Caritas Ukraine implemented the project “Development of the network of advisory centers to prevent human trafficking and assistance to human trafficking victims in Ukraine” from March 2011 till February 2014. Project activities included work of network of counseling centers in five regions: Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia and Odesa which work through regional organizations of Caritas Ukraine in Drohobych, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnytsky (including Vinnytsia region thanks to collaboration with organization “Spring of Hope”) and Odessa (additional center in Yuzhny).
Activities of qualified teams of Caritas Ukraine in different Ukrainian cities were oriented on:
• reintegration assistance (psychological and legal support, counseling, welfare assistance, professional trainings, assistance with employment or development of private business);
• counseling for at-risk groups (hotlines, organization of individual and group consultations, as well as participation in advisory committees of public authorities to develop regional programs and legal approaches to the problem of human trafficking);
• preventive actions among different target groups (unemployed, youth and women) and awareness campaigns for media, public events (round tables, discussions, presentations, publications, seminars for representatives of government agencies, NGOs and church).
Hryhoriy Seleshchuk, Director of Migration Service, noted: “Despite difficult situation in the country when the attention of benefactors is concentrated on solution of problems of internally displaced persons and victims of armed conflict in the east, Caritas Ukraine will not stop long-term activities on combating human trafficking”.
“Of course, the lack of shelter, food and most necessary belongings need priority solution now. But it is necessary to do not forget that the problem of human trafficking is becoming more acute because there are more than million of displaces persons in the country, many of them are unemployed and are at risk of falling into the situation of human trafficking”- Hryhoriy summed up.
Caritas Ukraine every year assists tens of thousands people who are in most-of- risk groups or directly faced situation of trafficking. They are receiving targeted counseling, social support, psychological support, are involved in the group seminars. In cooperation with state employment services, police, Ukrainian and European government and public entities individual rehabilitation plans for each victim of trafficking are composed promoting maximum adaptation of victim to the society.
Also during last ten years Caritas Ukraine is aiming its activities on overcoming of social problems of Ukrainian migrants. Programs implemented already:
• programs of assistance in return and reintegration of Ukrainian migrant workers;
• the network of counseling centers on human trafficking prevention and care of trafficked persons;
• series of researches on migration processes and situation with migrant workers and their families with involvement of experts in the field of sociology, psychology, law and economics;
• development of methodological guidances on social and psychological support for families of migrants and especially their children;
• lobbying of rights and interests of Ukrainian workers by development of recommendations on improvement of immigration legislation;
• creation of communication platforms for contacts of migrant communities and representatives of government agencies, participation in working out of draft laws.
Additionally, analytical report entitled “Breaking the Snare” was issued in 2014 about the 10-year activity of Caritas Ukraine in combating of human trafficking. The publication examines successful strategies of management and urgency of new directions in combating human trafficking is justified. The purpose of this publication is to promote the implementation of innovative approaches in work on combating of modern slavery that NGOs can use in their work.
Also one more manual entitled “Healing the Wounds” was published recently; it is dedicated to the questions of social and psychological support for children of migrant workers. This publication is based on the experience of seven specialized social centers of Caritas Ukraine and other church structures in work with migrant workers.