Human Trafficking: Anti-Trafficking Services Protect Ukrainian Refugees

For refugees, particularly those with children, leaving home is a terrifying prospect. Without any guarantees for food, shelter or security, they are more vulnerable to fall prey to human trafficking.

Natalia Volodymyrivna Hulak, who fled the war in Ukraine with her daughter and mother and sought refuge in Poland, shared the fear and vulnerability she experienced along her journey.

“You know, when you are going to a foreign country you never know what awaits you,” she said. “Where will we sleep? What will my child eat? Will I end up in some kind of slavery and sold? It was very frightening.”

Upon their arrival in Poland, Ms. Hulak and her family received assistance from Caritas Poland, which provides safe housing, psychological counseling, legal counseling, job placement and more. Its staff also receives anti-trafficking training, as refugees are a vulnerable population often targeted and exploited by traffickers.

“Thanks to these people, to volunteers, to Caritas, our children came back to life,” said Ms. Hulak.

Hear from Ms. Hulak and Caritas staff in this video, and read more in “Vulnerable by War” in the September 2023 issue of ONE.

Olivia Poust is assistant editor of ONE.

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