Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Ukraine
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Ukraine, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a6723.html [accessed 21 November 2014]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Ukraine has made some progress in its efforts to combat trafficking in persons since the release of the 2009 Report. The government slightly increased its rate of prison sentences for traffickers and demonstrated increased funding for victim protection, assistance, and prevention. More concrete improvements, however, are needed in the punishment of traffickers and addressing trafficking-related complicity.
During the first half of 2009, the Government of Ukraine convicted 37 trafficking offenders under Article 149 of its criminal code, six of whom appealed their sentences; 13 convicted offenders were sentenced to 2 to 10 years' imprisonment. In July 2009 the prosecutor general demonstrated a more aggressive approach towards sentencing traffickers by obligating prosecutors to challenge all trafficking verdicts that allow a light penalty; however nearly half of the 37 defendants were only sentenced to probation. Eight of the defendants' assets were confiscated.
The government did not prosecute or convict any government officials for trafficking complicity, but in October 2009 it initiated an investigation involving an anti-trafficking officer who allegedly demanded a bribe to facilitate the illegal smuggling of people through Ukraine. The Ministry of Interior recently finalized a handbook for anti-trafficking investigators that includes information on victim identification and referral guidelines. During the interim assessment period, the government selected two pilot regions to develop and test a referral mechanism for victims of trafficking.