****URGENT REQUEST FOR DONATIONS****
Attempting to house Ukrainian civilians evacuating to safety is a logistical behemoth. Currently 80% of Ukrainian evacuees are women and children. They are at extreme risk of trafficking and abuse.
In the seemingly noble attempt to help as quickly as possible a lot of chaos is created, this chaos and lack of systems, checks, and documentation creates an ideal environment for malicious actors to prey upon frightened, exhausted and desperate women. When we talk about malicious actors we are referring to human traffickers, organised crime rings, sexual predators among others.
Wadi has been networking with local NGOs, to sound the alarm and calling for safety systems to be put in place by local NGOs who are much better suited to respond in such situations than large international ones. On the ground in Krakow we are assisting local NGOs in coordinating and setting up systems for managing this crisis working to support them by sharing our knowledge and expertise. More than blankets and old shoes, these women and children need to have someone looking out for their safety and security.
Wadi was also quoted in international news with some stark warning:
“As millions of Ukrainians, mostly women and children, flee westward some are sounding the alarm that criminal organisations are looking to exploit refugees and traffic them into prostitution, the drugs trade, and possibly worse.
Shirin Tinnesand, refugee and migration coordinator at the NGO Wadi said that Ukrainian refugees were at risk of being preyed upon by criminals saying, “they are at risk of being exposed to human trafficking, prostitution, organ donation. Only imagination sets the limits.”
In this situation safety, good record keeping, are more important than speed. Waiting a day or two in a temporary shelter to be connected with a vetted and monitored host family and not having women and children ‘disappear’ in the chaos is vital.
We thank the American Jewish Committee for their support of this project.
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