On the 28th of February 2022, Russia started a war against Ukraine. That day turned the Ukrianian’s lives upside down. The citizens of Ukraine had to choose between stay and fight for their country, democracy, and freedom or to flee across the Ukrainian borders to put their families and themselves into a safe space. Only three weeks after the invasion, 10 million Ukrainians were reported to be fleeing the war. .
Directly after the invasion, people from all over Europe, including Sweden, started to open up their houses, donate clothes and make it possible for Ukrainian children to get education in Swedish schools. A hundred years from now, it will be in the Swedish history books that Sweden did an amazing job by taking care of so many refugees. But just like in any war, there is a dark side to this.
In September 2022 the Swedish TV channel TV4Nyheterna reported that an increasing number of Ukrainian women and girls were tricked into prostitution. In many cases, there were men who opened up their houses , for young women, and later claimed that they wanted payback. Since he most likely already knew that the girls did not have any money, he asked them for “another form of payment”. To me, it is incredible how a human can treat another human being in such a cruel way. We are all the same. How can you exploit someone who you know is traumatized and has nothing, while you have everything.? This happens in every country all over the world, daily. In the news feature, it is also said that most women in forced prostitution in Sweden now come from Ukraine. Prositution has always been a problem in Sweden and we need to take further actions to stop this.
Nonetheless, to stop young women from ending up in prostitution we need to provide better opportunities for the women coming to Sweden from Ukraine. Not only does the government have a responsibility to protect these young women and girls that are already traumatized. However, we as a society and fellow human beings have a responsibility to keep an eye out for these girls and to be a voice for them when necessary. Sweden was the first country to criminalize sex buyers. Together we can create the first country in the world without prostitution.
In conclusion, rape and prostitution have always been a side effect of conflicts or used as a method of warfare. It is time to change that. We all have a role to live up to for our fellow human beings, and do our best to prevent prostitution in our society. A nation without traumatized women is a happy nation.
By: Matilda Fors, Swedish University Student and Do Good Now Intern