World Border Security Congress2019-11-06 13:23:45

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OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings visits Romania, praises progress, encourages further improvements 
OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Valiant Richey conducted an official visit to Romania this week. He praised the country for its progress in certain areas of its anti-trafficking efforts, while calling for improvement in others.  
During his two-day visit, Richey headed an OSCE delegation in meetings with the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons, the Parliamentary Group on Combating Trafficking in Persons, law enforcement officials, representatives from the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Justice, and Labour and Social Justice respectively, and civil society representatives. The meetings focused on the country’s criminal justice response to human trafficking and protection of trafficked persons.
Richey noted that the commitment and engagement of officials established a solid foundation for anti-trafficking efforts, including comprehensive prevention campaigns and a high rate of prosecuting those who use the services of trafficking victims.
At the same time, he called on the Romanian authorities to use a more proactive approach in the implementation of the OSCE anti-trafficking commitments, in particular in the identification of victims, provision of specialized care services for children and convicting traffickers with penalties proportionate to the severity of this severe crime.
“While Romania’s rate of identified victims of trafficking remains one of the largest in the OSCE area, this rate appears to be declining in the last two years and as do conviction rates of human traffickers,” said Richey. “This is undoubtedly due to several factors, including change in the way traffickers operate, insufficient training of front-line actors, and inadequate protection measures for victims which may discourage them from coming forward and testifying in trial.”
Richey said that with greater investment Romania can counter these trends. “Continued support for law enforcement responses, specialized trainings for prosecutors and judicial officials, as well as protection measures such as the provision of shelters for trafficked persons, will ensure that progress is not lost.”
The OSCE Office of the Special Representative regularly conducts goal-oriented, high-profile country visits. Their aim is to strengthen the capacity of OSCE participating States to address human trafficking in a comprehensive and effective manner, as well as to share knowledge and collect best practices in the fight against this serious crime. An OSCE report of the visit containing a discussion of promising practices and recommendations will be published in early 2020.

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