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August 20, 2007

Coming to Conclusions on Ukrainian Confiscation Fund for Human Trafficking


The Rule of Law Initiative’s office in Ukraine recently held a final conference for the initial phase of its pilot project on the feasibility of creating a “Confiscation Fund” for human trafficking victims in Ukraine.  This project was funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the European Commission, and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The conference brought together Ukrainian governmental institutions with representatives from the General Prosecutor’s Office, Academy of Prosecutors, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Department for the Execution of Punishments, Academy of Judges, Center for Legal Reform of the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry for Youth and Sports, as well as several international and Ukrainian NGOs which work in the area of combating human trafficking in Ukraine. Ukraine Country Director Shelley Wieck, and IOM-Ukraine Chief of Mission Jeff Labovitz opened the conference.

Expert discussion focused on the state approach to countering human trafficking in Ukraine, as well as the various mechanisms for the creation of a Confiscation Fund for Assistance to the Victims of Human Trafficking in Ukraine based upon comparable models developed in other countries.  Issues regarding the means of financing such a fund, court practices in obtaining compensation for the victims of human trafficking crimes, and international experience in the creation of specialized funds as an instrument to counter human trafficking crimes were also discussed.