‘Thousands of children vulnerable to trafficking’
Jeremy Locke, a US military veteran who is helping organise safe passage for vulnerable children affected by the war, says this presents an opportunity for criminal gangs.
Locke, who is chief of operations at Aerial Recovery, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is so much confusion going on right now, especially initially when the invasion first happened.
“There was this desire of people coming in, wanting to do good, and rush these children and these orphans across international borders… Rushing these children across the borders, it creates that environment and the opportunity for trafficking to happen.”
Locke says Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy estimates 10,000 children from orphanages and foster homes remain unaccounted for.
He says: “There still are thousands of these orphans that are in danger. And as Russian troops move around, it makes more of them in danger. So it’s a constantly shifting scene that we have to be very reactive to.”
Locke says his group has so far helped transport and safeguard 403 orphans.