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"Trafficking in persons is considered to be a contemporary form of slavery."


International women's rights centre
"La Strada-Ukraine"
PO Box 246
01030 Kyiv

tel/fax: (380-44) 224-04-46


We are a non-governmental organization in Ukraine with a bi-directional goal: working to prevent trafficking in women and helping the victims of trafficking.


Based on our research, we have found that Ukraine is both a sending and transit country for trafficking in women. Women are trafficked within and outside of Ukraine for the purposes of prostitution, domestic labor, and marriage.


The problem of counteracting trafficking in human beings has drawn the attention of many non- governmental organizations. The Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (STV), whose efforts were directed toward the prevention trafficking in women and trafficked persons' support, was founded at the end of 1980's in The Netherlands. Together with non-governmental organizations from Poland and the Czech Republic, STV initiated the La Strada program - Prevention of trafficking in women from Central and Eastern Europe. Non-governmental organizations in Ukraine (1997) and Bulgaria (1998) later joined this program.

The international women's rights centre "La Strada-Ukraine" was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (# 1010) in March 1998. Its activity is centered on the fulfillment of the La Strada Program - combating trafficking in women and support of trafficked persons. "La Strada-Ukraine" has the specific goal of public awareness, to draw the attention of society and representatives of governmental institutions to the problem of trafficking in women as a question of human rights violation.

The principal activities of "La Strada-Ukraine"

  • providing a broad range of assistance for trafficked persons;
  • maintenance of a "Hot line" for emergency telephone assistance;
  • researching the problem of violence against women;
  • providing expertise on legislation in an advisory capacity concerning women's status in Ukraine;
  • conducting educational programs among youth on the problem of women's rights, prevention of trafficking in women and other kinds of violence and exploitation;
  • cooperation with mass media, distribution of the information about the issues;
  • publishing and distributing materials, bulletins, leaflets;
  • conducting seminars and conferences;
  • cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations in Ukraine and abroad with the goals of preventing trafficking in women and providing assistance for trafficked persons;
  • cooperation with law enforcement bodies and lawyers in the field of improving Ukrainian legislation concerning trafficking in human beings, and trafficked persons' protection.

Summary of La Strada-Ukraine's activities for the 3 year period from May 1997 - May 2000

  • seven issues of "Reference books on the questions of prevention trafficking in women" were published;
  • the book from materials of the seminar "Finding the ways of solving the problem of prevention trafficking in women and forming of Comprehensive Program" was prepared and published together with State Committee on Family and Youth Affairs;
  • more than 30 round tables for NGOs and GOs were conducted in various cities in Ukraine;
  • more than 120 articles were written for mass media;
  • more than 140 interviews on the problem of trafficking in women were held with journalists;
  • 8 press-conferences were conducted in Kyiv, Simferopol, Kharkiv, Donetsk and other cities of Ukraine;
  • 15 publications in scientific editions in Ukraine and abroad on the problem of trafficking in women;
  • more than 100 lectures were conducted for youth, pupils, students, parents, social workers and teachers on the problem;
  • more then 3920 consultations for women were provided through the "Hot line";
  • assistance (legal, psychological, medical, social) was provided for more than 200 trafficked women.


The following seminars were conducted within the framework of the La Strada program in partnership with government structures and non-governmental organizations.

  • seminar for representatives of Centres of Social Services for Youth together with Ukrainian State Centre of Social Services (Kyiv, April, 15, 1998);
  • the first International seminar "Finding the ways of solving the problem of prevention trafficking in women and forming the Comprehensive Program" together with State Committee on Family and Youth Affairs of Ukraine and representatives of Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, State Committee on Border Control, Interpol, Ministry of Education, State Employment Centre, foreign Embassies and international organizations (Kyiv, 13-14, May 1998);
  • national seminar for "Hot line" consultants together with Ukrainian State Centre of Social Services (21-22 October, 1998);
  • national seminar for representatives of educational establishments together with Ministry of Education of Ukraine (Kyiv, 17-18 December, 1998);
  • national seminar for representatives of regional mass media (Kyiv, 31 March - 1 April 1999);
  • seminar-training for Ukrainian youth organizations together with Youth Parliament of Ukraine (6 April, 1999);
  • national seminar-training for youth and women NGOs of Ukraine together with State Committee on Family and Youth Affairs of Crimea (14-16 April, 1999);
  • international scientific-practical conference "Combating trafficking in women: the necessity of legislation improving and tasks of law enforcement bodies of Ukraine" (Kharkiv, May 1999),
  • scientific-practical seminar "Combating trafficking in women and tasks of educational establishments in the system of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine" (Evpatorija, October 1999),
  • seminar "Problems of combating trafficking in women and cooperation of law enforcement bodies with NGOs" (Lugansk, November, 1999 ).
  • round table for NGOs and law enforcement bodies "Mechanisms of implementing the Comprehensive Program of prevention trafficking in women and children in Ukraine" (December, 1999)


  • Respect for human rights
  • Protection of the right of women not to be trafficked into prostitution.


A great number of Ukrainian women have recently fallen victim to international sex-dealers.

Young women and girls are recruited to work abroad with tempting newspapers ads proposing easy money for work in waitressing, photo modeling or domestic service. "Marriage" agencies, "employment" agencie and "visa" agencies offer their assistance in securing employment.

Pimps frequently use the difficult economic situation in Ukraine, which is in transition to a market economy, by capitalizing on conditions caused by the labor-market crisis. According to official data, 75% of unemployed persons in Ukraine are women. Often women who have lost hope of obtaining gainful employment in Ukraine, are attracted to newpaper ads proposing jobs in foreign countries. However, when they accept the jobs and arrive in those countries, it often turns out that they were deceived about work conditions and are forced to work in the local sex-industry.

The activities of the "International Womens' Rights Centre La Strada Ukraine" in prevention of trafficking in women started in May 1997. The main thrust of the first year's efforts was aimed at attracting the attention of society in general and government structures to the problem of trafficking in women.

As part of the program, La Strada initiated radio and TV programs, organized "round-table" discussions, seminars, press conferences for mass media, educational establishments, manned hot-lines, and developed close contacts with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Due to pressure brought on by La Strada, the Central Channel of Ukrainian TV showed the documentary film "Bought and Sold" (produced by Global Survival Network (GSN) in Washington, DC, USA).

At the initiative of La Strada, an All-Ukrainian seminar titled "Finding the way to prevention of trafficking of women in Ukraine" was held, marking one-year of La Strada Ukraine in operation.

La Strada cooperated with Ukraine's Parliament in discussions and adoption of the law against trafficking in women (article 124 of Ukraine's Criminal Code).

Ukraine's Ministry of Family and Youths, social services, and the Ministry of Education all work with La Strada to battle the trafficking problem.

Armed with information provided by La Strada, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukrainian embassies abroad are enabled to help some women who find themselves in these predicaments return to Ukraine.

We are grateful to all who cooperated with us, and gave financial and organizational support, and in general assist us in solving the problem of trafficking in women.

La Strada is open to further cooperation, and is always prepared to work with other energetic individuals and organizations who wish to combat trafficking.


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