Ukraine. After more than six months of exploitation in Europe, a woman received assistance after placing a call to “527”—the first and only toll-free national hotline specializing in helping victims of human trafficking.

Ukraine. After more than six months of exploitation in Europe, a woman received assistance after placing a call to "527"-the first and only toll-free national hotline specializing in helping victims of human trafficking. In April 2007, the three largest cell phone service providers in Ukraine, LLC Astelit (life:), Kyivіtar and MTS (UMC), came together to establish a toll-free number "527." When dialed, the number routes calls to a hotline which is staffed by professional operators who offer advice and warnings regarding finding work abroad, and who are also trained to identify and assist people who were exploited while abroad. Since the launch of the number, IOM's national toll-free counter-trafficking hotline has received more than 1,700 calls via "527".
The story that the abovementioned woman shared with hotline operators regarding her six months in Europe is not unique. She was desperate for work when a friend proposed she work abroad as a shop assistant. A recruiter paid her visa fees and plane tickets as an advance on future earnings, but when she arrived in her destination country, her passport was taken away and she was sold into sexual slavery. After more than six months of captivity and forced prostitution, she found a way to escape and returned to Ukraine. What is unique about this story is that once she returned home she called "527" and asked for help. The operators identified her as a victim of human trafficking and immediately referred her to a local NGO in her area who in turn referred her to IOM.
For the last six years, IOM Ukraine has provided assistance, including medical care, psychological counselling, reintegration grants, vocational training, and legal assistance to more than 4000 victims of trafficking. "Thanks to the 527 number, we were able to help this woman receive the medical care and psychological counseling she needs to begin life anew in Ukraine," states Maryna Pasichnyk, Coordinator of the national hotline which receives 527 calls. "We hope that as awareness of this hotline grows, the number of victims of trafficking coming forward to receive assistance will also grow."
To receive more detailed information about the initiative please contact IOM Kyiv Public Information Office
at 380 44-568 50 15 or pr@iom.kiev.ua

Going abroad? Take care of your safety, call 527 - National Migration Hotline. Calls are freeinside Ukraine. Say "stop" to traffickers