The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons signed two cooperation agreements with the Bucharest City Hall (PMB) and the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) on Thursday to combat human trafficking and protect its victims.
The General Mayor of the Capital, Nicusor Dan, declared at this event that human rights are closely linked to the rule of law and each of us must continue to fight for the rule of law to exist and develop in Romania.
“Human rights are closely linked to the rule of law and each of us must continue to campaign, to fight, for the rule of law to continue to exist and develop in Romania,” said Nicusor Dan (photo R).
“Today we celebrate International Human Rights Day. (…) One of these rights and one of the most important right is the right to freedom and I am very happy to sign today the partnership with the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons for concrete actions against human trafficking. I welcome the involvement of the Romanian Presidency, I welcome the involvement of the Government (…) I thank the Embassy of the United States for its involvement in combating this phenomenon. I assure you of our partnership in all the steps that will follow, I am very happy about the Church’s ongoing concerns for the social area and I assure you of our full cooperation. Human rights cover a wide range, you have already mentioned the right to education as a fundamental right, the right to health, the right to the environment, that is clean air, in particular, the right to public transport, but we are talking here about arguably the most important right after the right to life, the right to freedom and each of us must collaborate for this phenomenon, human trafficking, to be drastically diminished, if not eliminated,” mentioned the general mayor of the Capital.
Interim PM Ciuca: It’s important to raise public awareness on modern-day slavery and human-trafficking
Interim Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca underscored the importance for the authorities to raise public awareness on “modern-day slavery”, stressing that it is essential to ensure “cooperation and coordination of actions” to combat this scourge, at national, European and international level.
On Thursday, the interim prime minister participated in the signing of cooperation agreements between the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (ANTIP) and the Romanian Orthodox Church, respectively the Bucharest City Hall, for combating and preventing human trafficking and protecting victims.
“Today’s event is a stage in an effort in which the authorities, the representatives of civil society, the church, but also each and everyone of us must partake. It is important to raise public awareness of modern-day slavery, a scourge that must be eradicated. Freedom is a fundamental right for every person and a fundamental value of humanity. In all its forms, human trafficking is an open wound of contemporary society, affecting, sometimes irreparably, its victims,” the interim Prime Minister affirmed.
He pointed out that “the phenomenon of migration has accentuated human trafficking, speculating on the vulnerabilities of people without help and material resources.”
“According to statistics, Romania is at the top of migration. A sad reality that we must accept, but for which we are also obligated to find solutions, here in the country, to stop this phenomenon. The cooperation agreement signed today needs action tools, a real and concrete involvement of all those who can contribute to the eradication of human trafficking. We need results, steps have been taken and they are being carried on, but nevertheless much remains to be done. Judicial efforts against human traffickers must be intensified. So does the fight against organized crime rings, which take advantage of vulnerable people and send men, women and children to work illegally in Romania or in other European countries. Human traffickers should receive a clear signal that such actions will not be tolerated,” Ciuca said.
The interim Prime Minister added that “warning campaigns against human trafficking and funding for assistance and victim protection services” are also needed.
“In the fight we are conducting against human trafficking, a phenomenon as complex as it is dark and inhuman, it is essential to ensure cooperation and coordination of actions, both at national and European and international level, because trafficking in human beings has no borders and, unfortunately, most of the victims are women and children. Today’s cooperation agreement is an example of good practice that needs to be multiplied. I congratulate you on this initiative and, at the same time, I would like to convey a message that each of us needs to be involved in combating this phenomenon,” Ciuca also declared.
The event organized by the United States Embassy in Romania on the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights – “Human Trafficking: New Path of Cooperation and Achievement” – was also attended by the US Ambassador in Bucharest, Adrian Zuckerman, Minister of Justice Catalin Predoiu, Minister of the Interior Marcel Vela, General Mayor of the Capital Nicusor Dan, former prime minister Ludovic Orban and His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Vicar Bishop to the Patriarch.
JusMin Predoiu: National strategy to combat organized crimed finalized; to be put in public debate shortly
The Minister of Justice, Catalin Predoiu, announced on Wednesday that the working group coordinated by the Justice Ministry together with the Ministry of the Interior has finalized the national strategy to combat organized crime, which will be put shortly in public debate.
The Justice Minister participated, on Thursday, in the signing of cooperation agreements between the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (ANTIP) and the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Bucharest City Hall, respectively, to combat human trafficking and protect its victims.
“I am able to present the fact that the Ministry of Justice, together with other institutions, within the limit of its legal powers and competencies, has achieved this year notable actions in the sense of combating organized crime and human trafficking. I could say that this current year, in Romania, an entire system was put in motion to fight back against organized crime and human trafficking. (…) An interinstitutional working group was organized, it worked in these past month to elaborate a national strategy against organized crime, and human trafficking implicitly. A second group of the operative type was organized between the institutions with operative attributions in the domain. (…) I can announce today that the working group coordinated by the Justice Ministry together with the Ministry of the Interior has finalized the National strategy to combat organized crime, which will be put in public debate shortly. This strategy includes objectives on the short- and long-term, includes both combating, as well as prevention activities, but also the victim protection pillar,” Predoiu also said.
In his turn, Interior Ministry Marcel Vela said that the signing of the two agreements represents a demarche that confers the guarantee of a safer future and increasing the degree of involvement of state institutions in preventing and combating human trafficking and helping victims, regardless of age, gender or social class.
“The importance of this demarche is emphasized by the fact that today is the International Human Rights Day, a historically charged day, which we should underline and also, at the same time, we should fight to guarantee all rights. We must not forget the sacrifices of previous generations, all the transformations through which the world has gone over time and which marked our existence and evolution in society. Human rights are universally valid – the right to life, the right to healthcare, the right to education and culture, the right to safety and protection are just some of the most important ones. Human rights are those which consolidate a safe, clean and civilized future. The gravity and consequences of human trafficking determine our actions to intensify,” Vela said.
Compiled from Agerpres