Twice victims

Publish date 06-09-2022

by Fabrizio Floris

If the periphery is a sum of shortcomings (it is what is not there to say what it is), war can be considered a total periphery: a place from which everything has been taken away.

The war in Ukraine has generated a great deal of solidarity in Europe made by governments, agencies, but also by many citizens who spontaneously went to the borders to welcome fleeing women and children. But from the first days of the conflict, Sister Imelda Poole said she was very worried about the situation: "We involved a whole network of people who went along the escape routes of refugees because we know that that's where the traffickers will be" .

IOM (International Organization for Migration) has also expressed concern about the risk of human trafficking, exploitation and sexual abuse. Initial reports from inside and outside Ukraine indicate the possibility of traffickers exploiting the vulnerabilities of those fleeing the war. Cases of sexual violence perpetrated by people who have promised the possibility of a trip to Europe have already been reported and there have been indications of potential exploitation ". Based on our reports, says IOM Director General António Vitorino, we know that "groups of people who leave Ukraine can be particularly vulnerable to the risk of trafficking." The coordinator of the Polish association Homo Faber , Karolina Wierzbińska, said she had "registered the first suspected cases of women and men trying to hook up Ukrainian women near refugee reception centers under the pretext of offer transport, work or accommodation. "

Pure Charel Krieps of Caritas Europa stated that in Romania the workers "encountered several suspicious individuals, mostly men who offered accommodation or transport to young women or young mothers. with children ". Traffickers would also target children from orphanages. According to the BBC, in Ukraine there are 200,000 children in orphanages "easy prey of people who wear reflective vests and pretend to belong to humanitarian organizations".

The European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs himself, Ylva Johansson, expressed concern: «We have received reports of criminals taking children from orphanages in Ukraine and crossing the border pretending to be relatives of the child and then they use them for the purpose of trafficking ». In recent weeks, however, the increased presence of NGOs and volunteers would be ensuring accurate and safe procedures.

Fabrizio Floris
NP May 2022

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