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“Very likely” that Ukrainian refugees may be abused – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

Kripos regularly assesses how vulnerable Ukrainian refugees are to sexual abuse.

Now the police unit, that is the national authority for the fight against organized crime and other serious crime, even more certain that potential abusers will exploit vulnerable people who come to Norway.

It emerges from a new assessment presented to the Minister of Justice today.

Kripos has sharpened this assessment from there “Likely” to “very likely”.

This is confirmed by Emil Kofoed, who is head of the section for sexual offenses in Kripos, to NRK.

– The concern is the same. But in the last period, we have increased the assessment from that it should be likely to happen, to that it is very likely that it will happen, he says.

What does this mean concretely?

– This means that we consider that it is very likely that abusers will use the room for maneuver that is within the flow of refugees to exploit and commit sexual abuse.

Concerned about safety

The vast majority of Ukrainian refugees who come to Norway are women and children, and are described as one particularly vulnerable group.

In Tromsø is a man in his 20s charged with rape of a Ukrainian 17-year-old. The man denies criminal guilt.

I Kvinesdal and at Råde, outside men have also contacted people at the refugee reception centers.

The police chief Emil Kofoed in Kripos explains the reason why they are now sharpening their assessment as follows:

  • Several refugees have arrived in Norway in recent weeks
  • Police have seen several incidents in recent weeks where they have been concerned about the exploitation of Ukrainian refugees, following the previous assessment of the situation

Kofoed says there is still a “small number of incidents, in relation to the number of refugees”.

– MAt the same time, there are so many incidents that it is important for us to point out the challenges that are. And that is why we have also increased our assessment in relation to the probability that it can happen.

NOAS: Hoping for quick settlement

Pål Nesse is Secretary General of the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), which also maintains contact with Ukrainian refugees in Norway.

How do you assess how vulnerable Ukrainian refugees are to sexual abuse in Norway now?

Unfortunately, they are more vulnerable than I thought. This is not unusual internationally, but perhaps there is a little more risk in Norway than we have been aware of, and therefore must take better care than we had thought.

Nesse believes it is very important that the refugees quickly get a place to live in the municipality to prevent them from being exploited.

Then you get a public support system around you. Not least, you will hopefully get some Norwegian friends and acquaintances, who know the local community. Then this vulnerability is considerably reduced. That is why it is so important that we speed up settlement in the municipalities here in Norway, says Nesse.

Pål Nesse is Secretary General of NOAS.

Photo: Kristian Aanensen / NRK

Police: Contact

Earlier in April told Kripos to VG how the police have stopped abusers on the border with Norway with Ukrainian children in the car.

In the interview with NRK, Kripos emphasizes that they do not want people to be afraid to contact the police if they have seen something they wonder if may be relevant to prevent abuse of refugees.

– The most important thing is to contact the police. Then the police get to assess whether the information is relevant or not, says Emil Kofoed in Kripos to NRK.

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