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OSCE Special Representative encourages Romania to continue its anti-trafficking efforts

( OSCE ) -  The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, at the close of her visit to Romania this week, commended the government for giving priority to the fight against human trafficking.

 

The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Vienna, 25 June 2013. (OSCE/Alfred Kueppers)  

"The high number of prosecutions and convictions is a remarkable result," Giammarinaro said. "Indeed, Romania has set a benchmark in combating trafficking, especially as a result of well-developed international law enforcement co-operation. Today the Romanian authorities should focus more on victims, their needs and their rights."

Romania remains a country of origin for many people who have been found in a situation of exploitation in countries of the European Union including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. However, today Romania is also a transit and destination country for migrants coming from countries such as Moldova, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Internal trafficking is also reported more frequently, especially involving children who are sexually exploited in areas popular among tourists.

Since 2001, Romania has established progressive legislation, a government co-ordination mechanism, and shelters for victims. In particular, the Special Representative recognizes the key role of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons and its partners in responding to the challenges of this evolving crime.

"Legislation on victims' rights should be implemented in an effective way, especially concerning the right to information and free legal counselling, and the right to obtain compensation," Giammarinaro said.

"Better quality of services should be ensured through more effective co-operation with non-governmental organizations and appropriate funding of services provided by civil society organisations."

During her four-day visit, Giammarinaro met with a range of government officials as well as representatives of leading NGOs including Terre des Hommes, and officials from UNICEF, UNHCR and IOM.

As part of this visit, Giammarinaro met with Valeriu Zgonea, President of the Chamber of Deputies, as well as State Secretary Florea Oprea of the Internal Affairs Ministry, State Secretary Simona Maya Teodoriu of the Justice Ministry, State Secretary Bogdan Lucian Aurescu of the Foreign Ministry and a range of officials at other institutions.

Information obtained on the visit will serve as the basis for the country report, which will underscore promising practices in Romania and detail challenging areas where anti-trafficking policy can be enhanced.