A national campaign called “Information at home! Safety abroad!” was officially launched on Tuesday at a ceremony hosted by the Romanian Government House, with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila underlining that this initiative is a first step in preventing organised crime and “modern slavery.”
The campaign, coordinated by the Ministry for Romanians Abroad, aims to get the Romanian citizens informed about the risks they may run when deciding to look for a job, study program or to settle outside Romania. The project is conducted in two stages: the first – in May-June, intended for young people, and the second – in September-October, for adults.
“I believe that this initiative is a reality-based initiative that rounds up many European initiatives, and that in order to combat the phenomenon of organised crime, modern slavery, we need initiatives at both European and national level. We know that many Romanians have gone to study, to work outside the country, and I think we must prevent these two phenomena that I mentioned – that of modern slavery and organised crime,” said Dancila, who congratulated the Ministry for Romanians Abroad, the other ministries, as well as the local administrations involved.
The prime minister said that while she was a MEP, she was part of a delegation that had gone to the Italian province of Ragusa, where she could see for herself what “modern slavery” meant. “We saw that the lack of information, the lack of a campaign can lead to undesirable situations, in which many people will suffer. That is why I believe that this initiative, applied in 41 counties of Romania, can bring added value and can prevent many people from being subjected to undesired treatments. I think it is important that we can prevent these things and I hope this initiative is a first step towards this goal,” said Dancila.
Minister for Romanians Abroad Natalia Intotero mentioned that this campaign will be conducted in two stages.
“The campaign ‘Information at home! Security abroad!’ will be conducted in two stages: the first stage, namely the months of May-June, dedicated to young people, young people who want to study, travel or work abroad, and the second stage, dedicated to adults who want to work as seasonal farmhands or in different services, will take place between September and October. For the first stage, we have received support, in addition to support from the relevant ministries, considerable support from the Ministry of Education, through the county school inspectorates, (…) in order to mobilise young people who have turned 18, (…) representatives of students, directors of educational organisations, but also from parents and trade unions. We intend to reach every county and publicise all the ongoing projects of the Romanian Government so that our Romanians who want to study, travel or work abroad may know they are not alone and know that if they are in distress, how and where they can go so that they may get the support they need in the shortest possible time,” said Intotero, urging the media to support this campaign.
Minister of National Education Valentin Popa argued that, given that “free movement has transformed Europe and not only into a space rather without borders, the constant concern with the wellbeing of the Romanian citizens everywhere is naturally a concern with the Government.”
“Whether they are students or adults already employed or looking for a job, Romanians are free to travel anywhere in the world, depending on their preferences, needs, opportunities, skills or qualifications. Migration for studies or work has generated a series of new needs that the government has to meet and do so efficiently and carefully to the benefit of its citizens (…) Such a move can only be taken in partnership by all the ministries that have getting Romanian nationals informed as their duty. The presence of the Ministry of National Education as a partner in this campaign is a necessary and useful one (…) in the common approach to prepare the citizens for their trips abroad, regardless of their purpose,” Popa said.
Also attending the ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu welcomed the project.
“The Foreign Ministry (MAE) has as its priority attributions supporting the Romanian nationals and the Romanian companies operating abroad. From the point of view of the campaign we are launching today we have three elements that to us are priority themes. If I may, just as one example, the MAE Consular Directorate is providing services to about seven million to nine million citizens, of which approximately five million are people who are posted in some EU countries, and two million are tourists, making a very tight statistic. There are three areas of action that we will try to develop and value. First of all, informing citizens about the working conditions they may have abroad, (…) a second side of our action is to provide services that allow citizens to travel safely abroad (. ..) and the third activity, which is a basic activity, regards the consular services we are offering to Romanian citizens. (…) From our point of view, we are most interested in this campaign that we are launching today becoming a successful campaign because, to us, it would be a relief from many of the problems we face; we have always started from the idea that it is more important to prevent the occurrence of trying situations rather than to solve them,” explained Melescanu.
Also in attendance were Minister of the Environment Stefan Radu Oprea; Minister of Youth and Sports Ioana Bran, and General Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea.