The Cinderella syndrome: Economic expectations, false hopes and the exploitation of trafficked Ukrainian women

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Journal Article
Women's Studies International Forum, 2012, 35 (1), pp. 53 - 62
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Human trafficking is a multi-causal and multi-dimensional issue. The case of Ukraine evidences this complexity, with relevant factors spanning Ukraine's political history, its relations with the EU and the current state of socio-economic development. This paper focuses on the role of barriers to full and equal participation in the labour market for Ukrainian women as a driver of human trafficking. The purpose is to use qualitative data and secondary sources to assess the extent to which a causal relationship can be identified between labour market barriers and vulnerability to trafficking and trafficking-like conditions that result from the search for economic betterment abroad by irregular or undocumented means. Attention is also paid to the pull factor of images of migrant success abroad, an element which is often neglected in trafficking discussions. Consequently, labour market barriers are intimately connected to the lure of migration success in destination countries, whether true, exaggerated or entirely false. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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