Wikileaks - DCLVI

Sunday, 04 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu






REF: STATE 00202745


Embassy Bucharest's submission for the annual Trafficking in Persons report follows below with answers keyed to reftel.

A. Romania is a country of origin and transit for trafficking in persons (TIP). While the majority of TIP cases pertain to international trafficking between Romania and Western Europe, there are cases of domestic trafficking as well. Victims - primarily women and children - are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, labor exploitation and forced mendicancy. The total number of victims identified by the Government of Romania (GOR) in 2006 was 2285.

Out of the 2285 identified victims, 316 were minors, 542 men and 1427 women. Types of exploitation: - 1451 sexual exploitation; - 624 labor exploitation; - 183 begging; - 27 other forms.

In 2006, 12% of the identified TIP victims were victims of internal trafficking. This is the first time that the GOR has officially recorded the number of victims exploited within Romania,s borders.

In 2006, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 137 victims. IOM figures indicate that the average age of the victims they assisted was 22 years old; approximately 15% of the victims they assisted were minors under the age of 18. The distribution of trafficked victims by age is as follows: one victim under the age of 14; 19 victims between the ages of 15-17; 56 victims between the ages of 18-20; 48 victims between the ages of 21-29; and 13 victims over the age of 30. Eight of these victims were citizens of the Republic of Moldova; two of them were identified in Romania, and the remainder were repatriated through IOM Romania from other countries.

Of the 137 victims assisted by IOM, 44 were repatriated from Italy and 33 were repatriated from Spain. In previous years, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia were the destination countries for a high number of victims, but that number has been reduced significantly in recent years. The increase in trafficking victims destined for Italy and Spain parallels the increase in overall migration of young Romanians who travel to these countries for low-wage jobs.

For 2006, the available sources of information concerning TIP cases were: the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (DGCCO) within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, which provides data regarding identified victims of trafficking during their specific operations, including those who are identified by border police; and the General

Prosecutors Office and Ministry of Justice regarding the number of prosecuted and trialed cases, including the number of arrested and convicted persons.

The number of assisted victims of trafficking was provided by local and international nongovernmental organizations, regional branches of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (ANITP), local authorities and state run shelters.

The TIP National Data Base, which has been operational within the framework of ANITP since December, 2006, allows for better identification of the victims and a faster response to their needs. Based on its data, the first Evaluation Report will be presented to the public in July-August, 2007. A list of indicators (containing various data about trafficking, victim assistance and social reintegration) was agreed upon by ANITP, Police, Border Police, Gendarmerie and other agencies, as well as by NGOs and provides the basis for further reports to the National Data Base.

The Resource Centre (RC), which is a dedicated unit within the GDCOC, found that women between the ages of 18 and 25 are more likely to become victims of trafficking for sexual purposes than any other age group or gender. Children are more likely to become victims of trafficking if they came from State Centers, single-parent homes and/or a dysfunctional family environment (e.g. families with financial difficulties, abuse, or alcoholism). Victims are sometimes approached by family &friends8 or other persons of influence, and are promised &good8 jobs. In the case of child victims, parents are typically assured that their children would have a better life and/or receive money in exchange for their children. The victims are moved outside of Romania under the guise of &organized tourism.8 In most cases victims travel legally. However, there are cases where false documents are used or the victim travels across the border illegally. Although no statistics from GOR or other sources exist regarding TIP and the Roma community, Roma leaders recognize that some Roma are victims of TIP, underscoring that the poverty and social instability in a number of Roma communities makes Roma particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

B. The profile of traffickers is broad and varied. In some cases traffickers belong to internationally organized groups, which can also be specialized in other crimes such is drugs, guns, etc.; however in the majority of cases, traffickers come from small groups with loose structures, including family members or other individuals that are often known to the victims. Some victims may at some point become traffickers, particularly recruiters, as they see no other opportunities in life.

The number of victims identified by the GOR likely does not reflect the total number of victims of TIP-related crimes. Many victims are reluctant to identify themselves, primarily because of the social stigma associated with TIP activities. There is also a general distrust among TIP victims of government officials and their readiness to assist them. Many victims either seek no assistance or prefer to take advantage of other options rather than accept government


A Program of National Interest for victim assistance was proposed by the ANITP in the last Quarter of 2006 to make Governmental funds available for NGOs in order to ensure a better quality of the services for TIP victims. It was approved by Minister of Administration and Interior with this view and around 800,000 RON (more than 300,000 USD) should be available no later than June, 2007.

Following the passage of Law no. 1584/2005, ANITP became fully operational in May 2006, and created 8 regional centers ) 4 of them in their own offices (Iasi, Galati, Constanta, Timisoara), or hosted by police units (Pitesti, Craiova, Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest). In order to improve anti-trafficking efforts, passage of Law no. 1083/2006 extended the number of the regional centers from 8 to 15, with three staff members for each (an increase from the previously required two staff members.) Between September and December 2006, the newly existing staff in the regional centers had already made an impact in anti-trafficking efforts by identifying a total of 79 victims.

In order to provide more support to the victims who testify against traffickers and avoid their stepping back because of traffickers influence, ANITP, in collaboration with the GDCOC and Ministry of Justice, launched in November 2006 the Victim/Witness Coordination Program in the southern and eastern regions of the country. Approximately 26 victims were included in the initial phase of the program. This program will be highlighted at the end of this report as a &best practice.8

C. The GOR has made progress in addressing the limitations they have in their ability to combat TIP. The ANITP representatives in the regional centers have improved the referral mechanisms in their respective regions, however a central referral system that covers the entire country is still lacking. Funding for anti-TIP activities has increased in 2006 and the ANITP now has a provision in place to provide more than 300,000 USD to NGOs who are involved in TIP issues. The level of cooperation that exists between ANITP and the NGOs has improved, in that ANITP has increased its reach to the NGO community in order to address the TIP problem. ANITP currently is working hard to improve cooperation and overcome the bureaucratic obstacles that exist between the national and local governments.

D. The GOR monitors Anti-Trafficking efforts through the ANITP and in 2006 has improved its ability to gather statistics regarding TIP. The GOR has been very forthcoming in sharing these statistics with NGOs, other governments and international organizations.

A. The Romanian government recognizes that trafficking in persons is a serious problem. In 2006, the President of Romania identified human trafficking as one of the more important issues that needed to be addressed by the

government. The GOR,s commitment to anti-trafficking was demonstrated through increased authorities for ANITP (and increased funding) throughout the course of 2006. The GOR is also very active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Bucharest-based regional anti-crime center, and throughout 2006 a Romanian official headed the Task Force on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings within SECI. SECI is a regional model for sharing of law enforcement information, including about TIP, and its TIP task force is one of SECI's most successful endeavors.

B. ANITP is the governmental agency that leads the efforts of all other agencies involved in anti-trafficking. The director of ANITP is the chairman of the Inter-ministerial Working Group (IWG) on Human Trafficking. Other government agencies involved in anti-TIP activities include: the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI), the General Inspectorate of Border Police(GIBP), General Prosecutor,s Office (GPO), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity (MLSS), Ministry of Education and Research (MER), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Human Rights Department), National Authority for Child Protection (NACP), Ministry of Public Administration (MPA), Ministry of European Integration, National Office for Refugees, Ministry of Culture and Religion, National Audio-Visual Council, National Authority for the Labor Force, Ministry of Youth, Agency for Student Camps and Tourism and the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoptions. All of these agencies are members of the IWG.

C. The GOR partnered with several different NGOs to produce anti-trafficking campaigns. There have been several information and education campaigns both at the national and at the local level in which the government has been either the initiator or a key partner to international organizations or NGOs. Some campaigns were financed by the government, while others were financed by international donors through NGOs.

Campaigns developed in 2006:

- 2 EXIT campaigns developed in partnership with MTV Great Britain, ADPARE and the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons (in Cluj and Constansa). In those campaigns 13.000 young people participated between the ages of 16 and 25 and were distributed fliers and CDs;

- Romania was part of the European effort for preventing TIP during the World Cup 2006, Germany, by promoting, in partnership with AIDROM, &Don,t pass on human beings8 campaign;

- A national campaign developed by the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons, with the financial support from the US Embassy, &Be careful, you will pay8 was launched in December 2006 and addressed young people between the ages of 16 and 25. This campaign also promoted the Agency,s toll-free phone number 0 800 800 678;

- The National Authority for Protection of Children

Rights continued the public education campaign regarding the rights of the child &THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD ARE LAW,8 which ran throughout 2006;

- Between July 20 and December 7 2006 the Office for Labor Force Migration and Labor Abroad Department developed an information campaign, &Choose legal labor force migration!8

- The Ministry of Education and Research included the problem of trafficking in persons in the Counseling and Orientation school programs in the gymnasium, high-school and in arts and crafts schools.

- The National Program of Education for Democratic Citizenship (NPEDC) directly targeted the trafficking phenomenon, having distinct chapters for the prevention and countering the trafficking in persons, for the whole pre-university educational system.

- The Ministry of Education and Research has developed government-NGO partnerships; there are collaboration protocols signed among the county school inspectorates, the governmental and non-governmental institutions in order to ensure the diversification and the improvement of the prevention activities, effectiveness.

- Within the campaign &Be careful, you will pay!8 the Roma population was included in the target group and prevention materials were translated into the Romany language.

D. The Ministry of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family (MLSSF), together with the National Employment Agency, the National Agency for Family Protection and the National Agency for Equal Opportunities, apply specific measures in order to socially integrate persons, especially women, who belong to low-developed areas and who find themselves in trafficking situations. MLSSF has adopted a set of specific measures to combat TIP, which focus on improving the economic and social status of persons who are at risk of being trafficked, as well as provide potential victims with a better understanding of the legal procedures for employment abroad. In this regard, the GOR has signed a series of bilateral agreements with other European countries in order to bring the work force movement under regulation.

The National Anti-Poverty and Promoting Social Inclusion Plan also set a strategy to promote &social inclusion,8 with the following specific objectives: to increase employment opportunities and combat all forms of discrimination against women, to promote equal opportunities in all fields and all situations.

E. The relationships between government officials and NGOs concerned with trafficking improved in 2006. There is particularly good cooperation at the working level that is often driven by a growing network of personal contacts.

At the national level, NGOs and international organizations participate in the IWG meetings. NGOs report that their

presence in these meetings is useful at the level of information exchange, but their power in influencing policy is limited.

A few counties reported that they created similar working-level multi-agency teams comprised of representatives of civil society and various governmental institutions involved in anti-trafficking activities at the local level. These multi-agency teams meet on a regular basis and have had some positive results, but these are isolated examples. There are still improvements that can be made at the county-level, which the ANITP began to address in 2006.

F. The GOR monitors its borders through the General Inspectorate of Border Police (GIBP). The GIBP monitors immigration and immigration patterns and uses this analysis to prevent trafficking from occurring. Analysis in 2006 showed a reduction in trafficking across the western border into Hungary and Serbia. The GOR continued to work closely with European partners to help strengthen Romania,s borders.

G. Coordination on TIP issues among the government, international organizations and NGOs occurs within the framework of the IWG, which is made up of various governmental ministry representatives and international organizations and is coordinated by the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI). NGOs and US Embassy representatives are invited to all IWG meetings. In December 2005, the Romanian government passed a law establishing the National Agency for the Prevention of TIP and for Monitoring the Protection of TIP Victims. The GOR has a specialized investigative and prosecutorial unit for public corruption based on the task force model. The government formed an inter-ministerial council at the end of 2005 that meets regularly to coordinate the fight against corruption. The Minister of Justice acts as the council's coordinator, and invites NGO representatives and journalists to the council's meetings. This council oversees implementation of the 2005-2007 National Anticorruption Strategy, which aims to prosecute high-level corruption, increase transparency in public administration, prevent corrupt business practices, and increase the integrity of the judiciary. H. A five year National Action Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted in 2001. National agencies responsible for the implementation of the Plan include: MAI-GDCOC, MOJ, MOF, MFA, NACP, MLSS, MPA and MER. NGOs were consulted in the process of adopting the decision, and are intended to act as partners during all phases of implementation. The National Action Plan was widely disseminated through seminars and training sessions. In 2004, the government adopted a separate National Action Plan on the Prevention of Trafficking in Children. The Ministry of Administration and Interior working in conjunction with UNICEF developed a draft anti-trafficking strategy for 2006-2010 accompanied by a detailed action plan for 2006-2008. A final form of the strategy and action plan was endorsed by each ministry and then adopted by the government in December 2006.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
A. Law no. 678/2001 specifically prohibits trafficking, and seeks to protect and assist trafficked victims. Article 2 of the law specifically covers both trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes (e.g. forced labor). Moreover, the law sets forth prosecution measures and punishments for traffickers. Law no. 39/2003 for Combating Organized Crime specifically defines TIP as a serious crime, and includes TIP offenses. Article 2 of the law defines an organized criminal group as follows: &a structured group formed of three or more persons that exist for a period of time and acts in a coordinated manner for the purpose of committing one or more grave offenses, in order to obtain directly or indirectly a financial benefit or other material benefit.8 The GOR does use other laws in the prosecution of trafficking cases, especially laws prohibiting pimping. All of these laws taken together cover the full scope of trafficking offenses.

TIP victims have the right to seek a civil remedy and this can occur simultaneously with the criminal proceeding, at the conclusion of the criminal proceeding or can occur completely separate from the criminal case.

B. Violations of Article 12 of Law no. 678/2001 carry sentences of three to twelve years and raise the sentence to five to fifteen years for aggravating circumstances. The sentence provided in Article 13 paragraph 1 is from five to fifteen years if the victims are below the age of 18. The same article carries terms of seven to eighteen years in case of trafficking of minors under certain aggravating characteristics such as kidnapping while armed, by a group of persons, or causing bodily injury. If the kidnapping results in the death or suicide of the victim, the sentence goes from fifteen to 25 years. Law 678/2001 defines trafficking in two articles (12 and 13) and several paragraphs that interact to provide a complex set of sentences ranging from three years (at a minimum) to 25 (at a maximum). The sentence is dependent on factors such as: number of perpetrators, age of the victim, and severity of damage caused to the victim, kidnapping or fraud, and if violence or threats were used.

C. The same penalties awarded in sexual exploitation cases are also applied for labor trafficking offenses.

D. Article 197, which covers rape, carries a sentence of three to 10 years, with the penalty raised to five to 15 years if the act involves any of the following: two or more participants; is conducted by the guardian of the rape victim; or if severe injuries result. The penalties go to 10 to 20 years if the victim is under 14. If the victim dies or commits suicide, the sentence increases to 15 to 25 years. These penalties overall are comparable to penalties for sex trafficking, as sentences for both range from three to 25 years.

E. In Romania, prostitution activities are criminalized, to include the activities of brothel owners and pimps. However, there is no law to punish the client, with the exception that if the prostitute was a minor and the client admitted knowing

that fact before the act, the client can be prosecuted for sexual acts with a minor.

F. Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006, the courts rendered final convictions against 187 persons for committing the offence of trafficking in persons. Out of these:

- 5 persons were sentenced to 6-12 months imprisonment - 88 persons were sentenced to 1-5 years imprisonment - 64 persons were sentenced to 5-10 years imprisonment - 7 persons were sentenced to 10-15 years imprisonment - 11 persons were sentenced to a penalty for which the execution was conditionally suspended - 10 persons (1 being a minor) were sentenced to a penalty for which the execution was suspended under observation - 2 persons were sentenced to a penalty for which the court pronounced the execution at the working place.

Under the Romanian Penal Code, an individual serving prison time for a TIP offense can be released early from prison if two thirds of the sentence has been served and the individual has demonstrated significant moral rehabilitation. The Romanian legal system does not provide for plea bargains or fines - only imprisonment sanctions are given for TIP offenses.

The legal framework encourages the traffickers to collaborate within the criminal proceedings. Article 20 from Law no. 678/2001 provides: &The person who committed one of the offences provided by this law and during the criminal lawsuit denounces and helps for identification of the other participant to the crime, shall benefit by reducing his own penalty with a half.8 In 2006, the Government indicted 780 defendants in 183 files for committing TIP offenses.

Labor recruiters are prosecuted under Law no. 678/2001.

G. There is no indication that human trafficking in Romania is being conducted by large organized crime syndicates or other large international groups; much of the trafficking is conducted via small trafficking networks that maintain contact with other small criminal groups for this purpose. Employment, travel and tourism agencies have been identified as fronts for some traffickers; however these were not common sources of trafficking. There is no indication that government officials are involved in trafficking activities. With respect to the way in which the profits are directed, there is no indication that they are destined for the financing of various armed groups, terrorist organizations or -- member states to make contributions to the EU fund that supports the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). When PolCouns asked if Poland would contribute, he said Poland was considering at least doing something symbolic, but no government decision had yet been made.

7. (C) UZBEKISTAN: Herczynski said there had been only limited EU contacts with Uzbekistan since Andijon. The EU is pressing for a human rights dialogue, but Uzbekistan does not want discussion of the Andijon events to be part of that, saying they have done enough. The EU disagrees with this approach and so talks have not gone forward. ASHE

Category: Breaking News
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.
Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.