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“A simple analysis of the human trafficking issue in Romania”by Oana Miron, Jacobs University, BremenIntroductionIn accordance with UN, human trafficking is defined as:…the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by meansof the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, ofdeception, of abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receivingof payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over anotherperson, for the purpose of exploitation. (UN, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, 2000, pg. 2 1). Every year, thousands of people from all around the world are being trafficked in their own countries and abroad. With this said, almost all countries worldwide are being affected by human trafficking, with Romania being statistically portrayed as one of the biggest countries for human trafficking victims in Europe (UNODC, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, 2006 2). Furthermore, to support the idea, data shows that the main group of trafficked victims in Europe in 2014 were Romanian citizens (Eurostat, Trafficking in Human Beings, 2014 3). Thus, human trafficking in Romania is a social and criminal phenomenon that is driven by the vulnerability of the uneducated populations in search of better living conditions and opportunities, by the high corruption rates, lack of political will and by the current enforcement of prostitution laws and human trafficking laws. This paper projects an overview of the current status of the human trafficking issue in Romania, as well as the measures taken and to be taken in order to combat it.Current statusHuman trafficking firstly became a problem after the Romanian Revolution in 1989, which ended the communist era of the country. After the opening of the borders, many Romanians felt that there were many more opportunities abroad and started to migrate in hopes of better lives. With little to no education in regards to human trafficking, and due to the closing of a large number of industrial factories, many of the people were deceived with the promise of a job and higher salaries, and did not see the risks of being exploited. It is documented that Romanian and Romani citizens are subjected to labor trafficking in agriculture, construction, domestic service, hotels and manufacturing, as well as forced begging, theft and sex trafficking (US Department of State,Trafficking in Persons Report, 2017 5). As underlined in UNODC’s 2006 report2, Romania is mostly a source country, data findings from 2014 supporting the idea by identifying a number of 6101 registered Romanian victims across Europe, between 2010 and 20123. Still, Romania is also a transit and destination country for trafficked humans and for sixteen years since the problem first arose there were no competent institutions that took or could take care of the Romanian trafficking cases. However, in 2006, at the suggestion of EU Member States, the Romanian government created the National Agency Against Human Trafficking (ANITP), specialized in countering the phenomenon. Until 2009, the agency acted independent and managed all the anti-trafficking projects on its own, afterwards becoming a subordinate of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police. In accordance to the most recent report5, NGOs and public officials managed to identify 2394 victims between the years 2014 and 2016. What is more, in 2016, 923 victims that were participating in criminal prosecutions managed to access services meant to protect and educate the victims on the legal procedures. From another perspective, though, Romania is characterized by a series of factors that do nothing but contribute to the trafficking situation. Some of the biggest problems that arise are the lack of resources, both human and financial allocated to both NGOs and ANITP, the high level of corruption among law officials, the current prostitution and trafficking laws with their enforcement as well as the lack of political will to tackle the problem.Measures implementedThere exist three main measures used to prevent trafficking: legislation, norm creation and awareness rising. Measures to be implementedConclusionReferences(author,date,#) (UNODC,Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, 2006)

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