IJM signed its first agreement to collaborate with the Romanian Government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ National Agency for Combatting Trafficking in Persons (ANITP).
ANITP is responsible for national trafficking prevention efforts, coordinating support to survivors and coordinating a wide array of activities critical to anti-trafficking efforts in Romania. The Director for ANITP, Maximilian-Axel Nicolae said at the signing, "I am very excited about this partnership and look forward to introducing IJM to all ANITP staff across the country.”
This is a critical first step for IJM in Romania and in Eastern Europe. It solidifies and formalizes IJM’s partnership with the Romanian Government to end human trafficking and to care for survivors. This agreement is the necessary first step for beginning collaborative efforts between the two parties for the protection of victims of trafficking.
Vulnerable Romanians are exploited in both labor and sex trafficking, within Romania itself and across borders into other European countries. Citizens in Western European countries often drive the demand for exploitation, and it is critical for all government and anti-trafficking actors to work holistically and across borders to eliminate the abuse.
Shawn Kohl, IJM Director for Eastern and Central Europe said “the Government of Romania, through ANITP, should be recognized and appreciated as it took another step to end trafficking in persons through its decision to work with IJM and build coalitions. We must have all hands on deck to end this scourge of our time and I am excited for this partnership to grow.”
According to the Global Slavery Index, Romania has one of the highest populations living in modern-day slavery in Eastern Europe, at 86,000 people. The signing of the agreement is an expression of ANITP and the Government of Romania’s commitment working collaboratively to end trafficking in persons and IJM’s resolve to be an active supporter of their efforts.