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Friday, October 18, 2019

Anti-human Trafficking Conference in Romania

On the European Anti-Trafficking Day, ECPM’s Director for European Affairs, Leo van Doesburg, was invited to Romania to speak at a conference titled: Human Trafficking, An Actual and Relevant Problem in Romania. According to the last report of the European Commission on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings, the top 5 EU countries with the most victims registered were Romania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Bulgaria. This conference was organized by CPOE (Platform of Christian Organizations working in East Europe) with Dorkas, Bright Fame and the International Justice Mission (IJM). Participants were representatives of different Romanian organizations active on the prevention and reintegration of victims in the society.


In his contribution, Mr. van Doesburg highlighted the European political dimension on the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation and the fact that the discouragement of the demand is the most effective way to combat sexual exploitation. He also underlined the importance of exit programs in which NGOs, in collaboration with businesses and supported by the authorities try to reintegrate survivors in the society. He also emphasized the importance of churches and Christians. Finally, he spoke on the need for prevention policies.  On the same day, workshops were organized. Romanian organizations and experts shared their experiences. They talked about the vulnerability of left behind children or children raised in institutions. Moreover, it was revealed that traffickers often go to poor areas “helping” families with basic needs and making them dependent on them.


After the conference, Leo van Doesburg had a special meeting with Romanian experts from organizations dealing with the prevention of human trafficking and reintegration of survivors in the society. The main goal of the discussion was to brainstorm on the best way exit programs could be developed in Romania but also the judicial assistance of victims.