Human trafficking talk is an eye-opener

FRIENDS: Geoff Law, left, of Oxford Road Baptist Church with Dr Vladimir Ubeivolc.
FRIENDS: Geoff Law, left, of Oxford Road Baptist Church with Dr Vladimir Ubeivolc.

THE director of a charity that tackles human trafficking in Eastern Europe gave an eye opening talk to a Hartlepool church.

Dr Vladimir Ubeivolc, who is director of the anti-trafficking ministry Beginning of Life in Moldova visited Oxford Road Baptist Church to talk about the project’s work.

I don’t think people appreciated the extent to which human trafficking happens in Eastern Europe

Geoff Law, church parishioner

The international speaker who is used to dealing with governments around the world in leading the fight against trafficking and sexual exploitation, made a detour to town on a visit in the UK.

That was because of the friendship members of the church struck up with Dr Ubeivolc when they spent three months working with the churches and in various projects in Moldova last year.

Parishioner Geoff Law, one of those who has done charity work in Moldova, said: “His talk to the church went very well. We had around 60 people there and there was a very good atmosphere.

“I don’t think people appreciated the extent to which human trafficking happens in Eastern Europe.”

Moldova is Europe’s poorest country and unemployment in rural areas is 85 per cent, making people easy targets for human traffickers.

An estimated 100,000 Moldovan men and women have been trafficked and over 30,000 women have disappeared without trace in recent years.

They often end up abroad after being promised goo jobs but once there have their passports taken from them and are coerced into prostitution.

The charity headed by Dr Ubeivolc secures sponsorship from foreign governments and work with schools to educate children of the dangers and raise aspirations.

It also runs homes to support women who have been trafficked and exploited by teaching them basic skills and crafts to help them make goods that are bought by UK charities and supporters.

Dr Ubeivolc visited Hartlepool after speaking in Bristol earlier the same day and left the next day for another engagement in Cardiff.