A dramatic rise in human trafficking cases has been registered after Russia invaded Ukraine, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid said in an interview with Die Welt.
“Organised crime is often involved in this. These brazen criminals meet people who need help, who are forced to earn money, who don’t speak the language of their new country, and who often have psychological traumas because of the war,”
According to Schmid, the number of online searches for sexual services and pornographic images of Ukrainian women and children have increased by 600% since the war broke out. The number of cases of trafficking in pregnant women has also gone up.
The OSCE chief said that the victims are lured online through fake promises, become victimised in host families and homes or are caught by human traffickers directly on the border.
The OSCE estimates that 25-27 million people fall victim to human trafficking, while only 10,000 cases are noticed and investigated by law enforcement agencies. Modern day slave traders’ annual revenue went up by 5 times in the past 15 years to reach $150 billion.