This page offers safety advice for people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and details of support organisations that offer help and advice.
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For further advice about living in European countries and finding legitimate work, please visit this webpage.
Many Ukrainians are being forced to leave their home due to the Russian invasion. Due to the difficult situation with electricity and possible missile attacks, people are seeking refuge in neighboring European countries.
Most people want to help Ukrainian people fleeing the war, but there may be some who shouldn’t be trusted and may want to make profit from experiences of displacement.
Reports have confirmed that among people who want to help Ukrainian people as they arrive and seek safety, human traffickers are also waiting for people at the borders to take advantage of their vulnerability. They may attempt to gain your trust, and offer you an attractive job or suggest ride to accommodation, with such promises being used to lure you into an exploitative situation. They can use deception, threats, blackmail or even violence to limit your freedom and force you into labor or sexual exploitation.
By understanding how to spot the signs of a fake offer and how to cross the border safely, you will be able to protect yourself and your family.
How to prepare for a safe border crossing
If you are planning to travel abroad from Ukraine, we advise you to register at this link. The project of Voluntary Registration of Ukrainian Citizens Traveling Abroad (“FRIEND”) is an effective tool for prevention, and if necessary, search and assistance for Ukrainian citizens in case of emergency events abroad.
* Please note this information was updated on 6th July 2023. For up-to-date information, please visit this page.
To ensure a safe border crossing, it is important to prepare your documents in advance. Make sure you have the following documents:
- Foreign passport of a Ukrainian citizen. Pay attention to the validity period of your passport, as some countries may refuse entry to individuals whose passports expire within six months.
- Ukrainian citizen’s passport. Departure to the EU using the internal passport of a Ukrainian citizen is possible for individuals (such as women, children, and disabled persons) who have been evacuated from conflict zones. Border guards recommend contacting the competent authority of the specific European Union country you plan to visit to verify if this document will be sufficient for entry.
Please note that an invalid Ukrainian citizen’s passport for international travel does not entitle Ukrainian citizens to travel abroad. A travel pass can be issued based on a foreign passport that has had its validity period extended.
If you are crossing the border with a minor child, ensure you have their documents as well. Currently, a child can cross the border with one parent without the other parent’s notarized consent.
Before your trip, make sure to familiarize yourself with the border crossing rules of the country you are visiting. For example, if you are traveling to Poland in your own car, you will need to purchase car insurance known as a “Green Card.” It is important to note that the document must be printed, as electronic versions are not accepted by border guards. If you are traveling to Romania, you will need to pay a toll after crossing the border.
To view an interactive map of checkpoints and their congestion levels, please visit the provided link.
Traffickers often target border areas to recruit people into exploitative circumtances, from which it can be difficult to escape.
A trafficker could be anybody. They can be any age, gender or nationality.
There are many ways people might be lured and trapped into exploitation, including:
Сlick here to learn more about human trafficing
If you or anyone you know are in immediate danger, call the 112 European emergency number. The number is free of charge, 24/7, anywhere in the European Union. You can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.
Click here for some organisations that can help and support you.
Details of support organisations in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova
- If you or anyone you know are in immediate danger, call the 112 European emergency number. The number is free of charge, 24/7, anywhere in the European Union. You can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.
- 116111 The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents provides psychological support for free to children and adolescents. The service helps children in need of care and protection and links them to services and resources. The helpline operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free of charge.
La Strada Ukraine
La Strada Ukraine is a public human rights organisation working to ensure gender equality, peace building, prevention of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, combating human trafficking and ensuring the rights of children, promoting human rights standards in all spheres of society and the state.
Caritas Ukraine’s social service programmes have established rehabilitation centres for individuals struggling with substance abuse, they provide reintegration assistance for Ukrainian migrants, render direct assistance and seminars to prevent human trafficking
La Strada Poland (Foundation against Trafficking in Human Beings and Slavery)
La Strada Poland is a non-governmental organisation that aims to combat and prevent human trafficking. They run a helpline that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The helpline provides information, advice, and guidance with regards to human trafficking. Services are available in English, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian and Spanish language. Translators can support, but please note the response may take longer.
The Legal Intervention Association (Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej)
The Legal Intervention Association (Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej) works to uphold respect, human rights and equality. They support refugees and migrants in Poland. They provide free legal assistance to people with migration experience. When their rights are at risk, they represent them in courts and national authorities and the European Court of Human Rights, and actively participate in the creation of migration law by intervening and issuing opinions on legal regulations. The phone accepts calls Monday-Friday, between 2 pm and 4 pm
Salvation Army Poland
The Salvation Army in Poland provide help to refugees with food vouchers to supermarkets, clothes, toiletries, and support in form of pastoral care, general advice with help in job seeking including job verification service, information on prevention of Human Trafficking, support filling in governmental forms, and access to IT facility
National Helpline for Victims of Trafficking
The helpline is free of charge in Slovakia and operational 24/7
Download the STOP APP
The STOP APP enables anybody who knows, has seen or even heard a situation that they believe to be human trafficking, to talk about it in a safe and secure space. You can report the incident anonymously and securely through the STOP APP. There will be no record of the report submitted on your phone. The STOP APP is available in Ukrainian language.
- Have you seen a suspicious job advert online?
- Has someone offered you work that seemed suspicious?
- Are you or someone you know being forced to work, or being exploited?
Let us know. You can report your suspicions or observations by downloading our STOP APP. Make sure you are in safe place away from the suspected incident when making the report.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is a human trafficking prevention organisation. This app collects individuals’ stories of global human trafficking to disrupt and prevent this crime. We are not a rescue organisation and this app is not monitored 24/7 but will be checked on the next working day. If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed please contact trusted authorities.