3350 M Street, NW · Washington DC 20007 · 202/333-0606 · 202/333-0817 (fax)
23 April 1998
For immediate release
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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE SIGNS LAW ON CRIMINAL CHARGES
FOR TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
On April 13, 1998 the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, signed a law on criminal charges for the trafficking in human beings, which was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on March 24.
As stipulated by the law, persons who are involved in direct or indirect, open or hidden trafficking in human beings aimed at their sale for sexual exploitation or pornobusiness, or their use in military conflicts, as well as persons who adopt children for commercial purposes, will face criminal charges and will be punished by imprisonment for a period of three to eight years, with confiscation of their property. The persons who are involved in the sale of children and those officials who abuse their positions to this end, will be punished by imprisonment for a period of five to ten years. In situations where the trafficking in human beings led to serious consequences or was organized by a criminal grouping, and in cases when the trafficking was intended for the transplantation of human organs, the punishment is increased to 8-15 years.
As stated by Nina Karpacheva, deputy head of the Ukrainian Parliament's Commission on Human Rights, up to 85% of Ukrainian women involved in prostitution abroad are forced into this business against their will. She said that dozens of thousands of Ukrainian women have been turned into "white slaves" in many countries, in particular in Greece, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands ...
According to Karpacheva, until now the Ukrainian authorities have had no information regarding the trafficking in human beings because there have been no criminal charges associated with these crimes.