Human Trafficking Crimes Continue To Attract Women Through Job Advertisements


European Affairs Correspondent and Human Trafficking Contributor – Megan Lyons

Human Trafficking Crimes Continue To Attract Women Through Job Advertisements

Executive Summary:

It is likely that false job advertisements will continue to be an effective way for traffickers to draw susceptible Ukrainian women into human trafficking crimes in the next 12 months. Ukraine suffers from political, economic, and social instability, which creates an environment where it is difficult for individuals to find and keep a steady high-paying job. Moreover, Ukrainian women have less opportunity than men to find economic success.[i] Foreign women are typically drawn into the United States through promises of jobs such as waitressing, nannies, factory workers, and exotic dancers.[ii] Advertised jobs abroad will likely continue to appeal to Ukrainian women and draw into the human trafficking industry.


Ukraine’s transition into an independent nation brought about corruption through elite leadership and human rights decay. From the beginning of independence in 1991 until the fleeing of Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, the Ukrainian government saw little consistency in political systems and enacted policies.[iii] Additionally, Ukrainians face further political instability in their own nation as a result of the invasion of Russia into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and 2015 respectively.[iv]

Ukraine experienced an economic transition recession from 1991 until 2000. The economy did not truly begin to improve until 2000 to 2008 when the nation experienced considerable growth in real GDP and decay in poverty numbers. However, after the 8 year economic growth period, Ukraine suffered greatly from the 2008 global financial crisis. The country recovered in 2010, but was not able to get back on a path to stable growth. iii Constant economic and political fluctuation creates an environment where it a difficult for one to attain a consistent position in the work force.

human traffick ukraine

This chart displays the decline and growth of Ukraine’s GDP per capita since 1991.  The GDP per capita has been fairly stagnant since 2010.

The education system in Ukraine is built to equally benefit men and women. The 2015 Global Gender Gap Index gives Ukraine education a score of .946, with 0 being inequality and 1.00 being complete equality between men and women. Though gender gap does not play a role in education disparity, it does play a role in economic participation and opportunity. The Gender Gap Index gives this area a score of .592, which shows difficulty for women to obtain skilled job with equal pay despite similar educational backgrounds.i The overall unemployment rate in Ukraine as of 24 March 2015 is 9.9%, and will likely average 10.10% in the next 12 months.[v] High unemployment rates and variation in job opportunities between men and women leave more women looking for skilled labor jobs.

As a result of individuals failing to successfully enter the workforce, they are eventually pushed into poverty. Lack of education and resources are typical commonalities of women that fall victim to human trafficking globally. [vi] Though many women do receive equal education, they do not have proper resources to gain a job domestically. Human traffickers draw their methods off of the weaknesses of many Ukrainian women through false job advertisements.ii Ukrainian newspapers each contain “suspicious” advertisements directed towards young and attractive women advertising jobs in foreign countries promising high pay and lodging.[vii]  Utilizing false job advertisements will likely continue to be an effective method for traffickers to lure in educated Ukrainian women.

Analytic Confidence:

Analytic confidence for this assessment is medium. Source reliability is high and sources did corroborate. The analyst’s expertise is low and the analyst worked alone, but had the analysis reviewed by peers. Subject complexity is high and the time available for the task was inadequate. The analyst used the structured analytic method of Analysis of Competing Hypotheses. Intelligence gaps included the number of Ukrainian women exposed to false job advertisements and the number of women that accept them.

[i] (High)

[ii] (High)

[iii] (High)

[iv]!/conflict/conflict-in-ukraine (High)

[v] (High)

[vi] (High)

[vii] (Medium)

Analysis of Competing Hypothesis, accounts for diagnosticity


Cover image reads: “Human life is not for sale.”

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