Vulnerable young people are a high-risk group for becoming human trafficking victims. The latest results from the survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) “Awareness of Human Trafficking Risks Among Vulnerable Children and Youth in Ukraine” showed that 96 percent of youth aged 14–20 detained in penitentiaries said that they would accept at least one proposal that may lead to human trafficking. Similar high rates emerged from the responses of children registered in juvenile probation centers and homeless children, amounting to 86 and 81 percent respectively.
Anh Nguyen, Acting Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine emphasized improvement has been made, but a lot of work remains to be done. According to Nguyen “over three years, the share of those aware of at least one type of modern slavery has grown from 79 percent to 85 percent. However, influenced by their social environment, 66 percent of vulnerable children and youth from 13 to 20 are still ready to accept at least one offer that may lead them to falling prey to traffickers.” This improvement is a result of the efforts by government and non-government actors working with vulnerable children on raising awareness about the dangers of human trafficking and providing assistance to the victims. IOM urges all actors in Ukraine to continue the work on prevention of human trafficking among the vulnerable groups, children and young people.