Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ugandan woman victim of trafficking to Poland

Border Guards are working on the case of a 23-year-old Ugandan woman who has fallen victim of human trafficking into Poland and escaped captors in Warsaw.

The Border Guards have released information that the woman met a Polish man at the end of last year in Uganda that offered her well-paid work in Europe and told her that she needed no money or documents – that he would arrange the whole trip.

The journey from Uganda to Poland took several days during which the woman was raped several times and most likely drugged with sleeping pills and narcotics.

Upon arrival in Warsaw, the woman was able to escape her captor when the man left her alone in a vehicle. Authorities suspect that she spent the night underground near Warsaw’s Central Train Station.

The day following her escape, the Ugandan woman, thanks to her knowledge of the English language and with help from a medical clinic, she was able to contact the Department for Foreigners at the local Border Guard Office.

The young woman has been tested and treated by doctors and is now under care of the Program for the Support and Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking run by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration.

It has yet to be decided whether or not Poland will provide the woman with asylum as the details of her journey have not yet been discovered. As well, Border Guards have not yet indentified the real identity of the man who lured her into Poland as, it is assumed, that he used false documents.

The Office of the Attourney General of Poland has stated that, while trafficking statistics for 2008 are not yet available, between 1997 and 2007, 2,855 people have been treated in Poland as victims of human trafficking. The Office added that Poland is considered one of the most important ‘transit’ country for trafficking humans further to Western Europe.

Legislation enacted in September 2003 in Poland allows foreign victims a one-year temporary residence permit to remain in Poland to testify against their traffickers.