Ukraine: fears traffickers exploiting unaccompanied children (Freedom United fron BBC, March 13/2022)

In a desperate bid to escape from war, children from Ukraine are being sent to cross borders, without their parents or their legal guardians. What happened to these children? Authorities are reporting that 5,000 are unaccounted for, fearing some may have been trafficked. A team working on the Ukraine-Poland border has seen how easy it is for traffickers to find victims.The BBC spoke to Martin Kvernbekk, of a charity supporting refugees, reporting: He has heard about children going missing from a number of different sources, and reports of people smugglers wearing reflective vests and pretending to belong to organisations helping the relief effort. he EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, voiced concerns this week. “We also have some reports of criminals taking orphans from orphanages in Ukraine, crossing the border pretending that they are relatives to the child and then using them for trafficking purposes,” .Without a system in place to record or check information, it is not possible to know what has happened to the missing children or how many may have been trafficked (all this could have been easily foreseen).Systems are now improving with safety protocols. The BBC reports that the Ukrainian authorities are working with NGOs to process displaced children and move them to safe areas within the country.