Back on Track: Republic of Moldova Redoubles Efforts to Tackle Trafficking

Posted: 
06/01/18
Themes: 
Counter-Trafficking

Chisinau — After being downgraded last year in the influential US Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of the Republic of Moldova have launched an innovative counter-trafficking project to get the country back on track. The launch event was held on 28 May 2018 in Chisinau.

The project will fill gaps in counter-trafficking efforts in the country by training and equipping representatives of the Witness Protection Division in the Moldovan Ministry of Interior, among other measures.

“We hope that, thanks to the efforts made by the Government, as well as through this project, Moldova will advance in the US State Department report on human trafficking,” said Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration.

The skills of other stakeholders will be also enhanced: Border Police officers will be introduced to a mandatory rights-based approach online training course for victims of trafficking; an offline training will be delivered to judges, prosecutors and public lawyers; and over 850 law enforcement representatives and 360 civil servants will receive training through this project.

“The Republic of Moldova has previously demonstrated leadership in projects funded by the US,” said Julie Stufft, Chargé d’Affairs, US Embassy in Moldova. “We anticipate that the Republic of Moldova will continue to be a leader for other countries in the region in combating this important issue.”

The project will also work to convince private sector entities to collaborate with the Moldovan authorities, as internal labour exploitation is now widespread – an element that has been missing from national anti-trafficking policies in the Republic of

Moldova until now. In 2017, 87 per cent of identified and assisted trafficking victims were exploited within the country.

The Permanent Secretariat of the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons will improve its coordination efforts with partners, especially those at the local level. Given the ever-changing landscape of the phenomenon, local commissions eed to constantly advance their knowledge of trafficking issues."The apparent attractiveness of job offers sometimes masks traps, and results in trafficking,” said Eduard Harunjen, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Moldova. “This phenomenon has a transnational character; it involves victims of all ages and of all genders.”
IOM Moldova Chief of Mission Antonio Polosa noted: “It is important to break the trafficking chains, to restore the dignity of the victims and eradicate the negative attitudes that make for secondary victimization.”
IOM Moldova and the Information Centre run by the NGO La Strada will conduct a nationwide awareness-raising campaign on the risks of trafficking and promote the existing anti-trafficking Hotline (+373 0 800 77777).

“The effects of trafficking are very hard to repair,” added Alexandru Jizdan, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. “After these crimes, we end up with traumatized people. That is why we will focus the next two years of the project on Moldova's ability to protect victims and citizens from this scourge.”

For more pictures from the event, click here.

For more information, please contact Iulia Tvigun at IOM Moldova, Tel: +3736 9123 905, Email:  itvigun@iom.int.

  • Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Photo: IOM