WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2020, ROMANIA — International Justice Mission (IJM), a leading global organization combatting human trafficking, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power, in partnership with the Romanian government and U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP) launched a program combatting trafficking in persons made possible through a gift of the U.S. Government.
Human trafficking is a global phenomenon which requires government, civil society and private businesses to combine their efforts to adequately address it. According to the Global Slavery Index, today there are an estimated 86,000 people enslaved in Romania, making it one of the highest populations living in modern-day slavery in Eastern Europe. Romania consistently ranks in the top three European countries for the highest number of identified victims of trafficking each year, and this program will support the government’s National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Activities include developing survivor-informed processes and systems within the justice system to deter traffickers and decrease violence.
In an official ceremony, IJM alongside the Romanian government publicly committed their dedication and support in the fight against trafficking. Specifically, the work will support the Romanian National Action Plan and JTIP Office recommendations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) guidance to:
- Support a number of systematized, victim-centered human trafficking investigations and prosecutions by members of law enforcement and prosecutors
- Raise awareness and provide educational information on human trafficking issues and risk factors to a target population
- Improve comprehensive services for identified victims of trafficking
“IJM is encouraged by the many responsible entities and governmental arms rallying together to combat trafficking in the region, and particularly by the resources dedicated to developing a specialized prosecution unit to fight the crime,” said Shawn Kohl, Director for Central and Eastern Europe, IJM. “We appreciate the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP) for being a trusted partner and investing financially in this work.”
“Together, with a shared sense of mission, we will defeat the human traffickers and protect those that would otherwise become their victims. This is not a political issue – members of all political parties should be united on this issue. Trafficking is a universal evil that all of us, regardless of political party, should commit to ending,” said Adrian Zuckerman, U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
“It is important to continue to train our experts, prosecutors and policemen because the criminality of traffickers becomes more and more sophisticated, and as they diversify their techniques, they will become more dangerous. We need to protect the victims, prevent the crime and also investigate and prosecute the criminals efficiently – especially organized crime engaged in human trafficking,” said Catalin Predoiu, Minister of Justice and Romanian Member of Parliament.
About International Justice Mission:
International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 19 program offices in 11 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people who are poor. IJM works to rescue and restore victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems. Learn more at IJM.org.
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