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Boys in Ukraine are more at risk for commercial sexual exploitation than ever before

Posted on Jun 9, 2013

The republic of Ukraine is the second most populous country in Eastern Europe. The majority of the population belongs to Ukrainian and Russian ethnic groups with sizable minority groups as well. Ukraine has faced major economic challenges since the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the slow economic growth since 1991 was interrupted by the global economic crisis of 2008-2009.

High transit and loose borders driving for child trafficking and sexual exploitation

Presently, Ukraine is one of the main transit countries for migration. The eastern border of Ukraine is considered particularly easy to cross because of the lack of infrastructure and border controls. Insufficient border checks and limited state capacity has lead to smuggling and human trafficking. Once a country of origin and transit, Ukraine is now becoming a destination country for the trafficking of children for sexual purposes and continues to be strongly connected to the demand for sex with children from both Ukrainian and foreign tourists.

More and more boys are being exploited

During summer months, children from neighbouring countries, including Moldova and Russia, are trafficked to the Azov seacoast and Crimea to be sexually exploited through prostitution. There is also a growing need for further measures to protect boys in Ukraine. Once a rare phenomenon, more and more boys are being sexually exploited and the abuse of boys in the context of prostitution has become a common reality, with several prominent cases getting media attention in the last few years.

Threats and risks of the internet

Adolescent boys are especially vulnerable when it comes to online child sexual abuse. With a push from the government to boost Internet use for educational purposes, more Ukrainians are online than ever before. Because boys in Ukraine are more involved in the use of ICTs and online games than girls, they will more likely be exposed to online risks and threats.

To understand more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Ukraine you can READ THE FULL REPORT HERE


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