International Justice Mission lansează raportul „Voci pentru Dreptate - Consolidarea răspunsului proactiv al justiției penale la traficul de persoane din România shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

International Justice Mission Launches the Report “Voices for Justice - Strengthening the Proactive Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons in Romania”

Bucharest, April 23 - International Justice Mission (IJM) launches the report “Voices for Justice - Strengthening the Proactive Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons in Romania” (RO). The report, presented to the Joint Special Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Combating Trafficking in Persons, highlights recommendations derived from international best practice and International Justice Mission’s casework, direct experience in supporting victims of both domestic and cross-border human trafficking, as well as on extended consultations that IJM organized with state institutions and civil society.

78 victims have been assisted, 18 defendants put in trial, 26 traffickers were convicted and 471 professionals were trained in the framework of the project “Strengthening the Proactive Criminal Justice System Response to Trafficking in Persons in Romania”, carried out by the International Justice Mission and funded by the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

IJM has worked with the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the Directorate for Combating Organised Crime of the Romanian Police (DCCO), the National Agency against Trafficking in Human Beings (ANITP) and civil society to support individual cases of human trafficking, to identify capacity building needs and to develop legislative and policy recommendations to improve government response to human trafficking. The fight against human trafficking must include key services for victims and criminal and financial accountability to deter the phenomenon.

When there is a high profit margin with little risk, the business of human trafficking thrives”, explains Shawn Kohl, Director European Anti-Trafficking Program, International Justice Mission.

If traffickers face significant risk of being arrested and convicted, with their profits disrupted or confiscated, they will not engage in such an unrewarding criminal enterprise. When there is a consistent and reliable law enforcement response, the crime goes away. But, at the heart of such success must always be the victims and survivors of this crime. IJM has seen time and again that when victims are placed at the center and they feel supported, honored and protected, they bravely seek justice. Continuum of care offered to victims of trafficking will lead to the perpetrators being held accountable and ending impunity.

Romania has a significant number of convictions for human trafficking and its efforts to improve the justice system and victim assistance have enhanced in recent years. However, there are several areas where Romania can make progress through the wider adoption of internationally used best practice models, efforts to strengthen legislation and administrative measures, and these points are highlighted in our report. We believe that the successful adoption of the recommendations in this document can produce significant, positive systemic change.”, he added.

“Trafficking destroys families and communities, breeds violence, and fuels organized crime. I commend the efforts, public and private, that are being made in Romania — and I am glad this diplomatic community is supporting these efforts.”, said Michael DICKERSON, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America in Bucharest. “We especially applaud the work by Romania’s Joint Special Parliamentary Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons to create draft legislation that eliminates the possibility of commuting sentences for traffickers and increases penalties for this heinous crime.”, he added.

International Justice Mission firmly believes that coordination between justice system institutions, other government agencies and civil society organizations is essential to improve survivor outcomes, prevent re-victimization, successfully prosecute offenders, increase crime deterrence and ultimately reduce trafficking.

The “Voices for Justice” report launched today highlights a number of insights from International Justice Mission's casework and programming in Romania over the past four years, summarized below and fully described in the report.

Proposed steps for legislative improvements and recommendations on:

  • Classification of certain offences as trafficking in human beings (Article 210 of the Criminal Code) versus procuring (Article 213 of the Criminal Code);
  • Increase punishment limits;
  • Excluding the possibility of suspending the execution of the sentence;
  • Proper and victim friendly application of the rules in the Criminal Code during victim hearings;
  • Enhance efficiencies during the preliminary chamber procedure;
  • Communication of the indictment to the victims;
  • Speeding up proceedings and decreasing the average length of time for cases to be heard;
  • Informing victims about the release of the accused or convicted person (including in both national and transnational cases);
  • Improving legal assistance to victims during criminal proceedings;
  • Summoning procedures. anonymization of information for victim and witnesses;
  • Ensuring adequate human and other resources in the fight against human trafficking and victim assistance;
  • Provide sufficient professional training and psychological counselling for staff exposed to secondary trauma;
  • Consolidating and funding specialized services for victims;
  • Strengthening efforts to confiscate and freeze illegally obtained income and assets;
  • Improve data collection and aggregation for improved statistical analysis.

Among the Program’s best practice models in dealing with human trafficking cases are:

  • Trauma-informed approach. Trauma-informed intervention is an approach that recognizes and acknowledges the effects and impact of trauma on victims of human trafficking, requiring planning of all interactions with them in a way that minimizes the potential for re-traumatization. It is essential that this kind of approach is standardized and understood by all professionals working in the field of human trafficking. Such an approach is not only essential for the assistance and recovery process but is particularly important for victims' trust in anti-trafficking authorities.
  • Multidisciplinary case management teams. Multidisciplinary teams are a model of good practice that leads to better outcomes in terms of the victim's journey and the criminal justice process. In order to increase the chances of successful outcomes in trafficking cases, International Justice Mission recommends the creation of multidisciplinary teams to provide victim protection, social support services, psychological counselling and legal aid services. Specifically, it recommends close cooperation between social service providers, ANITP specialists, DCCO case officers, the DIICOT prosecutor, the victim's lawyer..
  • Main point of contact. A primary point of contact is recommended to increase the victim's understanding and confidence in how their case is managed and supported. International Justice Mission's experience shows that having a lead entity to liaise with the victim and to inform and support them in all aspects of their assistance, reintegration and journey through the criminal justice process leads to effective collaboration with the authorities and to an increase in the quality of the testimony and evidence provided. IJM recommends is that this role be formally defined, standardizing this practice and ensuring the optimal resources, including human resources, in order to reach successful outcomes both in justice and in the lives of people who have experienced exploitation.
  • Providing continuous assistance and support to victims of cross-border human trafficking. International Justice Mission considers this to be an essential element in combating the phenomenon at European level. Therefore, the IJM strongly recommends the existence of a transnational identification and referral mechanism to ensure prompt cross-border collaboration between relevant actors in various countries for specific assistance, support and integration measures.
  • Data Collection. International Justice Mission has identified a need for enhanced data capture and monitoring of the phenomenon. Data needs to be collected, shared transparently and inform government investments and strategies. A well-defined monitoring and evaluation framework contributes to operational planning and decision-making, provides evidence for impact measurement and reinforces accountability for best use of resources.

Full report is available attached.

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About International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects vulnerable persons from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 31 program offices in 16 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power against vulnerable persons. IJM works to rescue and support victims, hold perpetrators accountable and help strengthen public justice systems.

International Justice Mission launched its European Anti-Trafficking Program at the end of 2019 with the goal of supporting governments across Europe to end impunity for cross-border trafficking. By 2030 IJM seeks to strengthen cross-border collaboration among criminal justice system actors and to create a network of civil society partners across Europe that will ensure a continuum of care for victims and accountability for perpetrators, leading to a significant reduction in the prevalence of human trafficking across Europe.

In October 2020, IJM started implementing the project "Strengthening the Proactive Criminal Justice System Response to Trafficking in Persons in Romania", a four-year grant funded by the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. In 2022, immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine, International Justice Mission developed a program dedicated to Ukrainian refugees. IJM, together with institutional and civil society partners, provides humanitarian aid, legal services and other assistance to combat the risks of human trafficking among Ukrainian refugees. In 2023, International Justice Mission has received funding from U.S. Department of State - Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to ensure the continued protection from human trafficking of Ukrainian refugees and other vulnerable populations in Romania and Bulgaria.

Learn more at

Follow us on: Facebook – IJM Romania, Instagram – @ijm_romania.

Media Contact:

Irina Roncea

Communication Specialist

IJM European Anti-Trafficking Program

(+40) 757 059 960

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