in the Czech Republic. They contacted an agency, which arranged everything for them, including their visas.

Boarding a white minivan, they headed to the Czech Republic. But when they arrived, the employer took their passports and forced them to work in a warehouse, building doghouses.

“Ruslan”, trafficking survivor

It was getting worse. We started working 36 hours in a row, and we were not getting paid.

After two months, and no money, Luda called the police. Stepan Korduban is the Ukrainian criminal investigator who worked on their case. With the help of Suchashnyk (soo-chasch’-nik), a group that helps trafficked persons, Luda and Ruslan went to the Czech authorities and told them what was happening.

Stepan Korduban: Criminal investigator

Based on the evidence given by Luda, Ruslan, and the others, we arrested two people involved in sending these people into slavery, and charged them under the law against trafficking in human beings, Article 149 of the criminal code.

Ukraine’s anti-trafficking law applies equally to sex trafficking or labour exploitation. The average monthly wage here is just 40 euros, jobs are scarce. It’s estimated one person from every family here works abroad, most of them illegally.

Vasyl Kostrytsya: International Labour Organization

If we speak about the conditions which will support non-migration measures, it is also necessary to include this component on vocational training.

The ILO, along with Suchashnyk and the State Employment Center, trains young people who are most vulnerable for trafficking to set a business and find greener pastures at home.