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Interview: How to Stop Human Traffickers from exploiting the War in Ukraine

The implications of the war in Ukraine are manyfold. For people fleeing the country, the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking is unfortunately real, especially women and children are at risk. GDL member Eirliani (Lin) Abdul Rahman spoke up about how to stop human traffickers from exploiting the war in Ukraine in an interview with rbb Radio Berlin Brandenburg. You can read the German interview here, her article in the Diplomatic Courier on the same topic goes into even more detail.

If you are a private citizen intending to help in volunteer efforts and come across a child who is alone, please note the following guidelines, adapted from UNICEF:

- Do not immediately assume that the child is lost. Verify that she is unaccompanied or has been separated from her family. Ask refugees in the immediate vicinity if they know her.

- At any point, never leave the child alone. Do not, under any circumstance, leave the child with another volunteer, whom you do not know.

- After having taken the first step and you are now certain the child is unaccompanied or has been separated from her family, ask the child for her name, age and hometown, and information about her family. If the child is unable to provide this information, ask other refugees in the vicinity what they know.

- Keep the child’s clothes and belongings with her at all times. These might help authorities trace her family.

- Contact a trusted authority such as the local municipality government, border police, Ukraine’s embassy/consulate in the host country, and/or officials from UNICEF. Share the child’s information and location, and follow the authority’s instructions. Do not leave the child.

- Do not share information about the child with anyone else, aside from the authorities.

- Explain to the child what will happen next. Do not promise that you will find her family members. This could cause confusion and distress if you need to hand her over into the hands of a trusted authority or a child protection officer.

Further Articles

GDL Peacebuilders: A Multimedia Portrait
This virtual exhibition highlights members of the GDL, working on conflict transformation.
GDL Publication
Activities, Labs, Partners, Strategy, Members - learn more about the Global Diplomacy Lab.
First GDL Policy Brief
GDL members developed three strategic options to address urgent global challenges.
Interactive Session at Global Media Forum
How women-friendly are our cities? Are we actively thinking of all genders when we design them?

Eirliani Abdul Rahman

Eirliani is a student in the doctoral program in public health at Harvard University where she is a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk DrPH Fellow. She is a co-founder of YAKIN (Youth, Adult Survivors & Kin In Need), an NGO working in the field of child rights and child protection issues, a Chatham House Member
a Red Dot Foundation-Safecity Board Member and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.

In September 2015, the #FullStop to #childsexualabuse campaign that Eirliani led on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi reached 16 million people over six weeks. She won the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award the same year.

She is an award-winning author. She was lead editor of "The Demographic Dividend and the Power of Youth. Voices from the Global Diplomacy Lab", a peer-reviewed compendium of essays on the demographic dividend (Anthem Press 2021). Eirliani also contributed a case study to the medical textbook Essentials of Global Health, co-edited by Babulal Sethia, Past President and Global Health Lead of the Royal Society of Medicine (Elsevier 2018). The book won first prize under the Public Health category in the 2019 British Medical Association book awards. She is co-author of "Survivors: Breaking the Silence on Child Sexual Abuse" (Marshall Cavendish 2017). Now in its third print run, the book won joint 2nd Prize at the inaugural Golden Doors Award in September 2020. She edited Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi's book "Will for Children" (Prabhat Prakashan 2016).

Eirliani worked in Singapore’s Foreign Service from 2005 to 2015, serving in Berlin as First Secretary (Political) and then in Delhi as Political Counsellor. From June 2015 to November 2017 she was a member of the Advisory Council of the Global Diplomacy Lab. She is a Fellow of the London-based Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Warwick University, Eirliani was a British Council Pathfinder scholar. She speaks English, Malay and German fluently, and has rudimentary understanding of Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.

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Read more about Eirliani in her latest blog article. You can also read her articles about her polar expedition and about human trafficking and learn more about her workactivism and contribution to the Gender Alliance.

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