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Hundreds of Romanians identified annually as victims of human trafficking, Government launches strategy to combat phenomenon

May 23, 2024

More than 500 Romanian citizens are identified annually as victims of human trafficking, and about half of them are children or young people, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Monday.The remarks were made on the occasion of the launch of the new National Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings 2024-2028. According to a press release sen by the government, the launch of the strategy represents "a significant moment" in the fight against organised crime. The document is the result of the involvement of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Inter-sectoral Strategic Coordination of the Fight against Human Trafficking, national and international strategic partners and civil society. The new strategy aims "to be more effective, adapted to contemporary realities and results-oriented", the source said.   "More than 500 Romanian citizens are identified as victims every year, and this figure does not include those in a trafficking situation. About half of the identified victims are children or young people, further amplifying our concerns. It is time to make a significant change in the trafficking situation nationwide. We have a synergistic strategy, we have identified the pathways for intervention, we have partnerships, we will provide the necessary resources. The Romanian Government's political commitment against human trafficking will remain unchanged. We are here, determined to change things for the better and to help those on the frontline of the anti-trafficking fight to stop this scourge," said prime minister Marcel Ciolacu in a message delivered by the head of the prime minister's Chancellery, Alexandru Mihai Ghigiu.   At the European Union level, Romania is "part of the efforts to combat trafficking in human beings under the coordination of Europol", Bogdan Despescu, secretary of state in the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in his address.   The minister for Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, Natalia Intotero, stressed the role of information campaigns in the fight against trafficking.European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Diane Schmitt said that the strategy launched today confirms Romania's strong commitment to fighting this terrible scourge, which is still a reality in the European Union.The main lines of action are: the creation of a "coherent" anti-trafficking system, including the strengthening of cooperation between central and local institutions and non-governmental organisations and the implementation of effective measures to reduce the phenomenon, identify and assist its victims and punish traffickers, the Government specified.OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Human Trafficking Kari Johnstone welcomed the effort made by the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons in the rapid adoption of this strategic document and the transparent and inclusive process through which the Government of Romania sought input from civil society and international experts on this strategy.The National Agency against Trafficking in Persons was established in March 2006, with the aim of strengthening the efforts of state institutions in fighting trafficking in human beings.

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