New Ukrainian Law Against Trafficking in Women

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Jyothi Kanics (
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 15:22:11 -0700 (PDT)

Country: Ukraine
Organization: International Women's Human Right Centre "La Strada-Ukraine"
Subject: New Ukrainian Law Against Trafficking in Women
Date: April, 21, 1998

On March 24, 1998, on the last day of the session, Ukrainian Parliament
adopted a new Law on making
amendments to the acting legislation on banning trafficking in people in
Ukraine. It was signed by the
President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma on April 13, 1998.

According to this Law, there are going to be changes in the Criminal Code of
In particular, there is a new version of Article 124(1) in it, "Trafficking
in people":
§Open or hidden power over a person, connected with the transition of that
person, with or without his
or her consent, over Ukrainian border, or without it, with subsequent
trafficking, or any other paid
transition of the person, with the intention to exploit him or her in sex
business, porno business, crime,
claiming debts, adoption with the intention of getting financial revenue,
using the person in armed
conflicts, exploitation of his or her labour -is prosecuted by imprisonment
for the term of up to eight years, with or without the confiscation of
personal possessions.

The same action committed to a person under 16 years old, to a group of
persons, or not for the first
time, or using a preliminary criminal agreement between a number of people,
or abusing authority, or
using financial or other dependency of the victim -
is prosecuted by imprisonment for the term of five to ten years, with or
without the confiscation of
personal possessions.

The action, described in Part 1 and 2 of this article, committed by an
organised group, or connected
with illegal transition of children over the border of Ukraine, or retaining
them abroad, or intending to
take organs or tissues for transplantation from the victim, or forced
donorship, or when this action
resulted in grave consequences,is prosecuted by imprisonment for the term of
eight to fifteen years with the confiscation of personal

Amendments to Ukrainian Criminal Code adopted by Ukrainian Parliament on
March 24, 1998, will
also be made to a number of its other articles.

Thus, it is supposed to amend Article 7(1), which deals with "The concept of
grave crimeŠ (the Article
exists in the following form: "As "grave crime" intentional action
enumerated in the second part of this
article, is regarded, which is especially dangerous to the community"); it
is proposed to add to its
second part the statement on "trafficking in people" (Article 124(1))".

There are also going to be amendments to Article 26, "Especially dangerous
recidivistŠ, which defines,
which persons can be recognised by the court as especially dangerous
recidivists. Now as an especially
dangerous recidivist a person can be considered, who has been convicted to
imprisonment for especially
dangerous crime against the state, and "trafficking in people" is now going
to be regarded as such.

The amendments made are also concerned with the problem of illegal adoption
and they foresee
changes to those articles of the Criminal Code that are relevant to this topic.

The fact of adoption of a Law on criminal responsibility for trafficking in
people in Ukraine is
undoubtedly extremely important on the way of overcoming this type of
criminal offence. At the same
time, there is still room for its improvement and elaboration, especially
what regards the protection of
the victim and the witnesses who agree to give testimonies against the
traffickers. In order to
accomplish this, it is necessary to join forces of the government power
structures, lawyers and women˘s
non-governmental organisations.

                Coordinator of La Strada Programme in Ukraine
                        Levchenko Katerina

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