Human trafficking

A new human trafficking network has been discovered in Europe. Most of the persons exploited come from Romania and Bulgaria. In fact, in 2012 alone approximately 400 Romanian women with ages starting off from 15-16 years were identified as tragic victims of such rigorously organized networks which attract their victims by promising them advantageous jobs and then badly maltreat them and thus force them to become, depending on their age, either slave workers or prostitutes. Human trafficking defies the whole organizational and judiciary structure on which the EU relies and Romania is one of the countries most painfully affected. And the “beneficiaries” of these trafficking are not just some of the large Western states, but also geographically closer states such as Bosnia, Turkey etc. Along with Ukraine, Russia and R. of Moldova, Romania has the sad renown of being “a source of white slaves” intensely trafficked by well-organized mafia networks.

So well organized that such networks are discovered – when they can be – often on the basis of the deaths of some of their victims. Hence, only when the crime has reached its ultimate consequence. Police authorities everywhere recognize the difficulty of preventing this scourge and limit themselves to combating it, but do even this in a very belated stage. Because the appearances of legality are well defended; under the guise of “legal” companies the mafia recruits young women with ages that range from 15-16 to 40, under the pretext of offering them attractive jobs as bartenders, strippers, singers or club dancers. They are taken across the border, sometimes illegally, sometimes legally, but once they reach their destination all their documents are confiscated, they are locked-up, maltreated and thus forced either to work in slavery-like conditions or to prostitute themselves, also like slaves.

The finality of human trafficking whose victims are children is first of all prostitution and only secondly organ harvesting. Our officials, decisional factors and MPs of various stripes accuse each other over this issue for several days, after which the tragic condition of Romanian emigration continues unperturbed. This political behavior that can be exclusively summed up as “fiery statements” that are rapidly put out has become a tradition for Romania’s petty politics. We recall how, as early as ten years ago, the well-known Italian daily “La Republica” was revealing shocking information quoted by some press agencies too: back then in Italy there were 600 underage children engaged in prostitution. And these were not just teenagers, but also boys and girls with ages as low as below 10. Romania was listed among their countries of origin. Romania was also negatively nominated in a report concerning the treatment of underage children, a report authored by “Save the Children”. And, of course, such serious warnings increasingly grew. Romania was nominated as “a source of white slaves” by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which sought to identify and repatriate the victims of human trafficking. As early as 10 years ago, 22 per cent of the persons assisted by IOM were underage children and they had “similar counterparts” in “transit” countries or “consumer countries.” International police authorities discovered, throughout time, even networks of child traffickers that went as far as recruiting pregnant mothers. They were selected in a country, transited through another where the birth and document forgery were taking place, after which the newborns where taken to “consumer countries.” The human traffickers’ market also has a list of sale prices. Prices go up as the ages of the little girls go up for example. That’s how far the wretchedness of human traffickers goes at the start of the 21st Century. Poverty is considered the main cause of human trafficking.

This is so also because some of the most known “supplier states” are states that have the lowest income per capita. Romania is among these states although its economic potential is incomparably superior to this reality. If today “poverty chokes Romania” as Romanians complain, the sad reality does not have natural causes, it has political causes. The political leaders of the last 23 years have simply devastated Romania’s economy. Theft from public wealth has become a kind of national sport and that is why several court rulings that match the extent of the great thefts have appeared only in recent years. Of course, the responsibility for such delays belongs not just to the judiciary system, which is frequently politically dominated, but to Romania’s leaders. Leaders of allegedly different political stripes that are in fact part of the same category of “big profiteers.” Being confronted today by the mass-media with their own thefts, the big profiteers take refuge in “shocking” statements according to which joining the EU forces us to “align” ourselves to its realities.

Or that “the current economic crisis affects us all.” The first real opposition against such swindles should come from trade unions. But even these have largely fallen under the leadership of “union moguls” that place group and clan interests above the general interest. In these conditions, the educational system for example is collapsing. So that most young Romanians resort to “salvation through emigration,” without knowing what that entails. Just the other day a well-intended representative of the National Agency against Human Trafficking was pleading for those who look for jobs abroad to better inform themselves. They should consult, through information channels, the condition of those offering jobs abroad. They should not venture without information. It’s perfectly true, it’s just that young emigrants looking for work are mostly semi-illiterate unemployed persons. How and where should they find that information when appalling poverty forces them to leave? The school dropout rate reaches a percentage of 20 per cent in Romania today and many of these children with no access to education are the sons and daughters of those who have already emigrated in search for jobs. Political factors in Romania lately revert to their older practice of encouraging international adoptions, ignoring the fact that these, once legalized, risk following the path of children trafficking, as happened in previous years. Baroness Nicholson’s past warnings and criticism on this issue, far more realistic than the mentality of our leaders, are starting to be ignored although they came from an authentic EU representative.

Whether we like it or not, this is the truth and from it we have to start an energetic and responsible action of stopping human trafficking.


  1. Rocky's Dad says:

    I am so sick and tired of all these horror stories!

    Baroness Nicholson was NEVER able to prove her statements about international adoption being used to traffic children, about adopted children being cut into pieces and sold to organ banks, about adopted children being sold to prostitution rinks and so on. I remember one time she went as far as to accuse adoptive parents of funding terrorist organizations! OMG, this is all I can say! This woman’s imagination was certainly amazing, too bad she misused it.

    Whenever asked to bring proof, Ms. Nicholson’s answer was always the same: “Oh, but this is common knowledge, everybody knows it…”

    The baroness’ blackmail was successful and eventually forced Romania to block international adoption as a condition for EU accession. Due to her lies, tens of thousands of children were denied their basic right to a family of their own, to grow up in a loving environment, to build a life and a future.

    Domestic adoptions were and still are few and very slow due to bureaucracy and a complicated law. Moreover, statistics show that domestic adoptions in Romania don’t work for older children, for children with disabilities, and for Roma children. These tens of thousands of children have now become young adults forced to leave the “child protection system” (what a contradiction in terms!), with very few or no prospects and no family to turn to. I can imagine their “kind” thoughts towards Ms. Nicholson and to the Romanian authorities as well…

    I dare the author to produce evidence supporting all the baroness’ lies. Until then, I really wished he’d stop spreading such lies.

    • Lorraine Lesko says:

      If international adoption were allowed, again, those tens of thousands of children — older, Roma, disabled .. would be adopted by American families within a year.

      If Baronass Nickolodeon doesn’t want the children, why would she care if families outside of Romania, do?

      Mom of Michael Marius, born Nov 29, 1998 in Arad

  2. Rocky's Dad says:

    Many of the 15-16 years old girls who are now victims of human trafficking are runaways from the “child protection system” (they come from “placement centers”). Banning international adoptions took away their chance to have a family of their own and instead led to today’s situation, when they fall prey to human traffickers.

    Contrary to what the baroness was always saying, human trafficking from Romania has continued to increase since the banning of international adoptions, instead of decreasing (this is shown by statistics). How do you explain that?

  3. An (adoptive) mother says:

    Please, please, STOP associating adoption and human trafficking.
    In spite of Nicholson’s great nonsense & harm onto thousands children (and nearly onto mine before she could eventually come to nicely be a building block of our family), adoption did really good for my daughter.
    Think for 10 seconds about how all the other children feel now they’ve been sacrified for the 13 last years without (international) adoption. Shame on European Union.

  4. Tammy Powell says:

    You are sentencing children to a life without a family. For most children, international adoption is the only chance they will ever have. Why don’t you spend some time tracking the kids who have been adopted and see what their lives are like instead of making claims that cannot be proven. It makes me sick to think what would have happened to my daughter if she wouldn’t have been adopted. She is a happy, healthy teenager who has a family, friends, and a future. Keeping children from this is nothing less than evil!!!

  5. Heartbroken says:

    Every time I read this garbage, my heart breaks. We waited for two years to adopt twin girls born in 2002. The baroness derailed our adoption and our dreams. A true adoptive mother knows when the children have been born in her heart as mine were. Not a day goes by when I grieve for them. They were ripped out of a loving foster home and almost all of our original paperwork was returned with an insulting letter from Romania. The only piece that was missing was our $10,000 check, and I bet my daughters never saw a penny of that. Romania allowed itself to be railroaded by a bully of a baroness who took her own inadequacies as an adoptive mother and ascribed her own failure to decent individuals, caring little for the welfare of the children. There’s a special place in hell for people like that.

  6. Edgy says:

    We were able to adopt our twin girls, born in 2000. We waited nearly two years, and they were among the very last to make it out of Romania. Today they are doing well in school, involved in tennis, soccer, and in school plays. But you do not read about them in the international press. This debate needs to be driven by data, not anecdotes, and the data says that adoption–domestic or international–works.

  7. Bruce Thomas says:

    This ABSURD propaganda that international adoption is equated with child trafficking has got to stop. It is such a typical communist era ploy to divert attention away from the real issue. Tens of thousands of abandoned children continue to suffer in Romania today because of it.

    The Baroness has profited more than any Romanian official by having orphans remain orphans. Her former NGO “charity” was supported by proceeds from the last Harry Potter book before J.K. Rowling wised up and parted ways with her. It seems like that charity did more to help the Baroness than it ever did to provide permanent solutions for orphans in Romania.

    I strongly encourage Mr. Iordonescu and any other reputable journalist to look into that story. I also strongly encourage Mr. Jordonescu to site the sources of this purported heinous act of organ sales of adopted children. Otherwise, how about one of the 10,000 positive, documented stories of adopted Romanians now thriving compared to their peers left behind to languish without a forever family and with no hope for a normal life.

    It is time for the Baroness’ fiction to stop being reported as documented truth and for journalists like Mihai Iordonescu to do a more professional job at research before perpetuating such disgusting and damaging myths in the press.

  8. mary says:

    Several months ago, a Bucharest television station did a series of stories on adoptees who went on a heritage tour to find their birth families. It was pretty obvious that these kids were doing great. Wonder if the writer of this article ever saw that – it’s pretty certain the Baroness never did. These kids are not just the exception – they are the rule for the children adopted from Romania.
    I hope someday that the Baroness will stop spreading these lies and that Romania will let the children who are in the system have hope for a better life as adoptees.

  9. Roman says:

    Human trafficking thru adoption is very common in Romania. There a huge network of crooks and criminals selling children thru international adoption agencies. One of the main coordinating criminals with thousands of children sold thru adoptions is a Gypsy by name Vali Nash, a impostor noticed years ago by Ms. Nicholson. This crook still at large is pretending to be a lobbyist, but him with his swindler wife Mariana, another ex-nurse impostor pretending to be medical doctor or social worker, sold many, many children in the 90s and 2000-2001. For all that have doubts, please read here the article of a British volonteer who worked for years in Romania to help the orphans and noticed this human traffic. He was theatened by the Gypsy criminal Valentin (Vali) Nas (Nash – signs Nash to pretend to be american or have ties with US to get more credibility for US citizens interested to adopt from Romania!):

    Still distorting the facts.
    By Brian Douglas.

    I have just read an article by Vali Nas from Bucharest who is one of the largest
    pressure group leaders in Romania with many friends in the foreign countries all
    interested in pressuring Romania to re open Inter Country Adoptions.

    In the time inter country adoptions were allowed it is clear that Mr Nas did
    well out of the plight of these unfortunate children who were literally pawns in
    a massive business that amounted to the sale of children by unscrupulous
    agencies and the Ban on Inter country adoptions had a direct impact on his
    future lifestyle which dropped one would assume considerably!

    Mr Vali Nas at every opportunity makes outrageous attacks on EU and Romanian
    Government ministers and officials alike, in fact anyone who does not share his
    view that the high profit business of inter country adoptions should be opened

    In his latest outburst he criticizes and tries to ridicule European Union MEP
    Baroness Nicholson, Romanian Secretary of State for Adoptions Teodora Bertzi and
    National child protection state chief Bogdan Panait.

    Clearly Vali Nas is not a person of quality as those of us who know of him and
    his background can see through his motives for such personal attacks and realize
    that personal attacks resolve nothing and are in effect the voice of desperate
    ill informed and people lacking in moral quality. In other words not exactly the
    kind of person you would want involved in any kind of child care.

    In his article Mr Nas refers to a report by UNICEF which states that there are
    some 9.000 babies abandoned in every year in Romania.

    The report is well out of touch with reality today in Romania for several

    1. It is not a true picture of all Romanian counties as it relies on only
    certain areas of the country and then calculates percentages on these to get its

    2. It does not take into account the fact that baies in Hospitals are often
    there as they are ill and are not abandoned.

    3. It does not take into account that Mothers often have to be at home to look
    after other children in the family setting, plus here I must mention that in
    every Country within the EU and USA mothers are not compelled to stay interned
    with their sick children 24 hours a day and in the cases of infectious diseases
    or when a ward is in quarantine cannot anyway.

    I fully appreciate that Unicef do very good work in many countries but their
    reportage of Abandonments in Romania is clearly flawed and therefore unreliable
    in my opinion and cannot be regarded as the reality.

    Mr Nas will never accept the above as it goes against his principles which are
    to give Romania the worst name he can, in the hope that the EU or perhaps the
    USA may try to exert even more unjust pressure to re open Inter Country
    adoptions again so his lifestyle can again go upwards at the children’s expense.

    Romania was correct to ban Inter country adoptions as it was proved to be
    nothing more than a large business network, run by well financed people, who
    never put the children’s interest first. In the other aspect Romania no longer
    needs these kind of adoptions ,as it has reformed its child care system in
    recent years and internal adoption is now available for the genuine orphan child
    and here I am speaking of as in all countries were tragically a child’s parents
    have died and there are no living relations.

    Romanian childcare in 2006 is completely different from that of 1990 and Mr Nas
    would do well to realize that.

  10. Jean Claude says:

    There is a dirty campaign now from the child adoption agencies that started to pressure the Romanian authorities to re-open the international adoptions. They are doing whatever it takes, including stincky lies on-line like these comments above to try to reopen the child traffic masked under the international adoptions. And, yes, it is true that the best coordinators in this dirty process of lies and pressure for human traffic are some crooks from Romania, including some Gypsies like the above cited Vali(Valentin) Nas(Nash). You can read about these criminal minds right here, in Romanian:

  11. Anti child traffic says:

    Rock’s dad is the Gypsy impostor and criminal child trafficant Vali Nas from Bucharest. This Gypsy stinky crook is responsible for thousands of children trafficked from Romania thru international adoptions and, unfortunately, he is still at large due to the lack of action from the Romanian autorities. However, he will end up pretty soon in jail, where he belongs !

  12. Citizen mundi says:

    Very good article ! It points out a big problem nowadays: the child traffic under the mask of international adoptions. 10 years ago, in 2003, a movie “Filantropia” highlighted this issue, as well. This subject came back in international media in the last days when several governments are demanding US to control the internation adoptions agencies and track the adopted children to make sure they are not subjected to abuses and child traffic:

    Governments call on U.S. to track foreign adoptees

    Megan Twohey 12 hours ago
    Former adopted child Quita Puchalla looks out the window of her apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin May …
    By Megan Twohey

    (Reuters) – Members of Congress and officials in Russia, Brazil, Guatemala and other nations are calling on U.S. authorities to better monitor what becomes of foreign-born children who are adopted by Americans and brought to the United States.

    A Reuters investigation this week showed that some American parents who regret adopting children from abroad turn to the Internet to find new homes for the boys and girls, often with strangers, in a practice known as private re-homing. The children sometimes have serious behavioral problems, and their adoptive parents say they have nowhere else to turn.

    Through informal custody transfers, parents can bypass the involvement of child welfare officials. When parents fail to alert authorities of a transfer, it can become impossible for the U.S. government to track the child.

    No federal or state laws explicitly address re-homing of adopted children in the United States, and state laws vary on who can advertise children or facilitate transfers of custody.

    “The Reuters report is shocking,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It exposes the enormous potential for danger, abuse and exploitation involving these children.” Grassley said in a statement that he would explore “possible options for federal action.”

    Democratic senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, like Grassley, previously have called for adoption-related legislation. Klobuchar said this week she plans to reintroduce a bill to “enhance post-adoption support services for families having difficulty raising their adoptive children.” The bill would require the U.S. government to “improve its data collection regarding adoptions – especially those that fail – to better develop the support services.”

    Reuters analyzed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on one Yahoo message board where parents sought new homes for unwanted children. On average, a child was advertised for re-homing there once a week. Most had been adopted from abroad, from countries such as Russia, Ethiopia, Brazil and China. In response to the findings, Yahoo Inc took down that group and a half dozen others.

    In one case reporters found, a man now in prison for trading child pornography took home a child advertised online. He and the woman he was living with at the time picked up the child in a hotel parking lot.

    Adoption specialists say such custody transfers pose dangers. “It’s so risky for everyone involved, it’s nuts,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a non-profit that focuses on adoption research and policy.


    Officials in other nations said they are asking the United States to strengthen efforts to account for children brought to America.

    A U.S. federal law, passed in 2000, requires states to document cases in which they take custody of children from failed international adoptions. But many states say their computer systems are so antiquated that they are unable to keep track of the cases. The State Department declines to disclose the number of failed international adoptions that are reported by adoption agencies.

    Sergey Chumarev, senior counselor for legal matters for the Russian embassy in Washington, said he would press the State Department to better track the outcomes of international adoptions. In the Internet group that Reuters analyzed in detail, participants identified 26 children as Russian natives.

    “If the federal agency which is responsible for international adoptions doesn’t have a picture of what are the results of these international adoptions, it means there is something that needs to be changed in minds first and then in action,” Chumarev said.

    Adoption is one of the many sore points in U.S.-Russian relations. In January, Russia begins a ban on adoptions by Americans after long complaining that Russian adoptees weren’t being monitored properly and, in some cases, suffering abuse and neglect. Without action by U.S. authorities, Chumarev said Russia is unlikely to lift the ban.

    Guatemala also is concerned with what becomes of children brought to America. The Yahoo group had re-homing offers for five Guatemalan children.

    “There should be more supervision of this phenomenon” of informal private re-homing, said Rudy Zepeda, spokesman for Guatemala’s National Adoption Board. “We can’t allow these boys and girls to experience these sorts of situations.”

    Late last month, Brazil began requiring that all adoptions involving Americans “must go though us, the central federal authority on adoptions, so that we can track the children where possible with visits,” said George Lima, head of the Brazilian authority that watches over adoptions. “The United States could solve this problem by creating an institution that tracks the children after they get there,” he said.

    (Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia, Mike McDonald in Guatemala City and Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow. Edited by Blake Morrison)

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