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World News

Ukrainian refugees at risk of trafficking, Christian charity warns Scottish Government

by Alex Collett

A Christian charity is warning the Scottish Government that Ukrainian refugees could be trafficked. 

Earlier this month the UK Government announced that Ukrainian refugees are being encouraged to come to the UK, under a new Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

Earlier this month, the UK Government announced 100,000 Ukrainian refugees would be able to come to the UK, following pressure from humanitarian organisations and faith groups.

More than a thousand Ukrainians have applied to seek refuge in Scotland so far.

The Scottish Government have committed to being a 'super sponsor' meaning refugees choosing to come to Scotland won't need to name an individual sponsor, unlike those wishing to enter England. 

Christian charity CARE for Scotland (CfS) has warned othat the Homes for Ukraine scheme could be a target for criminals.

According to the charity, "unregulated groups and accounts are springing up on platforms such as Facebook" and "Human traffickers can masquerade on sites as genuine individuals wanting to help when they intend to 'shop' for new victims to exploit."

Therefore the charity are warning the Cfs to not encourage Ukrainian refugees to use social media to find housing.  

The charity states: "Both the Scottish Government and the UK Government can use official channels to urge refugees not to interact with groups and private individuals on social media. 

"Instead, they should be advised to seek help through official websites or reputable NGOs, officials and charities operating on the ground in Europe."

The charity has also urged the Government to carry out 'follow up checks' to ensure refugees are safe and prevent them falling off the radar if they move elsewhere.

The letter concludes: "We urge you to set out a strategy for guarding against exploitation of refugees in the short term and the longer term as they find a home in Scotland."

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