In Ukraine, worker exploitation is no less common than sexual, deputy coordinator for counter-trafficking office of the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine (IOM) Oksana Horbunova said during the Moscow - Kyiv teleconference "Slaves of the 21st century. Why does human trafficking flourish?", ForUm correspondent reports.

"If in the late 1990s - early 2000s the main potential risk group were girls and young women, who were trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation, now the risk group has expanded significantly. Both men and women, from the youngest to the retirement age, are under threat," she said.

According to Horbunova, 80% of people, who appeal to the International Organization for Migration, are victims of forced labor in the construction, agriculture, housing fields.

It is noted that not only overseas workers, but those coming from other Ukrainian cities may be enslaved.

"Ukrainian realities reflect the situation in the world. According to the International Labor Organization report, announced in June this year, there are 20.9 million people suffering from worker exploitation in the world, while in 2005, according to the ILO, the figure stood at seven million," the deputy coordinator said.

Horbunova said that the Ukrainian law enforcement officials, investigating such crimes, often classify forced labor as the violation of labor standards.

"In this case we do not see the real statistics and the criminals are punished much milder than prescribed by law," she said.

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