Raising awareness on the risks faced by people fleeing the war in Ukraine to become victims of exploitation and human trafficking

Following the war in Ukraine, many people continue to flee their country to other European countries, including Luxembourg. Most of them are women, children and elderly people, often lacking financial and material resources.

Countries bordering Ukraine have already reported attempts of exploitation or trafficking, including through fraudulent travel arrangements or offers of accommodation in return for household or childcare services to be performed for the host.

These reports are taken very seriously and Member States, as well as all European institutions, acknowledge the risk of trafficking in human beings in the current context.

Even in the absence of malicious intent, a situation of exploitation or even trafficking can develop over time. As such, these phenomena require increased vigilance on the part of the population in order to avoid situations of labour exploitation, where victims find themselves without a contract, remuneration and any social protection.

Under Luxembourg law, trafficking in human beings, which is a modern form of slavery, is determined by two elements: an action (recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or reception of a person or the handing over or transfer of control over that person) being committed with the aim of exploiting that person. Often, the perpetrators threaten or use force, violence or other forms of coercion. Trafficking in persons can take different forms:

  • Sexual exploitation: victims are forced into prostitution and the perpetrator makes an illicit profit.
  • Labour exploitation: victims are forced to work in conditions contrary to human dignity, without (adequate) remuneration. Sectors at high risk are construction, agriculture, hospitality and domestic work (personal assistance and childcare).
  • Coercion to commit offences and crimes: victims are forced to commit an illegal activity under duress, for example transporting drugs or stealing.

The Monitoring Committee on the fight against trafficking in human beings*, chaired by the Ministry of Justice, wants to remind that trafficking in human beings is a serious violation of human rights, whose various forms range from sexual exploitation, child trafficking, forced labour and domestic slavery to coercion to commit crime.

In this context, the committee reacted quickly and took preventive measures with the other actors involved. The National Reception Office (Office national de l'accueil, ONA) and its partners Caritas and the Red Cross are systematically raising awareness of trafficking in human beings and are distributing a leaflet aimed at informing potential victims of their rights, including where to go for help and protection, in a language they understand. Regular updates of the information is planned, as well as a translation of the available data into Ukrainian.

This information is further detailed on the website www.stoptraite.lu and the Facebook page "stoptraite.lu", as well as the website of the Ministry of Justice: https://mj.gouvernement.lu/fr/dossiers/2020/lutte-traite-humains.html.

The website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has a section with useful information on and for people fleeing the armed conflict in Ukraine: www.maee.gouvernement.lu/ukraine.

An information booklet on labour law enabling the persons concerned to know their rights and thus reducing the risk of exploitation elaborated by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM) and the National Employement Agency (ADEM) can be found here: https://adem.public.lu/fr/actualites/adem/2022/03/ukraine-info.html and https://itm.public.lu/fr/actualites/focus/2022/03/travailler-luxembourg.html.

Any reports of trafficking or exploitation can be made to:

  • Judicial Police Service, Fugitive Search and Victim Protection Unit
    Tel.: 113 (24h/24)
    E-mail: traite@police.etat.lu
  • Infotraite support services
    Tel.: (+352) 27 36 56 46
    Mobile: (+352) 621 351 884 / (+352) 621 316 919
    E-mail: info@traite.lu

* The inter-ministerial committee is composed of representatives of the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Equality between Women and Men, the Minister of Education, Children and Youth, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Internal Security, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, the Minister of Labour, the Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM), the National Reception Office (ONA, Office National de l'Accueil), each public prosecutor's office, the Grand-Ducal Police, and two representatives of the approved services for victims of trafficking in human beings and a representative of the SCAS Victim Support Service. Representatives of the Advisory Commission on Human Rights, in their role as national rapporteurs, may participate in the meetings of the Committee.

Press release by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region

Last update