Japanese newspaper article: Ukrainian Evacuees in the Netherlands Today

japans artikel

Lees het vertaalde artikel, dat gepubliceerd werd in een Japanse krant, over Oekraïense vluchtelingen in Nederland.

Evacuees from Ukraine are subject to temporary protection measures within the member states of the European Union until 2025. In the midst of this situation, some people in the Netherlands are being treated like traffickers after being displaced from Ukraine.

Refugees in the Netherlands Today

A woman from western Ukraine, 30, left her homeland two years ago, just before the invasion began. She originally taught geography at a junior high school, but when she heard that “there was a job in the Netherlands that paid 9 euros an hour (about 1,400 yen),” she jumped at it. I was relieved to know that there were jobs outside the country. I wanted to escape to a safe place as soon as possible.”

But what awaited them was harsh treatment.

 The Polish recruitment agency that acted as an intermediary demanded 150 euros (about 24,000 yen) for travel and other expenses. They did not draw up a contract of employment. After obtaining a social security number in Poland, she went to the Netherlands. She began living with several Ukrainians in an apartment.

 Every morning at 4:00 a.m., she boarded a van that took her to and from work, returning only after dark. There was a tulip greenhouse, a chicken farm, and a dry cleaning factory ……. They were supposed to be paid 450 euros a week, but for two months they were not paid at all.

 A Ukrainian colleague who appealed for payment of her salary was fired and evicted from the dormitory. In the end, the woman fled the dormitory with more than 1,600 euros (about 259,000 yen) in unpaid salary. When she tried to take a train, she was short 50 cents (about 80 yen) for a ticket, which she got from a passerby.

 She now rents a room with a boyfriend in Amsterdam and earns a living by cleaning hotels. On Facebook, there is a job information page for Ukrainian refugees. Even now, there are jobs listed there that pay 7 euros an hour (about 1,100 yen), which is less than the legal minimum wage in the Netherlands. The woman says, “Seven euros is a lot of money in Ukraine. But never get into a job where you are treated like a slave,” she pleads.

Living in a room with 11 other people, the monthly income is 200 euros.

According to Fair Work, a Dutch NGO that assists victims of labor exploitation and human trafficking, as of December 2023, there were more than 170 consultations by displaced persons from Ukraine. The largest number of consultations is related to unpaid wages, poor conditions in the housing assigned as dormitories, and unfavorable labor contracts because of the Dutch language of the contracts, which they were unable to understand.

 In one case 11 people were forced to live in a room in a basement for a monthly income of 200 euros (about $32,000).

 Agnes Pioro, who is in charge of Ukrainian refugees at Fair Work, said that the consultation is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Dutch authorities, of the 814 reports of human trafficking in the Netherlands in 2010, 51 (6.3%) involved Ukrainian refugees as victims.

 Dr. Conny Rijken, ” National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking” who compiles the annual report, says that “with the prolonged war, the number of victims is likely to increase”. She pointed out that “unless rules are created to regulate illegal recruitment companies, the situation will remain lawless,” and warned that labor exploitation is now going unchecked because many other companies are located outside of the Netherlands.