Anti-trafficking organization European Freedom Network has published the following practical advice for persons who are seeking refuge from the war in Ukraine, to ensure their safety while they are still in transit or recently arrived at their destination of sanctuary.
At a time when so many ordinary people are extending hospitality for displaced people, it is important to take precautions. The present situation could also present an oppurtunity for those with criminal intent to take advantage of people in vulnerable circumstances.
If you are reading this while on the move, or having recently left your home in search of safety, the European Freedom Network warns that not everyone you encounter may have good intentions. While accepting help from strangers may be necessary depending on your circumstances, the following actions will help protect you from the few who intend to do harm:
- Protect your identification and don’t relinquish or give your documents to anyone – even for safe keeping. Keep them with you at all times
- Don’t give your personal phone to anyone
- Wherever you are, register with the local authority or local organisation databases. When travelling with someone you don’t know, please take a photo of the person and the vehicle and send it to someone you know and trust
- If you choose to stay somewhere other than the accommodation provided for you by non-governmental organizations, churches or associations, please make certain you notify the local authorities and advise them as to where you will be staying
- In case of an emergency, suspicious person or concern, please immediately notify the nearest police station or local authorities.
Please also see at the bottom of the below brochure, the list of anti-trafficking community contacts for 7 nearby European countries, verified by the European Freedom Network.