The event dedicated to the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was held December 2 at the Culture and Arts Centre of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy aimed at raising awareness among Ukrainian youth of the problem of human trafficking and encouraging them to actively engage in countering modern day slavery.

While no country in the world is immune to this issue, Ukraine is heavily affected by human trafficking. It is estimated that 1 out of 10 Ukrainians knows someone in their community affected by trafficking, UN press office reported.

The event was opened by the Head of International Organization for Migration Mission to Ukraine Mr. Jeff Labovitz telling about the recent moving stories of trafficked people and calling for joining efforts in combating trafficking in human beigns. On behalf of UN Resident Coordinator Office, Mr. Jeremy Hartley welcomed the participants and delivered the message of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the International Day of Slavery Abolition. Full text is available here. Following the opening, the expert panel on issues of human trafficking and the impact it has on Ukrainian society was started with involvement of  the representatives of the International Organization for Migration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, heads of public organizations from Kharkiv and Vinnytsya as well as writer Olesya Galych. The participants asked questions from the panel and watched Lilia 4 ever film.  Each person attending the event had a chance to sign the all-Ukrainian “Stop Modern Slavery” petition.

This event is a part of the “Counter Trafficking in Persons” project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings: Ukraine” project, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency with the support of National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” and United Nations Office in Ukraine.  

Similar events will be held in more than 20 cities of Ukraine (Vinnytsya, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Drogobych, Zhytomyr, Lugansk, Lutsk, Mykolaiv, Nikopol, Pavlograd, Poltava, Ternopil, Uzhgorod, Kherson, Khmelnytsky, Cherkasy, Chernivtsi) by IOM partner NGOs to raise awareness of students and youth on the issue of trafficking with the support from IOM.

Increased awareness about the dangers of trafficking is crucial in helping Ukraine to ultimately eradicate this violent crime and protect Ukrainian citizens. Ukrainians will stand up on December 2 to say “no” to modern day slavery.


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