Many persons will offer their help, however not everyone’s identity can be verified and there might be persons who want to take advantage of your situation.
This can happen, for example, through promising you accommodation, or transport, or food, and pressure – or force – you or any of the persons traveling with you into performing sexual acts, work, services, or giving away items (i.e. your belongings, or documents) or money you do not agree with, and/or putting you and/or your family in harmful situations.
Family unity is a fundamental human rights. You should make every effort to ensure your family travels and stays together wherever possible and to support your children to live through all the different challenges of your journey to safety.
Here below are two leaflets with practical tips and information to help you keep your family safe and informed. You can dowload them on your mobile.
To keep yourself and your family safe, pay attention to some signs, and be alert if any of the following example situations, occur:
- Someone who is not a government official is asking for your passport or other identification documents.
- Someone is asking for your phone, laptop or other means of communication.
- Someone wants to separate you from your family or other persons you are travelling with.
- Someone is offering you an attractive job, or an opportunity that sounds ‘too good to be true’, or assistance (food, money, etc.) in exchange of work, services or sex.
- Someone is pressuring or forcing you or anyone of your family or group to perform work, services or sex to repay ‘debts’ or ‘favors’.
- Someone is promising to help you get registered, relocated or resettled to another country against payment of a fee (except for regular transportation fees).
- Someone is hiring you but not paying you, or paying only part of what was promised, or not giving you decent working conditions or limiting your movement (for example, by taking your documents away or restricting your movements, e. by locking the door).
Never give away your documents!
Apart from public authorities, for example at border check points or in the official asylum registration centre, no one should ask for your documents.
Staying safe while travelling
- Be always alert and follow your own intuition about people and situations you do not know.
- Always hold onto your documents! Take copies of them and keep them with you, keep digital copies (i.e. photos of them) on your phone and share them with someone you trust.
- Keep in touch with your family and other people you trust.
- Seek reliable information from trusted sources, verified and vetted by the government where possible.
- Know your rights, research and register on your mobile the phone numbers to call to access help. In case of doubt, contact relevant government officials or trusted organizations – police, border guards, volunteers, humanitarian workers etc.
- Inform your family and close ones about your movements, share geolocations and your current situation.
- Report any abuse!
If you are looking for a safe accommodation
- Choose organised accommodation by known organisations and/or approved by the Government, whenever possible. Many reception centres, hotels, hostels and non-government organisations offering accommodation have been approved by the Government.
- If you are using an online service provider for booking housing, make sure to select hosts with a positive rating and look at the reviews on the page. Look for certified ratings, whenever possible.
- If you stay with private individuals, try to ask around about the host.
- Do not accept to be separated from your family or from those you arrived with, and never give away your documents.
- Ask if anything is expected of you in return for accommodation, transport, work proposal, food, and always agree on a price on beforehand.
- Report any abuse!
If you are looking for safe and reliable transportation:
- Use organised transportation by known providers, as far as possible.
- Many companies in Europe are now offering free travel for persons fleeing from Ukraine. Check here for some updated information.
- Do not, under any circumstance, accept to be separated from your family or those you arrived with, and never give away your documents.
- For more precaution, take a picture of the transport vehicle and number plate, find information about people offering transportation services, and share all of this information with your family members or people you trust.
- Always agree on the transportation fee, when requested, beforehand with the service provider.
- Report any abuse!