From Slough Safeguarding (23 May):
Anti-trafficking charities launch a new website aimed at keeping Ukrainian refugees safe and stopping exploitation
A coalition of anti-slaverty and human rights groups has launched a new website for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, aimed at keeping them safe from trafficking and helping them adjust to their new home.
www.ukrainianswelcome.org is a “one-stop shop” of useful websites, helplines, and other information – anything from where to get basic travel and housing advice to opening a bank account and understanding your rights as a worker.
Says Andrew Wallis, CEO of anti-slavery charity Unseen, one of the groups behind the initiative: “There are millions of Ukrainian people on the move, many of them with no support network, who are vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation.
“The more information we can give them on how to stay safe in the UK and where to go for support for an entire range of issues, the better. It will stop exploitation.”
www.ukrainianswelcome.org is available in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.
It includes links to the Government’s information for displaced Ukrainians.
“It’s vitally important we get this information out there quickly as the situation gets more urgent by the day,” says Andrew Wallis.
“We are already receiving calls from Ukrainian refugees to our Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline. And we are also getting worrying signals from other organisations in Europe regarding the trafficking of displaced Ukrainian people.
“We are urging the main UK mobile network providers to work with us on promoting the website to Ukrainian refugees as they arrive in the UK.
“A straightforward way to do this is for the website to be part of the standard welcome text that any traveller receives when arriving in this country. Already any foreigner registered phone arriving in the UK will get a welcome text from their UK provider detailing charges. What can be so difficult about changing that text for anyone arriving with a phone that is on a Ukrainian network?”
The initiative is funded by The Freedom Fund and the website developed by Milk & Tweed.