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PRESS RELEASE – Human Trafficking is Hidden in Plain Sight

February 25th, 2021 – ”Shine a Light on Slavery” Day

Globally, over 40 million* people suffer from exploitation. Be it sexual exploitation, forced labour, minor trafficking, forced marriages or other forms of human trafficking, the victims of the phenomenon end up profoundly traumatized and, often without the protection and the services that they so desperately need.

Romania continues to be one of the main source countries for victims of human trafficking in Europe, 2880 people having been identified in the latest Eurostat Report**. We firmly believe that this will not change unless all relevant actors work together and coordinate efficiently on the issue, not only at national level but also at international level: state institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, intergovernmental organizations, and the general public.

Human trafficking knows no borders and does not take into account nationality, ethnicity, gender or age. Too many times, the burden is placed on the victims instead of calling out the phenomenon for what it is: organized crime and a grave breaches of fundamental human rights.

Seven embassies in Romania, Embassy of Canada, Royal Danish Embassy, French Embassy in Romania, Embassy of Israel in Romania, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Sweden, The British Embassy in Bucharest, join efforts with eLiberare and thirteen other NGOs in the global awareness campaign End It Movement and mark on the 25th of February 2021 ”Shine a Light on Slavery” Day by saying a firm ”No!” to human trafficking and modern slavery.

The campaign is also joined by the following organizations: Abolishion, Institutul Bucovina, Fundația Missio Link International, Armata Salvării, Libertated, JRS România, Acțiunea Catolică România, Asociația Centrul Creștin Betania, Asociația Dorcas România, Asociația Act Integration, Patrir, Open Doors and LOGS Grup de Inițiative Sociale

„Human trafficking and all forms of child exploitation is a horrific abuse of human rights and

impacts all of us. Wherever it occurs human trafficking violates every value we stand for.

 Defeating it must unite us all in the fight to protect our most vulnerable citizens.” – Ambassador Annick Goulet, Embassy of Canada

“Human trafficking is an abomination, an affront to basic human dignity. There must be zero tolerance towards any form of modern slavery. To this end, we must shore up resources to ensure effective law enforcement at every level – locally, nationally and internationally.”  – Ambassador Søren Jensen, Royal Danish Embassy in Bucharest

“France is very concerned by the trafficking in human beings, which is predominantly a European issue; 70% of the identified victims and suspects in the EU are EU nationals. Most of the victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation are female nationals coming from Central and Eastern Europe. France is committed to work on common solutions to eradicate this phenomenon.” – Ambassador Laurence AUER, French Embassy in Romania

“The Embassy of Israel in Romania joins with determination the #EndItMovement. Throughout history, our people have endured many sorrows. From ancient times until only decades ago, when our brothers and sisters were exploited by a regime that regarded them as disposable slaves.  Shedding light on the subject and relentlessly promoting education and understanding are the means through which we can build together a brighter future. We invite everyone to join hands and say ¨No!¨ to human trafficking and modern slavery.” Ambassador David Saranga, Embassy of Israel in Romania,

“The Netherlands Embassy firmly supports efforts to fight trafficking of human beings. We can all agree that improving cross border cooperation is vital to better disrupt the business model of criminals, to help identify victims, to give them the necessary care and support and to prevent people from becoming a victim in the first place. Without a doubt, more effective implementation of policies is needed to push back on this terrible and highly profitable phenomenon. The Netherlands Embassy stands ready to work with Romanian governmental and non-governmental organizations to make this happen.”  – Ambassador Roelof Sander van Ees,  Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest

“The Swedish Embassy firmly supports efforts to fight trafficking in human beings. This is a global problem and we stand ready to support the #EndItMovement.” – Ambassador Therese Hydén, Swedish Embassy in Bucharest

This common awareness effort accompanies other concrete actions that the seven embassies are currently running in Romania, alongside civil society actors and state institutions: capacity building sessions, exchange programs, awareness campaigns, aftercare support and a clear focus on the issue in all the interactions with the Romanian state.

 

We are #InItToEndIt! #StopSclaviei #EndItMovement

 

*Global Slavery Index
**Third report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings

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