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Parentless children falling into traffickers’ traps in Ukraine

According to a group evacuating institutions in the conflict zone, traffickers are targeting parentless youngsters on the Ukraine-Poland border.

The news: A group of US military veterans is assisting in the organization of safe passage for the estimated 200,000 youngsters in orphanages and foster homes across Ukraine. Thousands, though, remain unaccounted for, and they fear that some have already fallen prey to human traffickers.

  • Kyiv claims to be tightening processes for children in need.

What’s going on: Salam, a refugee-aid organization, is collaborating with the team. Children dumped at the Ukraine-Poland border by well-intentioned organizations are being targeted, according to the BBC.

  • Aerial Recovery, a group of former US military veterans supporting vulnerable people escaping the crisis, is collaborating with Ukrainian authorities to develop a system that will make it simpler to track the country’s orphans.
  • Jeremy Locke, the team’s chief of operations, adds, “The government doesn’t really have the capacity to deal with the situation.”

What are they saying: “They’re easy victims – they’re searching for help,” says the charity’s Martin Kvernbekk. “So, if you’re an adult with food or shelter, they’ll join you. They have no idea what’s going on.”

  • He’s heard allegations of children going missing from a variety of sources, as well as reports of people smugglers wearing luminous vests and posing as members of humanitarian organizations.
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