This past week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which reports on the State Department’s recommendations in fighting human trafficking worldwide.
Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people are recruited, harbored, transferred, bought or kidnapped to serve an exploitative purpose, such as sexual slavery and forced labor.
The report rates each country in their efforts to fight human trafficking, with Tier 1 being the highest rating and Tier 3 the lowest. Romania received a Tier 2 rating.
According to the report:
Romania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and women and children in forced prostitution.
Romanian men, women, and children are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, including forced begging and petty theft. In 2009, the majority of trafficking victims identified within the country were victims of forced labor…including forced begging.
The report goes on to say that more measures can and should be taken by the Romanian government to stop trafficking.
But we already knew a lot of this, because the children who come to us have often been either victims or witnesses of human trafficking. Extreme poverty in Bucharest’s poorest neighborhoods has led to many forms of criminal activity. Innocent children get lost in the shuffle at best, and trafficked at worst.
Mia’s Children provides counseling and education for these young people from the hard streets of Bucharest. And most importantly we work to offer them a home and a sense of belonging that is based on the truth and love of the gospel.
That is how we are fighting the horrors of human trafficking – and let us tell you, it works!