The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published its first evaluation report on Romania.
In the report, GRETA welcomes the steps taken by the Romanian authorities to combat trafficking in human beings, including through the adoption of anti-trafficking legislation, the setting up of the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons, and the introduction of a national identification and referral mechanism for victims of trafficking.
However, GRETA considers that the Romanian authorities should reinforce co-ordination and co-operation between all anti-trafficking actors. In the area of prevention, GRETA stresses the need for further measures aimed at tackling the root causes of trafficking, especially through fostering access to education and jobs for vulnerable groups.
Further, GRETA considers that all relevant professionals, including border police staff, should be provided with training in order to improve the identification of victims of trafficking, both Romanian and foreign nationals. GRETA also urges the Romanian authorities to ensure that all assistance measures provided for in law are guaranteed in practice, regardless of the victims’ willingness to co-operate with law enforcement agencies, and to facilitate the reintegration of trafficking victims into society. Moreover, GRETA stresses the importance of ensuring effective access to compensation and legal redress for victims of trafficking.
As regards investigation and prosecution, while noting some positive results, GRETA urges the Romanian authorities to step up proactive investigations into trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitations and to investigate any report of alleged involvement of public officials in offences related to human trafficking
Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in Romania. A confidential first draft of the report was sent to the Romanian authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final evaluation report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Romanian authorities, as provided for by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
On the basis of GRETA’s report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of Romania.