U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Romania
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Romania, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7dcb.html [accessed 22 July 2014]|
Romania (Tier 2)
Romania is a source and transit country primarily for women and girls trafficked from Moldova and Ukraine to Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, Italy, and Turkey for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The Government of Romania does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government's efforts stood out in the past year as it continued to establish itself as a leader in regional law enforcement cooperation and maintenance of comprehensive records. The government showed relative weaknesses in securing final convictions against traffickers, and while it made efforts to root out official corruption, this area needs further improvement, especially among the ranks of law enforcement.
All relevant ministries participate in an IOM-coordinated Counter-Trafficking Steering Committee. Together with IOM, the government developed and distributed course materials on trafficking to schools, taught an anti-trafficking course for teachers of various subjects and levels, and conducted mass media prevention campaigns targeting the public at large. A related preventive effort involves a two-year ILO program, supported through international assistance, to alleviate child labor and to keep children in school. The government continues to improve its ability to monitor its borders and keeps statistics on illegal migration and movements of persons.
Trafficking is criminalized pursuant to a special anti-trafficking law prescribing sentences from 3 to 28 years, depending on aggravating factors; however, no convictions were brought under this law during the reporting period. One hundred and fifty persons were convicted for an aggregate 168 offenses under various provisions of the law, and 303 victims were identified during the course of these criminal investigations. A number of related crimes in the criminal code were used to prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers, such as 190 charges for slavery and 329 for pimping. The Ministry of Interior has a specialized unit devoted to trafficking, migration, and adoption with seven persons at headquarters and investigators in 15 regions throughout the country. The Prosecutor General's office assigned prosecutors throughout the country specifically to prosecute trafficking and related crimes. The Government of Romania played a substantial role in organizing and coordinating the SECI-led Operation Mirage. Border monitors have procedural guidelines for identifying and responding to trafficking situations, and police interdicted several trafficking operations at the borders. The police have traveled to destination countries on occasion to bring victims home and conduct investigations. In the past year, Romania and France agreed on cooperation on prosecution of child trafficking rings and protection of Roma children trafficked to France.
The government drafted regulations for implementing the victim protection aspects of the anti-trafficking law. The regulations were finalized in the latter part of the year, but without budget allocations, law enforcement conducted victim referrals and protection during investigations without financial support. Due to some changeovers in the government agencies tasked with anti-trafficking, some NGOs complained that referrals and protection mechanisms suffered. The government provides space and police protection at a refugee center turned trafficking shelter, although the shelter did not operate consistently throughout the year. The government actively assists in preparing documents for repatriations but relies on IOM to carry out repatriations from destination countries. The Government generally respected the legal prohibition against punishing victims for crimes committed through the course of the trafficking. Foreign and domestic victims are provided support services, including rights presentations and legal assistance. Foreign victims' right to work is regulated per domestic law on work permits and they are free to leave unless they are participating in a criminal proceeding.