Romania is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour, and women and children subjected to sexual exploitation. Romanian nationals are one of the highest nationalities making up referrals to the UK National Referral Mechanism, with 259 potential victims including 38 minors, recorded in 2017 which has increased by 34% since 2014.
The UK and Romania have a strong track record of cooperation to develop the institutional capacity to deal with human trafficking and corruption pre and post EU accession. Law enforcement cooperation is very strong via Europol and Joint Investigation Teams (more than with any other country). Since 2011, around 50 law enforcement officers have been seconded to the UK, the majority of them working in trafficking units (13 secondees as of January 2018).
We launched the Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in September 2017. The call to action is a gesture of political will and a statement of intent to work domestically, regionally, and internationally to achieve SDG 8.7 and end these abuses once and for all. So far over 60 countries (including USA, Poland, Bulgaria, Australia, Japan and Italy) have endorsed the Call to Action. This is an opportunity for leaders in the field to be recognised as such by endorsing.
The Romanian Government has expressed the will to tackle this issue and we hope that it will be amongst those states prepared to also send a strong international signal to end this devastating issue.