Ukrainian refugees
Kyiv Mayor Won’t ‘Give Our City Up’ As Compromise To End Russia-Ukraine War Photo by Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

Amid Ukraine invasion, sex traffickers are targeting fleeing Ukrainian women and children at Polish refugee camps, claimed charities.

According to Daily Mail, in recent weeks, more than 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine. Out of them, more than 2 million have headed to Poland. Ukrainian men from age 18 to 60 have been banned from leaving the country to stay and fight, so most of those fleeing are women and children.

Amid the chaos, sex traffickers are offering unaccompanied female refugees promises of safe accommodation and free transport. The traffickers are pretending to be good Samaritans in order to lure the refugees away from the safety of official checkpoints. The sex traffickers are working alone or in gangs to target the women and kids who are an "easy target," said charity workers on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Karolina Wierzbińska, a coordinator at the human rights organization Homo Faber in Lublin, Poland told The Guardian that they have registered the first cases of suspected "pimps preying on Ukrainian women near refugee shelter points in Lublin." She said that some of them are "accosting them, sometimes aggressively, under the guise of offering transport, work or accommodation." Wierzbińska shared that the criminals are "not only men, but there are "also women attempting to procure female refugees at bus stations."

A charity worker helping refugees told Huffington Post that they have seen numerous "dodgy men standing on site for hours looking for victims." The charity worker, who is currently helping Ukrainians at the Medyka border crossing in Poland, added that you can tell by the "distant look in their eyes, they won’t look at you, but they are scanning the crowds of refugees for victims."

People have also seen the arrival of groups of men in military fatigues. They claimed to be there to protect women and children crossing the borders after Russia attacked Ukraine. One such group in camouflage could be seen unloading aid donations in a Medyka car park earlier this week.

The vigilantes, who slept in tents in sub-zero temperatures, are not Polish soldiers, instead, they identified themselves as veterans of the French Foreign Legion. They said that they had traveled several miles to fill a dangerous vacuum in protecting women and children fleeing Ukraine from sex trafficking.

Ukrainian refugees
Refugees from Ukraine wait in a tent at the Romanian-Ukrainian border Isaccea-Orlivka on March 24, 2022. Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images

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