Photo: Screenshot from the video
The claims about the alleged trafficking of people and organs in Ukraine are not substantiated with evidence and are based on arbitrary positions of the YouTuber Morris, known for spreading such disinformation in his show on previous occasions. This is familiar Russian propaganda and disinformation, according to which Western countries, allegedly, are abusing the war in Ukraine for people and organ trafficking, while the Russian president is the one fighting to put a stop to all this. For such claims, however, evidence is not given. According to the latest report on human trafficking by the State Department, Russia has a more serious problem with people trafficking than Ukraine. The report specifies that both countries are fighting this issue, but Ukraine has undertaken action to resolve it, while Russia did not manage to make ”significant efforts” to eliminate the problem
People and organ trafficking profits in Ukraine exceed US$ 200 billion – American journalist Clayton Morris.
As far as these incredible events are concerned – and we have the information, the USA State Department has the information, the United Nations has the information – people bury their heads in the sand, said Clayton Morris, according to the post we are fact-checking.
The post shares a video of an episode of the YouTube show “Redacted” hosted by Clayton Morris and which is notorious for sharing disinformation previously, including on COVID-19 but also on alleged new pandemics. Morris was previously the host of “Fox & Friends” and a real estate investor who moved to Portugal after previous clients made fraud allegations.
In the video, Morris gives a series of claims related to alleged people and organ trafficking in Ukraine, without offering a shred of evidence and facts for such claims. His statements are arbitrary. As the post specifies, he claims that he has the information and that the USA and UN had the same information, but were not revealing it.
It is not the first time for Russia’s supporters to share unchecked information on the alleged trafficking of people, children, and organs in Ukraine. This is familiar Russian propaganda and disinformation spreading, according to which the Western countries, allegedly, abuse the war in Ukraine for people and organ trafficking, while the Russian president is the one who is fighting to put a stop to all this. For such claims, however, evidence has never been offered.
Last March, the Court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Putin for war crimes committed in Ukraine. The announcement of the International Criminal Court informs that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, are responsible for war crimes, illegal deportation of population, and illegal displacing of people from the occupied territories in Ukraine to the detriment of Ukrainian children.
Lvova-Belova, the Children’s Rights Commissioner in the Office of the President of Russia has been sanctioned by most Western countries for her alleged role in kidnapping children.
Lvova-Belova’s efforts specifically include the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called “patriotic education” of Ukrainian children, legislative changes to expedite the provision of Russian Federation citizenship to Ukrainian children, and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children, announced the US Treasury last September, CNN reports.
According to the announcement of the Council of Europe from the 6th March 2023 ”many other Ukrainian children affected by the war were taken to or ended up in the Russian Federation or in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. The particular circumstances of such cases differ considerably”. The Council of Europe identified several categories of children subjected to such practices.
One category is orphans in institutions who had been resident in the regions of Ukraine occupied by Russia and who were taken to Russia before the 2022 aggression, since 2014, and those children taken to Russia from care institutions located in the regions of Ukraine that have come under occupation or temporary control of Russian Forces after February 24th, 2022, Forbes reported.
Regarding people trafficking, according to the latest Trafficking in Persons Report of the State Department, Russia has a more serious problem with people trafficking than Ukraine. Both countries are tackling this issue, reveals the Report, but Ukraine is undertaking action to resolve it, while Russia is not making “significant efforts” to eliminate the problem.
The Government of Ukraine does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period; therefore Ukraine remained on Tier 2. These efforts included significantly increasing cooperation with European counterparts on anti-trafficking investigations despite diminished resources and capacity due to Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. For the second consecutive year, the government also allocated more money to its national budget for anti-trafficking measures. Finally, the government increased awareness efforts, especially among displaced Ukrainians, and screened for potential trafficking victims amongst vulnerable populations, specifies the Report on Ukraine of the State Department.
The document also states:
Russian forces forcibly transferred hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, including thousands of children and at least 2,000 orphans to the Russian Federation and occupied territories their their filtration and child deportation programs, including many to remote areas. In March 2022, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian officials allegedly responsible for the unlawful transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia. These children are highly vulnerable to trafficking.
Regarding this problem in Russia, the State Department notes that the Government of Russia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so – even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Russia remained on Tier 3. Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government facilitated the return of Russian children from Syria, some of whom may have been victims of trafficking. However, during the reporting period, there was a government policy or pattern of trafficking of Ukrainian citizens and North Korean workers.
Additionally, the government engaged in conduct that created populations that are highly vulnerable to trafficking. The government’s forcible transfer of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, including by forcibly separating some children from parental figures, greatly increased the separated children’s vulnerability to trafficking. Moreover, the government’s war against Ukraine created millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine, as well as those internally displaced by Russia’s aggression, all of whom were highly vulnerable to trafficking.
Official complicity in trafficking and other crimes remained a significant concern. Non-governmental organizations reported government officials and Police regularly accepted bribes in exchange for not pursuing trafficking cases, and officials often benefited financially or materially from trafficking crimes. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions or convictions of government employees complicit in human trafficking crimes, states, inter alia, the Report on Russia of the State Department.
The report also ranks the countries on the basis of the scope of governmental efforts invested in meeting the minimum standards for elimination of human trafficking. Tier 1, ranking of the United States, is the highest, but that does not mean that the country fully meets the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in people. Tier 2 – Ukraine’s tier – means that the government of a given country does not fully meet the minimum standards, but makes significant efforts to comply. Tier 3 includes countries such as Afghanistan and Russia that do not meet the minimum standards and do not even make efforts to do so.
From all of the above-noted, we can conclude that the claims expressed in the fact-checked post, regarding alleged human and organ trafficking in Ukraine, are not substantiated with any shred of evidence and are based on arbitrary claims of the YouTuber Morris, who is known for spreading disinformation in his show on previous occasions. It is not the first time for Russia’s supporters to share unconfirmed information on the alleged trafficking in people, children and organs in Ukraine. This is familiar Russian propaganda and disinformation, according to which Western countries allegedly abuse the war in Ukraine for trafficking people and organs, while the Russian President is the one fighting to put a stop to all this. In terms of human trafficking, according to the latest report on trafficking in persons of the State Department, Russia has a more serious problem with trafficking people than Ukraine. The report specifies that both countries are fighting this issue, but Ukraine has undertaken action to resolve it, while Russia did not manage to make ”significant efforts” to eliminate the problem.
Bearing in mind the above-noted, we assess this Facebook post as untrue.