Re: New Ukrainian Law Against Trafficking in Women

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Carol Leigh (
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 22:20:49 -0800

I have a concern about an aspect of the Ukranian legislation below.

>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.

What does 'exploitation' mean in this context? Exploitation has two
definitions in English ,which are very different from each other. One
definition is to' take unfair advantage,' and the other is to 'make use.'
In English this type of law would be a problem for migrant sex
workers--strippers, for example, who work accross the border from Canada.
If this was a US law I would assume that it might prohibit this type of
work. Does a prohibition of 'exploitation of labor' inhibit migrant
labour? This translation or English version of the law may be using the
word 'exploit' in two different ways. (Anyone composing related legislation
should examine this issue in their proposed legislation. )

Basically, legislation regarding labour exploitation should refer to
migrant workers rights and working conditions because without that,
governments are prone to use criminal legislation against immigrants,
including (espeically) migrant sex workers rather than against those who
abuse immigrants and sex workers.

>From my understanding, according to recent research by GAATW, workplace
related legislation, dealing with labor rights related to issues of
'trafficking' (abuses in labor migration) is the preferred solution. I
would like more information on that if anyone has it.

Does anyone have more information about the above law? What are the laws
affecting migrant labor and sex workers in Ukraine?

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