Ukrainian Social Policy Minister Natalia Korolevska and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft have agreed to strengthen cooperation in helping victims of human trafficking so that the Social Policy Ministry can provide comprehensive assistance to such people.
"The issue of combating human trafficking is very important to us. And now, during our country's chairmanship of the OSCE, it will be raised at the highest European and international levels," the ministry's press service quoted Korolevska as saying at a meeting with Tefft on Wednesday. She said that this year Ukraine for the first time started paying state assistance to the victims of human trafficking. Tefft, in turn, noted that the issue of human trafficking was a priority in cooperation between the two countries. "Of course, the issue of human trafficking is a priority in our cooperation. We have programs under which we are working with the Interior Ministry and the SBU. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is also funding a program on the creation of centers for women victims of human trafficking," he said. The sides also discussed the improvement of the pension system, the settlement of gender issues in Ukraine, and the country's accession to the Hague Convention. The diplomat also accepted Korolevska's offer on the inclusion of an expert recommended by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine in the scientific expert council under the Social Policy Ministry, who will engage in the drafting of a strategy for Ukraine's social development in 2013-2023.