Life stories of Caritas Ukraine clients, who were trafficking victims


15.04.13, Ukraine
Alina was recruited for work in Russia. In Moscow region she was sold for labor exploitation. By means of physical and psychological violence she was kept under security in building site. She was forced to work irregular working hours without salary. Furthermore, she faced sexual violence. 

Alina came back home ill and with psychological trauma. She lost her faith in human beings, lost her hope for full-fledged life and went to her shell. She told no one about her experience abroad.

One day during a street action the young woman noticed slogans that called to combat slavery and exploitation of people in foreign countries. She was oppressed with memories. She wanted to move as fast as possible through the crowd of people who were distributing leaflets and giving some advice. However, a volunteer handed her a leaflet with phone number of non-governmental organization, involved in combating human trafficking.

When Alina dealt with her fear and addressed Caritas her life changed completely. She underwent the course of psychological and medical rehabilitation in the IOM Rehabilitation Center. She got a job as barman.

Owing to participation in psychotherapeutic group of Caritas Khmelnytsky Alina managed to set up own business. Under the auspices of Caritas the woman bought food processor and began to cook semi-finished goods for sale. Her financial condition became steadier that reflected on economic situation of the family.

Alina’s life began to clear out. She got new ambitions and interest to each new day. Very soon the woman who was a victim of labor exploitation in Russia plans to undergo training on micro entrepreneurship development and settle own business on preparing lunches for delivery and cooking  semi-finished goods.

Now the young woman definitely knows – happiness, success and self-fulfillment can be attained on motherland, close to relatives and friends!  

Through physical and psychological violence Oleksandr was involuntarily kept in manufacturing department on stainless steel production in Russia. Supervisors and guards forced the young Ukrainian to work 16-18 hours a day without salary and weekends. When his health condition got worse he was denied medical assistance. 

After labor slavery Oleksandr returned home. He was ill, penniless and with deep psychological trauma. Parents got to know about his experience and reproached him on his dependency and inability to deal with trouble in foreign country. Therefore, Oleksandr became depressed. He stayed at home all the time and communicated with nobody.

However, once everything changed radically. By chance Sashko received information on rendering aid to victims of labor migration. Without any expectations he dialed organization number and told about his problem. Very soon this young man got medical and psychological help from Caritas in Khmelnytsky . He completed course of treatment with psychologist. 

Great artistic potential with existing technical education background encouraged Oleksandr for professional training on audio and video montage. International Organization on Migration financed his education. There Sashko met professional photographer who appraised his skills and offered a job to him. Since that time he is more optimistic about his life and more confident about his future. He is grateful to civic society leaders and shares his disappointing experience with others.

Olga went to hands of human traffickers and was sold in sexual slavery in Saint-Petersburg. Going to Russia the woman agreed to work as vendor of fruits and vegetables at the market. However, on arrival she was forced to work as a prostitute on ring highway. Her documents and mobile phone were withdrawn. All the time she was accompanied by the guards. 1.5 months later she asked her client for help and managed to run away.

Olga returned to Ukraine with serious psychological traumas, she needed social and medical assistance. Moreover, she required help in employment. Fortunately, she received confidential reintegration support by means of qualified work of specialists from non-governmental organizations. 

Social rehabilitation of trafficking victim can be displayed by the subsequent changes:
•    She received free counseling assistance;
•    Psychological and medical support was provided in rehabilitation center of IOM in Kyiv;
•    She got complex help on reintegration from Caritas Khmelnytsky;
•    With financial support of IOM she completed training on the preparation course for  appraisers on expert monetary value of  land parcels and immovable property;
•    Participated in project “Development of micro-entrepreneurship” and won the grant on microcredit for setting up own business;
•    She became completely reintegrated in society life, she is employed and leads business activities;
•    She works as a volunteer in the Consultative center on preventing human trafficking and providing assistance to its victims in Khmelnytsky.

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