"54862","3/1/2006 16:54","06BUCHAREST366","Embassy Bucharest","UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY","06STATE3836","VZCZCXYZ0000RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHBM #0366/01 0601654
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011654Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3835
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0489
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0789
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0277
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0221
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 4036
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 1025
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 1104
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0623
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN 0058
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 1022
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KIEV 1192
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 1617
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0787
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 0323
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0210
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0792
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 0598
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 4709
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1882
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
","UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000366
DEPT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE WILLIAM SILKWORTH
DEPT FOR USAID
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV,PREL,PHUM,PREF,SMIG,ELAB,EAID,KCRM,KWMN, KFRD,SOCI,RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIA\'S SIXTH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
REF: STATE 3836
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.
Embassy Bucharest\'s submission for the annual Trafficking in Persons report follows below with answers keyed to reftel.
1. (SBU) OVERVIEW:
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 2005 was 2250. The victims were identified through: official complaints (462 cases), police raids (17 cases), investigations (1745 cases) and other means (26 cases). The age/gender breakdown was as follows: -10-13 years: 22 (18 male and 4 female) -14-17 years: 344 (31 male and 313 female) -18-25 years: 1225 (102 male and 1123 female) -over 25 years: 659 (291 male and 368 female) Out of this number, only 175 victims were assisted by the state. The age/gender breakdown was as follows: -10-13 years: 7 (4 male and 3 female) -14-17 years: 54(11 male and 43 female) -18-25 years: 82(10 male and 72 female) -over 25 years: 32 women 130 of the assisted victims were repatriated from the following foreign states: Italy (49), Spain (18), Germany (10), Greece (8), France (8), Austria (7), Belgium (6), Holland (5), Turkey (5), Macedonia (2), Denmark (2), Russia (1), Ireland (1), Cyprus (1), Serbia (1) and other states (8). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 100 victims, most of whom were referred by the GOR. They included 99 females and 1 male, of which 12 were children. IOM figures indicate it assisted 12 victims between 15-17 years old; 39 victims between 18-20 years old, 35 victims between 21-29 years old and 14 victims 30 years old or above. The forms of trafficking of the victims assisted by IOM were the following: sexual exploitation - 93 individuals; labor - 5 individuals; begging - 2 individuals. According to the GOR, many of the child victims came from Eastern and Northern Romania. Boys are targeted for forced labor, petty theft activities and solicitation. Girls are targeted for sexual exploitation and solicitation. Adult victims generally come from Southern Romania and are recruited by traffickers with the promise of finding a job abroad. The number of victims identified by the GOR likely reflects only a fraction of the total number of victims f TIP-related crimes. Many victims are reluctantto 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 assistance. Compounding these attitudes is the GOR\'s relative inefficiency in referring TIP victims to related services, reflecting at least in part social prejudices against TIP victims. According to the GOR, the persons committing TIP offenses typically come from small organized criminal groups. Many of these individuals are Romanian citizens who use trafficking as a source of income. The GOR reported an increase in the number of minors and women acting as traffickers, mostly as recruiters. In 2005, the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDCOC) registered 1335 persons involved in TIP-related crimes: - 182 minors (118 male, 64 female) - 895 men - 258 women Among these, 55 were foreign citizens and 308 had a criminal record. Separately, the General Inspectorate Border Police (GIBP) identified 232 traffickers, composed of: - 177 men - 55 women The General Prosecutor\'s Office has charged 518 traffickers, composed of: - 132 minors (99 male, 33 female) - 307 men - 79 women
B. In 2005, Romanian authorities noticed an increase in cases of forced labor of victims between the ages of 30 and 40. Statistics compiled by the Resource Centre (RC), which is a dedicated unit within the Romanian government\'s GDCOC, determined 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 lived in a dysfunctional family environment (e.g. families with financial difficulties, abuse, or alcoholism). Victims are sometimes approached by family \"friends\" or other persons of influence, and are promised well-paid 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.\" 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.
C. One limitation on addressing TIP issues is the fact that the Inter-ministerial Working Group (IWG), which coordinates activities among government agencies and works with international organizations and NGOs, does not have budgetary authority or the ability to enforce recommendations for combating TIP. Moreover, the system of referral for victims for assistance is inadequate, so referral often occurs via informal relationships, hence the large number of victims identified compared with the number of victims receiving government assistance. The identification of TIP victims is inconsistent (both by the GOR and self-declaration by victims), so some victims may not receive the social benefits that they are entitled to. Funding for anti-TIP activities is a limitation, especially at the county level. Counties are obligated by law to assist TIP victims, but often have limited budgets and other obligations that conflict with their support of victims. There is also a need for a better cooperative framework between the GOR and NGOs. NGOs have the experience and desire to assist the government in anti-trafficking efforts, but often do not have a voice in this regard. More efforts need to be made to cut through bureaucratic limitations so that the NGOs can play a more significant role in TIP efforts at every level.
D. The GOR monitors Anti-Trafficking efforts throughout the government and in 2005 has improved its ability to gather statistics regarding TIP. The IWG plays a vital role in monitoring TIP efforts but is somewhat restricted, as mentioned above. The creation of the National Agency for the Prevention of TIP and for Monitoring the Protection of TIP Victims in late 2005, which will receive GOR funding in mid-2006, should give the government a better ability to track TIP efforts and increase its effectiveness in combating trafficking.
2. (SBU) PREVENTION:
A. The Romanian government recognizes that trafficking in persons is a serious problem. As recently as January 2006, the President of Romania identified human trafficking as one of the more important issues that needed to be addressed by the government. Romania also considers the fight against human trafficking to be both a national and regional obligation. The GOR is very active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Bucharest-based regional anti-crime center, and throughout 2005 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. 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.
C. The GOR partnered with several different NGOs to produce anti- trafficking campaigns aimed at children. 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. Most of the campaigns were conducted in schools and targeted all levels of students. As many of the victims of trafficking drop out of school early, it is difficult to assess whether these campaigns are the most effective ways to reach the groups at highest risk of being trafficked. - The Trafficking in Children Prevention Project, held in June 2005, trained volunteers from the NGO Caritas and the Romanian police. From July-November 2005, these volunteers and policemen conducted 78 information sessions for an estimated 2340 students. This project was funded by Caritas France and also carried an anti-drug message to the children. - A separate \"Youth Trafficking Prevention in Romania Project\", which consisted of 28 seminars, was held in the capital, Bucharest, and five other counties. 840 pupils attended these seminars and a web site was set up by the Romanian National Office to Combat Human Trafficking, which contained articles and information about trafficking. - The National Authority for the Protection of Children\'s Rights (NAPCR) financed a nationwide program concerning the repatriation and social integration of unaccompanied children, which would include victims of trafficking. The program involved information and education campaigns in 23 counties, where the target audience was teachers and students. As part of the campaign, anti- trafficking posters, banners and other materials were disseminated within the schools, and workshops were held with experts in the field of trafficking prevention. - The NACP, the MAI, the Ministry of Transportation, Public Works and Tourism, the Institute for Crime Prevention, the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation and the National Agency of Tourism Agencies participated in a public-private initiative launched by Save the Children aiming to prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation in the hotel and tourism industries. A group of experts developed a code of conduct for hotels and tourism industries and information materials were distributed in hotels and through the tourism agencies. While the campaigns may have reached some potential victims, data does not exist regarding the true effectiveness of the programs. There were no metrics put in place, or follow-up studies performed, that could measure the programs\' impact in the communities.
D. The Ministry of Education and Research instituted mandatory instruction on human trafficking for 8th and 10th grade students. They also developed optional instruction on human trafficking in the curriculum for 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th grades. Counseling activities within the school were developed, as well as inter- school psychological assistance offices, which would focus on identifying possible TIP victims. The government worked closely with the International Office for Migration (IOM) to produce an interactive show for students called \"Trafficking.\" In conjunction with this, a poster contest was held with the theme, \"The Only Way is the Legal One,\" which focused on preventing illegal migration. In March 2005, a job fair focusing on women was organized by the Ministry of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family. At the fair, 27,976 jobs were on offer and 37,120 individuals attended the fair. Out of this, 16,111 were selected for interviews and 6,458 individuals were hired, of which 5,790 were women.
F. The relationships between government officials and NGOs are not consistent as they vary from region to region, and from institution to institution, both at the national and local level. NGOs report good relationships with some authorities, in some counties, while other authorities seem not very open to cooperate with NGOs. Good cooperation depends in many cases on personal contacts rather than on relationships at the institutional level. At the national level, NGOs and international organizations participate in the Inter-ministerial Working Group 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.
G. The GOR monitors its borders through the General Inspectorate of Border Police (GIBP). In 2005, there was evidence of a reduction in illegal migration along the western border. The GIBP monitors immigration and immigration patterns and uses this analysis to prevent trafficking from occurring. In March 2005, within the GIBP, a Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration was established to monitor the flow of people across the border. In 2005, a law was passed that stipulated additional safeguards and regulations for children who were leaving the country, to try to ensure that children were not being trafficked. The GOR has worked closely with the European Union specialists, specifically from England and Germany, to help strengthen Romania\'s borders.
H. Coordination on TIP issues among the government, international organizations and NGOs occurs within the framework of the Inter- ministerial Working Group (IWG), which is made up of governmental ministries 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 agency will have its own budget, will employ approximately 50 individuals, and should be functional in the first half of 2006. The main mission of this new agency will be the improved coordination of TIP activities at the national level. 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. Nascent efforts of the National Anticorruption Department to prosecute high-level corruption attracted much attention, but produced limited results, with no high-profile convictions in 2005. Little progress was achieved in the other areas, though some legislation was passed to criminally sanction tax evasion, to make public procurement more transparent, and to align reporting obligations with international standards for countering money laundering. Anticorruption efforts in 2005 were not focused on TIP-related issues, but they did lead to the conviction of several dozen police and customs officers for corruption, which helped reduce the perceived ease of corrupting public officials.
J. 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 should be endorsed by each ministry and then adopted by the government in early 2006.
3. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
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.\"
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, severity of damage caused to the victim, kidnapping or fraud, and if violence or threats were used.
C. 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.
D. 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.
E. In 2005, there were 231 cases concerning infringements of Law no. 678/2001 regarding trafficking in humans. Of the 231 cases, 124 cases involving 308 defendants were resolved. Of the 308 defendants, 235 persons were convicted, 10 persons were acquitted, 29 had other sentences pronounced that were unrelated to the TIP statues and 34 had their cases returned to the prosecutor. After the appeals process, 146 persons were sentenced in 2005 for TIP crimes: - 8 persons were sentenced to jail for 6-12 months - 64 persons were sentenced to for 1-5 years - 64 persons were sentenced to jail for 5-10 years - 1 person was sentenced to jail for 10-15 years - 3 persons were given parole - 6 people were sentenced to probation Of the 146 final convictions, 12 were repeat offenders and 18 had a criminal record.
F. 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 invlved in trafficking activities. There is no data o suggest that trafficking profits are being chaneled to other illegal activities.
G. The GORactively investigates TIP cases using a number of methods, to include electronic surveillance and udercover operations. The government also uses mitigated punishment and/or immunity to encourage suspects to cooperate in TIP investigations.
H. In 2005, prosecutors and judicial police who specialize in TIP investigations participated in at least two seminars dedicated to investigating and combating trafficking in persons. Additionally, regular training is organized for law enforcement, based on the Law Enforcement Best Practice Manual of Fighting Human Trafficking in South Eastern Europe. Approximately 200 law enforcement officers also attended the 2nd National Meeting of Police Officers held in Brasov in November 2005; this meeting was conducted with the financial support of the FBI, SECI and UNDP, and provided an opportunity for officers to share experiences and harmonize TIP investigations in the field.
I. In 2005, the GOR responded to 41 requests for international judicial assistance concerning trafficking in humans. During the same period, prosecutors from the Department for the Investigations of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Offenses formulated 29 requests for international judicial assistance. These requests were directed from/to France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and other countries. The Romanian government sponsors the SECI regional anti-human trafficking task force and has daily contact with liaison officers from the SECI member states. GIBP exchanged information with both the SECI National Focal Point and member states\' legal attaches in order to combat TIP. The government also has frequent contact with liaison officers of non- SECI member states, via their respective embassies.
J. According to Romanian law, an extradition can be granted if it meets specific conditions, such as: the offense is punishable both under Romanian law and under the requesting country; the offense carries a punishment of more than two years; and if the person has already been convicted and the extradition is requested for service of the punishment, the sentence must be imprisonment of more than one year. In 2005, one request was submitted to the government for extradition for TIP-related offenses (the person was extradited to Greece in 2006).
K. There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of TIP.
L. The National Anti-Corruption Department (DNA) within the National Prosecutors Office is the dedicated agency responsible for prosecuting high-level corruption cases, to include corruption related to trafficking in persons. This department is currently investigating eight cases of corruption related to TIP. Because these cases are in the investigation phase, and none have been sent to the courts, no information is available at this time.
M. Romania does not have an identified child sex tourism problem, although the media have reported some incidents of sexual abuse of children by foreign nationals visiting Romania. Romania\'s child sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial coverage. In the past, foreign pedophiles were arrested and prosecuted in Romania for child sex offenses.
N. The Romanian government has signed and ratified the following international instruments: - ILO Convention 182 (Law 203/2000) - ILO Convention 29 (Decree 213/ 1957) - ILO Convention 105 (Law 140/ 1998) - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography (Law 470/2001) - Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Law 565/2002)
4. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
A. Under the provision of Law 678/2001, victims of trafficking shall receive special physical, legal and social protection and assistance. They are entitled to physical, psychological and social recovery. Upon request, TIP victims can receive temporary accommodation in governmental shelters for ten days. The accommodation time can be extended by three months or for the entire duration of the criminal procedure, upon the request of the criminal investigation authority. Victims of trafficking are also covered under the Protection of Crime Victims Law, which entered into force in January 2005. The law specifies that Romanian authorities offer: information regarding victims\' rights; psychological aid; legal aid; and financial compensation funded by the GOR. However, there is no clear mechanism that stipulates how these provisions are to be applied in practice. Whether or not a victim receives these benefits is dependent upon the service provider\'s knowledge of the law and a laborious bureaucratic process for fulfilling requests. In 2005, governmental reports mentioned at least four operational state shelters for adult victims of trafficking, each providing access to legal, medical and psychological services to varying degrees. However, the status of the shelters is continuously changing, as some shelters close down and new shelters open. Keeping the shelters functioning proved to be a challenge for county authorities, who have limited resources for addressing many competing social needs. In 2005, 175 victims of trafficking were assisted by the government; of those, 29 were assisted in state shelters. In addition, there were 42 non-residential service centers throughout the country that offered services to victims, upon request. Like the shelters, the degree of services provided by the non-residential centers is not uniform. There is no available data regarding the number of victims assisted by the non-residential service centers. The government also finances transit centers in 11 counties for protection of and assistance to children. The total capacity of the centers combined is 117 children. According to GOR statistics, between November 2004 and November 2005, 82 children were repatriated and benefited from protection services from these transit centers. These children were either victims of neglect or abuse, or victims of trafficking (the GOR did not keep separate statistics on trafficked children). 55 children (out of the 82) benefited from support services in the family environment (non-residential services). Besides the repatriated children, 50 children who were unaccompanied minors from within Romania\'s borders also benefited from protection services. The services offered by the transit centers also include prevention activities and case files development for unaccompanied minors identified abroad. Legal aid and financial assistance is given to victims of TIP, as well as to spouses, children and/or others if the victim is deceased.
B. According to the law, NGOs that provide services to TIP victims have priority in getting subsidies from the government. NGOs also receive support from the government for short-term activities, such as training of governmental employees, prevention activities, and for addressing specific needs of victims, such as issuing the identification documents, assistance for finding employment, etc. Governmental support for NGOs is not consistent, and is often dependent on personal relationships established at the local level between NGOs and various local authorities.
C. There is no systematic screening or effective referral process to transfer victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by law enforcement to NGOs. Rather the referral process is informal and dependent upon whether authorities involved have direct contact with NGOs that provide assistance to the victims.
D. According to Romanian law, modified in 2005, victims of trafficking who are arrested for prostitution or begging cannot be prosecuted for these offenses. However, in practice, victims are frequently not recognized as victims of trafficking upon arrest and are fined for their offenses. Only after a period of investigation are they typically declared \"victims.\" Since Romania is not a primary destination country for international trafficking, this concern primarily applies to victims of internal trafficking. International victims are more often identified as victims prior to or upon their repatriation. Children are always considered victims in relation to trafficking and they are the beneficiaries of support and protection according to the Romanian laws.
E. Contained in Romanian legislation are special provisions that provide benefits and protections for victims that assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses. Many victims do not take advantage of these benefits and are often hesitant to provide information against perpetrators of trafficking because the victims have little trust that Romanian authorities will follow through on their commitments. Prosecutors responsible for TIP cases usually keep an objective viewpoint when investigating TIP cases and are required to remain unbiased when investigating whether a crime took place. For this reason, TIP victims who provide critical information in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses normally do not have an advocate when providing information. Victims are able to file civil suits against their traffickers as part of the criminal process or as a separate civil action. There are no legal impediments to a victim seeking legal redress but the Romanian legal system is very slow-moving and often victims are not able to remain in the location when the investigation/trial is taking place. There is nothing preventing witnesses from leaving the country, and foreigners who are victims of trafficking are repatriated at the expense of the Romanian government. The repatriations are often as dictated by bilateral treaties which Romania has with neighboring and western European countries. Foreign citizens who are victims of trafficking have the right to wait 90 days to decide if the would like to cooperate in a criminal proceeding.
F. The GOR has both formal and informal measures for protecting victims and witnesses of trafficking offenses. The formal system includes assistance in changing the witness\'s identity and residence. This is a specialized system that requires a prosecutors\' request and an assessment based upon criteria used by the witness protection unit. Although these measures have been used to protect witnesses in TIP cases in the past, they were not used to protect any TIP victims in 2005. In addition, the victim can invoke less formal judicial procedures to assist in protecting their identity and reduce their contact with the defendant and defendant\'s associates while testifying in court. TIP investigators in several counties describe taking a personal interest in ensuring the protection of TIP victims. At the same time, individual TIP victims have continued to complain about being contacted or harassed by traffickers and their associates. The GOR provides shelter services for both adult and juvenile victims of TIP offenses. There are currently four operational state-sponsored TIP shelters for adult victims with ongoing efforts to complete at least two more. The state facilities are emergency shelters and are not designed for long-term rehabilitation. Despite this, they offer a full range of medical, psychological, and educational services along with social services and employment assistance through staff that are most commonly affiliated with broader social service programs for children. Since the state shelters are administered through local officials, their facilities, services, and relationship to other service providers vary. Upon the request of the prosecutor, victims are entitled to remain in the shelter throughout the investigation and trial. Police and prosecutors have a statutory obligation to inform victims of the right to go to a state shelter and to have access to other services. In practice, investigators report that a majority of victims do not want to go to a state shelter. The interpretation of applicable privacy rules often prevents law enforcement from placing the victim in a state shelter without the victim\'s approval. The best scenario for a trafficking victim who is interested in long- term assistance would be to be placed with one of the NGOs that support TIP victims who are in a better position to provide long- term care for the victim. Minors who are victims of trafficking have a series of possible care facilities which include: emergency centers, transit centers, the victim\'s family with the support of social services, foster care, or placement centers. If a child is identified as a victim of trafficking he/she would not be placed in a juvenile justice detention center.
G. Specialized training for GOR officials continued in 2005. Romanian judges participated in three national seminars, where EU and international laws governing trafficking were presented and discussed. Officers from the General Department for Combating Organized Crime were involved in seminars that dealt with combating human trafficking in Southeast Europe. 27 specialized prosecutors also participated in training sessions that dealt with TIP issues. Representatives from different parts of the government that have a role in the prevention of trafficking participated in a September 2005 seminar on combating human trafficking on the Romanian-Bulgarian border. Representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations participated in an IOM sponsored regional program in Zagreb, Croatia that dealt with the issuance of travel documents and the support of witnesses and victims involved in trafficking cases in the Balkan countries. In August 2005, 150 individuals from the Romanian government and Romanian NGOs participated in a series of seminars sponsored by IOM, UNICEF, the Canadian Agency for International Development, UK Embassy and USAID. These seminars dealt with Identification and referral of TIP victims and improving the legal assistance given to TIP victims. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages its embassies to foster contacts with NGOs and international organizations that are involved in TIP issues. The training received by MFA officers prior to their assignment has some applicability in assisting TIP victims, but, specific training for MFA officers on TIP issues is limited.
H. The Romanian government does provide assistance to TIP victims who are repatriated. The victims are repatriated at the cost of the government and, if they are identified as a TIP victim, they are eligible to receive the same benefits as internal victims. These benefits were described above in section A. To reiterate, the majority of TIP victims do not chose to take advantage of the assistance offered. The reasons for this may include an over-reliance on police to explain the services and a lack of trust that many TIP victims feel toward government institutions.
I. The Romanian government cooperates with the following international organizations and NGOs that work on TIP issues: IOs: UNICEF, IOM, International Labor Organization. NGOs: Red Cross - Romania - information education campaigns to prevent child trafficking Salvati Copii (Save the Children) - Activities aiming to prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation in the hotel and tourism industries. A group of experts developed a code of conduct for hotels and tourism industries. Information materials were produced and distributed in hotels and through the tourism agencies. - Social assistance and counseling for child victims of trafficking. - Training for border police, police and social workers on interviewing children victims of trafficking. Caritas - anti-TIP and anti-drug information education campaigns in schools. AIDRom - Prevention and training activities for governmental and non-governmental representatives to acquire the necessary skills for identifying and solving potential situations that could lead to trafficking and to establish a network of local contacts involved in similar anti-TIP activities. Young Generation - shelter, social assistance and counseling to victims of trafficking Social Alternatives - prevention activities, anti-trafficking newsletter, psychological assistance to victims of trafficking Reaching Out - long-term reintegration services to victims of trafficking, social assistance, counseling and shelter Adpare - shelter, counseling, reintegration services for victims and also prevention activities including peer education program in Bucharest schools Betania - social assistance and counseling Conexiuni - social assistance and counseling Romanian Orthodox Church - Banat Metropolitan See - shelter, counseling and reintegration services
5. (SBU) NOMINATION OF HEROES AND BEST PRACTICES
A. TIP Heroes: Post nominates Iana Matei, the founder and coordinator of the local Romanian NGO, Reaching Out. Since 1998, Reaching Out has established itself as the most successful organization in Romania helping TIP victims. Despite a small budget and almost exclusive reliance on private donations, it has provided direct assistance to 127 victims of trafficking. Ms. Matei\'s accomplishments are especially impressive when weighed against the barriers of social prejudice she initially encountered when she tried to set up Reaching Out. Many local officials were non-responsive, and some were even hostile to her goal of helping victims. These officials echoed the sadly prevalent view that many of the victims were merely willing participants in prostitution and did not merit help. Fortunately, Matei persevered in her efforts to establish Reaching Out. At the beginning, Matei was virtually alone in advocating help to trafficking victims. However, she maintained an active dialogue with local officials, eventually earning their respect and cooperation. Today, police routinely refer victims to Matei\'s shelter. Indeed, when PolOff visited the shelter recently, police officers were delivering a young woman to the shelter for care. Additionally, Matei created and has maintained a dialogue with local and national government officials, earning their respect and helping to change attitudes toward TIP. Matei has worked tirelessly to address the needs of trafficking victims in her care. Reaching Out offers a recovery and assistance program that provides victims with shelter, health care, legal aid, the opportunity to complete their education and the possibility to learn new skills that would enable them to enter the workforce. Upon completion of the program, Reaching Out acts as a mediator for victims while they seek employment, with the aim of reducing the victim\'s chances of re-entering the TIP cycle. Reaching Out also carries out information-awareness campaigns targeting potential child victims in several cities in the country. In sum, Reaching Out\'s success can be attributed to the diligent efforts of Matei to help victims of trafficking and to educate local and national officials on the importance of helping these vulnerable persons. She serves as a true example of someone committed to helping TIP victims.
B. Best Practice: Post nominates the production of a UNICEF- financed report on TIP called: \"Implementation of Policies on Combating and Prevention of Trafficking of Human Beings and on the Assistance Provided to Victims in Romania.\" This report was commissioned by the GOR\'s Inter-ministerial Working Group on TIP and was the most comprehensive report on human trafficking in Romania to date. The report was authored by a private company, The Institute of Surveys, with technical assistance from UNICEF. This report proved to be a candid assessment of the TIP situation in Romania and clearly delineated the gaps in anti-TIP efforts. To Post\'s knowledge, UNICEF had complete access to government officials and official information, and no attempt was made on the part of the government to influence the outcome of the report. This \"snapshot\" of trafficking in persons in Romania will serve as a useful tool for the new TIP agency that is being formed, and already has begun to serve as a roadmap for how to improve the GOR\'s response on TIP issues.
6. (U) Embassy POC is Philip Knecht, at 011-40-21-200-3435, Fax 011-40-21-200-3442. The following Embassy personnel spent the approximate time indicated in the preparation of this report: PolOff Phil Knecht, grade, FS-04, 80 hours; Radu Pop, Political Specialist, 50 hours; Gabriela Manta, Project Management Specialist, 20 hours; DOJ Legal Attach, Tim Ohms, 6 hours; DOJ Legal Assistant, Monica Custura 6 hours, Deputy Political Chief, Chris Palmer, grade FS-02, 4 hours, Political Chief, Robert Gilchrist, grade FS-02, 6 hours.
7. (U) Amembassy Bucharest\'s reporting telegrams are available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest .