UN tells UK to stop matching single Ukrainian women fleeing the invasion with single men, following reports of sexual exploitation
- The UN says a UK refugee program for Ukrainians must stop pairing single women with single men.
- Reports have detailed how some men are trying tried to exploit vulnerable women seeking shelter.
The UN's refugee agency says the UK must stop placing single Ukrainian women fleeing the invasion in the homes of single British men, the Guardian reported.
However, several UK media reports have detailed how British men are targeting vulnerable single Ukrainian women arriving in the country, in some cases asking for sexual contact in return for accommodation.
A spokesperson for the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees told the Guardian that "a more appropriate matching process" was needed so that single women could be paired with with women or families.
"Matching done without the appropriate oversight may lead to increasing the risks women may face, in addition to the trauma of displacement, family separation and violence already experienced," the spokesperson said.
Several Ukrainian refugees previously told Insider that they are choosing to return to war-torn Ukraine as they are exhausted by the "hunger and homelessness" inflicted by the long wait for UK visas.
In late March, 16 refugee and anti-trafficking organizations warned that the program was in danger of becoming "Tinder for sex traffickers."
"By adopting a hands-off approach to matching, there is a high risk that traffickers, criminals and unscrupulous landlords set up matching sites and Facebook pages to prey upon the vulnerable," the letter said.
According to a tracker run by the UNHCR, more than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded on February 24.
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