Children going missing amid chaos at Ukrainian border

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Children are going missing, and cases of human trafficking are being reported by aid groups and volunteers along Ukraine’s borders amid the chaos of the refugee crisis triggered by the Russian invasion.

Charities and rights groups working in neighbouring countries to receive refugees said they had seen cases of trafficking, missing children, extortion and exploitation as more than 2.5 million people crossed into neighbouring countries to escape the escalating violence.

Karolina Wierzbińska a coordinator from Homo Faber, a human rights organisation based in Lublin, Poland, said the charity had seen cases of children being sent alone by desperate parents to meet relatives or friends across the Ukrainian border and arriving without anyone to meet them.

Homo Faber has been working at all four border crossing points to mitigate the risks and has set up a 24-hour helpline, operated by Ukrainian speaking volunteers trained to support women and children crossing the border.

Photo – A woman with a child waits as people fleeing Ukraine arrive in Slovakia through the Ubla border crossing, in Ubla, Slovakia. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

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