Analyzing the Challenges and Measures Taken at the European Level to Combat the Risks Related to Cross-border and National Trafficking in Persons
March 21, 2023, BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – The Government of Romania, through the Department for Community Social Responsibility and Vulnerable Groups, the Senate of Romania and the International Justice Mission organized the international conference "Common Challenges and New Perspectives in Fighting Trafficking in Persons." The conference analyzed the challenges and specific measures taken at the European level to combat the risks related to cross-border and national human trafficking, as well as among displaced population from Ukraine.
The high-level meeting held in Bucharest built a platform for dialogue and collaboration between Romanian institutions, European institutions and representatives of civil society, gathered around a common objective: combating cross-border human trafficking and finding solutions to incriminate the demand and combat human trafficking facilitated by technology.
As the European Commission is preparing a new Directive on the fight against human trafficking, the Conference aimed to identify real and specific options regarding:
- Regulating and strengthening the mechanisms for identification, accountability and incrimination of clients who use the services of victims of human trafficking;
- Regulation and intervention in situations of recruitment and exploitation of victims in the online environment;
- Preventing and combating human trafficking in the context of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
"It is imperative to keep our firm commitment to fight against this scourge and to have the ability, availability and courage to address this problem on all three levels: prevention, combat and protection of victims," said Mr. Nicolae Ionel Ciucă, Prime Minister of Romania.
"I don't think there has been a clearer and stronger moment for Romania than this to assume the commitment at the highest level of the Executive to combat human trafficking. The coordination of the anti-trafficking fight has been at the level of the Prime Minister's Chancellery for more than two years and the results are tangible: we have a new mechanism for identifying and referring victims, we have hearing rooms for child victims throughout the country, a dedicated section for prosecutors specialized in cases of human trafficking and the most efficient computer forensics system at the level of the Romanian Police," stated Mădălina Turza, State Councillor, National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.
"Human trafficking can be found in all modern societies, whether we are talking about Romania or other Western states. Therefore, coordinating our efforts is the only scenario that makes us stronger, braver, more informed and united, so that human trafficking networks themselves become vulnerable. No government can deal with human trafficking alone. We all have a responsibility in this regard," said Alina Ștefania Gorghiu, President a.i. of the Senate of Romania.
“Romania has provided encouraging examples to follow in fighting human trafficking, both at national level and European cross-border level. International Justice Mission team works closely with the Romanian authorities to detect victims of human trafficking, to support and assist them during trials. We also work with the authorities to bring traffickers to justice and provide victims with high-quality healing and recovery support. We know that Romanian authorities are committed to this effort and at IJM we are making a strategic commitment to that struggle. But to succeed, we need a sustained effort of cooperation and coordination between countries in Europe. If we want to see a solid decrease in the prevalence of human trafficking cases across Europe, governments must make this a fundamental priority. And this is the main reasons we are all here today – to find common ground and solutions,” said Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission.
Romania is one of the first member states of the European Union to introduce an article in the Penal Code regarding clients of the services of victims of human trafficking and has the first precedents of convictions in Europe. Crucial to combating human trafficking are the reduction and criminalization of demand as part of member countries' judicial system response, alongside robust and sustained prevention work, tougher penalties for traffickers and better protection for victims.
About International Justice Mission:
International Justice Mission partners with local authorities in 29 program offices in 17 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children and police abuse of power. IJM’s mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Learn more at: IJM.org.