The U.S. State Department annually releases the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) in July. This report ranks governments based on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking.
This year's TIP report shows us that the needs are as great as ever. Romania remains a primary source country for sex trafficking and labor trafficking victims in Europe. More asylum seekers entered the country in 2021 (9,590, up from 6,000 the year before). Many of these migrants are vulnerable to trafficking while in the country where they do not speak the language or know how to protect themselves. We also saw an increase in the number of children trafficked, up to 77% of all identified trafficking victims from 72% in 2020.
This year, Romania moved from a Tier 2 Watch List country to a Tier 2 country, meaning the government is doing more to combat trafficking. We are proud to be partnering with officials in the government to see these efforts increase. Our team met with a high-ranking government official recently and when he heard that our work is fully funded by donors, his eyes lit up. Romanian people and officials alike are in awe that we are willing to invest in their country and their problems, and to partner with them in a well-funded solution that involves empowering Romanians in their own country!
On Saturday, we are joining many others around the world in observing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This day helps bring much-needed awareness to the "serious crime and a grave violation of human rights" of trafficking. Learn more in this quick video.
This year’s theme of the day focuses on the role of technology. The U.S. State Department reported that Romanian "government officials and NGOs report increased recruitment of children via the internet and social media as a result of the pandemic. Media outlets allege the online sexual exploitation and abuse of girls as young as 12 years old."
Teaching children how to protect themselves is vital to stopping traffickers! That's why we're working to blanket Romania with anti-trafficking resources. We are in continuing conversations with local officials who are connecting us with the right people in the government so we can help influence, impact, and create standards for the prevention of trafficking and aftercare for survivors in the country.
We must remain vigilant to eradicate human trafficking and unlock transformation for its survivors. Thank you for helping us unlock the cage with your support!