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HomeHour News'Ukraine refugee porn' raises dangers for girls fleeing the battle

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‘Ukraine refugee porn’ raises dangers for girls fleeing the battle

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Shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started final February, in a single workplace in Vienna, alarms went off.

The OSCE Workplace of the Particular Consultant and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings seen an explosion in on-line searches for sexual content material associated to Ukrainian girls and ladies.

Relying on the nation, corresponding searches for key phrases reminiscent of “escort,” “porn,” or “rape” along with the phrase “Ukrainian” elevated by 600%, whereas “Ukraine refugee porn” emerged as a trending search.

In Sweden, the place solicitation of sexual companies is prohibited, and correct information on shoppers is accessible, 30 out of 38 males apprehended in March searched particularly for Ukrainian girls within the first month of the battle.

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That is one thing OSCE deputy anti-trafficking coordinator Andrea Salvoni describes as a “poisonous surroundings”.

‘Shady job advertisements’ and guarantees of ‘straightforward’ cash

Over the months, because the battle intensified, increasingly more folks from Ukraine left their homeland to hunt refuge overseas, in international locations the place they largely don’t converse the language, have little or no social contacts, and are largely depending on authorities help for housing and earnings. 

Greater than 90% of them are girls and kids.

On the similar time, Salvoni and his colleagues more and more discovered “shady job advertisements” in Fb teams and Telegram chats utilized by Ukrainians to seek out info on the right way to depart the warzones.

In these advertisements, girls and ladies had been promised the prospect to earn “straightforward” cash — for instance, by “accompanying” shoppers.

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To make Ukrainian refugees conscious of the risks posed by traffickers, OSCE launched a web site with info on the dangers and basic instruments used to ensnare girls and ladies, and a phone hotline.

“There may be proof that Ukrainian girls are being sexually exploited or compelled into labour in the hunt for work and housing in host international locations,” the web site warns in English, Ukrainian and Russian.

Individuals fleeing Ukraine are suggested, amongst different issues, to add identification paperwork to the Ukrainian authorities’s DIYA app, by no means go alone with strangers, inform others of their journey plans, settle for assist solely from official sources, and organize a code phrase with kin for significantly harmful conditions.

On the similar time, OSCE is attempting to affect insurance policies within the international locations it operates in to discourage males from in search of or utilizing sexual companies from trafficking victims.

“If all males stopped shopping for intercourse tomorrow, sexual exploitation would not exist,” Salvoni says.

The place are girls most in danger?

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“In the event you had been a trafficker, would you be extra more likely to function in a rustic the place shopping for intercourse is authorized, the market is correspondingly larger, and so they can make more cash,” Salvoni stated when requested if sure international locations pose a better danger to Ukrainian girls and ladies than others.

“Or in a rustic the place shopping for sexual companies is punishable and the social norm is likely to be completely different?” 

Germany is among the most liberal international locations when it comes to intercourse work. Solely a handful of instances of utilizing companies from trafficking victims get prosecuted. 

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The issue in these international locations is that “from the surface a legal exercise and a non-criminal exercise look precisely the identical,” Salvoni stated.

That is why the overwhelming majority of traffickers get away with impunity. Solely lower than 1% of victims worldwide are ever recognized, he estimated.

In distinction, what is named the “Nordic mannequin” — by which the acquisition of intercourse is criminalised, however not the intercourse staff themselves — results in simpler prosecution of traffickers and their clientele.

In lots of EU international locations, a reversal is slowly going down. Germany has barely tightened its legal guidelines, and so did the Netherlands, whereas Spain is enterprise appreciable adjustments as nicely.

Spain’s new method, which Salvoni calls a sort of “gender pact” — the place consent to intercourse and thus rape are redefined — exemplifies this rethinking, he stated. 

International locations are realising “that the outdated laissez-faire method would not work,” he defined.

Salvoni additionally acknowledged that it takes “political braveness” to vary current legal guidelines. 

In lots of international locations, he stated, there’s a vital phase of society that believes intercourse work must be decriminalised.

And to result in cultural change, he says, it is also mandatory to start out educating youthful males about consent and constructive behaviours. 

“Males at all times have a selection,” Salvoni concluded.

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