Quick Exit

Supporting and Safeguarding Ukrainian Refugees

Ukrainian nationals coming to the UK are entitled to feel safe and be welcomed into communities. People fleeing war and persecution are often traumatised. They can often feel that their world has become unstable, unsafe and untrustworthy. It is important therefore that the relationship between guests and those supporting them is one that is empowering, trusting and supportive.

If you have a safeguarding concern regarding a guest, or you are concerned about their behaviour, please contact either Wiltshire Councils’s Adult or Children's Services on the following number 0300 456 0100.

Ukrainian guests needing support can also contact the Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline | Barnardo's (barnardos.org.uk) on 0800 148 8586 email ukrainiansupport@barnardos.org.uk Barnardo’s provide advice, signposting, and therapeutic support for anyone seeking sanctuary in the UK from the conflict in Ukraine. 

There are also resources available in English, Ukraine and Russian on staying safe in the UK which are available on this link - Home - Ukrainians Welcome

It has been developed by a coalition of anti-slavery and human rights groups for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, aimed at keeping them safe from trafficking and helping them adjust to their new home. This website provides a ‘one-stop shop’ of useful websites, helplines, and other information – anything from where to get basic travel and housing advice, to opening a bank account and understanding your rights as a worker.  

There are also resources now available in Ukraine and Russian regarding staying safe in the UK which is available here  - ВАШЕ БЕЗПЕЧНЕ ПЕРЕБУВАННЯ У ВЕЛИКОБРИТАНІЇ - Ukrainians Welcome

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is where people are forced into carrying out work against their will for no or little pay.

Ukrainian refugees are at risk of the four main types of modern slavery as identified by the Home Office:

  • Labour exploitation: where victims are forced to work in a highly exploitative situation in which they cannot freely leave for other employment or exercise choice.
  • Criminal exploitation: where victims are exploited and coerced to commit a crime for someone else’s gain. An example of criminal exploitation is the transportation and cultivation of drugs
  • Sexual exploitation: where victims are coerced into sex work or sexually abusive situations. This includes child sexual exploitation.
  • Domestic servitude:which typically involves victims working in a private family home where they are ill-treated, humiliated, subjected to unbearable conditions or working hours or made to work for little or no pay.

The Home Office has produced a Modern Slavery Awareness Booklet with information on how to report if this is happening and GOV.UK has more information on identifying and reporting modern slavery

Human Trafficking

This is where people are transported to different areas of the country or world for the purpose of exploitation. If you are concerned that someone you know is involved in Human Trafficking, call the police on 999 if it’s an emergency or 101 if it’s not urgent. Signs of human trafficking might be

  • A lack of freedom
  • Work for very little or no pay
  • Seem to be in debt to someone
  • Live in fear of someone or even the authorities
  • Have signs of physical abuse, like cuts and bruises
  • Move location regularly


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