Fears mount over human trafficking of Ukrainian refugees
Driving the news: "You have to worry about any potential risks for trafficking — but also exploitation, and sexual exploitation and abuse. These are the kinds of situations that people like traffickers … look to take advantage of," said Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, the UNHCR’s head of global communications, per AP.
The big picture: More than 2.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion in what is being called the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
- "Obviously all the refugees are women and children," Ghedini-Williams said.
What they're saying: "When you’ve suddenly got a huge cohort of really vulnerable people who need money and assistance immediately, it’s sort of a breeding ground for exploitative situations and sexual exploitation," Tamara Barnett, director of operations at the Human Trafficking Foundation, told AP.
- "When I saw all these volunteers offering their houses … that flagged a worry in my head."