Women and children fleeing war zones in Ukraine are left vulnerable, often in foreign countries where traffickers can exploit them.
- Illegal sex trafficking of women and children in and around Ukraine has skyrocketed, experts say.
- Sex trafficking of Ukrainians isn’t new but victims are now being exploited throughout the world.
- No one knows the scope of the problem due to lax controls over who is fleeing Ukraine.
Marielle Combs, a North Carolina nursing instructor, watched the busloads of women and children cross the border from the Ukrainian port city of Odesa into neighboring Moldova.
Emerging into the frigid cold and snow, many expressed relief and gratitude that they had made it out of the war zone alive. But Combs, a humanitarian volunteer trained in spotting the often-hidden threat of sex trafficking, knew that for many of them, their perilous journey was just beginning.