Refugee transit is an opportunity for European criminal networks and gangs that deal with human beings for sexual or labor exploitation. Dianne Schmitt, coordinator against human trafficking of the European Union, warned this Thursday in the European Parliament that the threat of trafficking in Ukraine is “very real”. The video that accompanies this news item explains how these criminal networks work, from recruiting the victim to their exploitation in other European countries, including Spain, and analyzes the situation of women refugees in Ukraine as possible victims of trafficking.
Which is the modus operandi of criminal groups? Under what conditions does human trafficking occur? Who can be their victims? These questions are answered in the video. “When there are humanitarian corridors, where there is a lack of control of the population… Everything is facilitated, from trafficking to trafficking,” explains Francisco Javier Moreno, doctor and professor of Criminology. Laura Nuño, an expert in human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, assures that the situation in Ukraine for women “was not good” before the war. Now, vulnerability and loss of support and family networks increase the probability of being a victim.
“75% of trafficking victims worldwide are women. 92% of the victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation in the European Union are women and girls”. This is how Schmitt warned in the European Parliament of the need to “act quickly to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of refugees.”
The international networks present in Ukraine also operate in Spain. In April, the Police arrested a man who tried to prostitute two Ukrainian minors in Malaga. In Spain, the first country in Europe in the consumption of prostitution, around 85% of prostituted women in the national territory are victims of trafficking. There are different types of human trafficking, in Spain, the most common are sexual and labor. “In the field of domestic services we have a very important share of the population that is in this situation,” says Francisco Javier Moreno.
The exodus of refugees from Ukraine has become the largest outflow of people from their country of origin in Europe since World War II.