- There are many that will want to help you, but not everyone is who they say there are. There are persons who want to take advantage of your situation.
- For example, they may promise you accommodation, transport, or free food, and use this as a way to pressure you into sexual acts, work or services you do not agree with. Or they may want to harm you or take your belongings.
There are signs you can look for to keep yourself and your family safe. For example, be alert of someone:
- is asking for your passport or other identification documents (apart from public authorities, for example at border check points);
- is asking for your phone, laptop or other means of communication;
- wants to remove you from your family or others you are travelling with;
- is offering you a job that sounds to good to be true;
- is pressuring you to perform work, services or sex (including to repay ‘depts’);
- is offering you assistance – such as food – only if you do such ‘services’;
- is promising to help you get registered, relocated or resettled to another country against payment (except for regular transportation fees);
- is hiring you but not paying you, or paying only part of what was promised;
- is hiring you, but not giving you decent working conditions or limiting your movement, for example by taking your documents or locking the door.
There are steps you can take to stay safe:
- Be alert and follow your own intuition about people you don’t know.
- Always hold onto your documents. Take copies of them on your phone and send them to someone you trust.
- Keep in touch with your family and other people you trust.
- Know your rights and where you can access help.
- Seek reliable information from trusted sources.
If you are looking for a place to stay:
- Use organised accommodation by known organisations, if possible.
- There are many reception centres, hotels, hostels and non-government organisations offering accommodation.
- If using an online service provider, make sure to select hosts that have a positive rating and look at the reviews on the page.
- If you stay with private individuals, try to ask around about the person first. Don’t accept to be removed from your family or those you arrived with, and don’t give away your documents. Ask if anything is expected of you in return and always agree on a price on beforehand.
If you are looking for transportation:
- Use organised transportation by known providers, as far as this is possible.
- Many companies in Europe are now offering free travel for Ukrainians. See this webpage for options: https://ec.europa.eu/free-travel-options
- Don’t accept to be removed from your family or those you arrived with, and don’t give away your documents. Always agree on a price on beforehand.