Just in time for Christmas: Romanian women and children are NOT for sale!

Stopping Prostitution, Human Trafficking, and "Sex Tourism" in Romania...Three items the new Government should put on its agenda

 

Just in time for Christmas: Romanian women and children are NOT for sale!

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666 people have signed. Help us reach 1,000 signatures.

Just in time for Christmas: Romanian women and children are NOT for sale!

As Christmas and the end of the year approach, this is a good time for reflection on the problems of prostitution and human trafficking in Romania.

These are problems of staggering proportions in Romania, and leave a wasteland of personal and societal devastation.

Therefore, this petition is calling on the new PSD-led Coalition Government to reconsider the decriminalisation of prostitution, which occurred in 2014. And, we also call on the new Government to consider criminalising the purchase of sex, as well.

By downgrading the offence of prostitution from a criminal act to a civil act in the Romanian Civil Code, the Romanian Government, in effect, made it easier for pimps to operate...and, made human trafficking more likely.

Indeed, new studies have shown that human trafficking is more prevalent in countries which decriminalise, or legalise and regulate, prostitution. And, if the women simply have to pay a fine for breaking the statute, it is much easier for their pimps or traffickers to keep them on the streets.

Also, at the same time as the offence of prostitution was downgraded, the Civil Code was also amended to lessen the punishment given to pimps and human traffickers, from 5-15 years imprisonment, instead, to 3-10 years.

Taken together, these changes have only served to embolden pimps and human traffickers.

A Eurostat Report on human trafficking (please see below), released in 2015, states that Romania is proportionally the second-worst Member State of the EU for this problem (behind only Bulgaria), but actually has the highest number of registered victims in the whole of the EU.

During the period studied:

  • 80% of human trafficking victims were women, and of those, 95% were trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
  • Over 1,000 children were victims of human trafficking in the EU as a whole.
  • 65% of registered victims were citizens of EU Member States.
  • And, in Romania, slightly more than half of those victims were Romanian citizens.

This means that prostitution and human trafficking are taking a real human toll on Romanian society, especially among young girls and women living in the poorer regions of the country. Indeed, there are huge number of Romanian girls and women who end up on the streets of Bucharest, having been trafficked.

This is a deplorable state of affairs, and the government response, to-date, has been lacking.

Prostitution is not a "job". Yes, prostitution pays, but prostitutes are constantly subject to violence, to acquiring STDs or HIV/AIDS, and to having their dignity, as human beings, degraded. More often than not, it is a matter of exploitation and "forced labour" - whether by real, physical coercion, or by some other type of coercion, which can include economic hardship, or even emotional blackmailing.

And, "sex tourism" is neither healthy for the individual, nor society. It is fundamentally degrading of the human person, and can also tear apart the fabric of family life.

Therefore, not only should prostitution be re-criminalised and prison sentences for pimps and human traffickers lengthened, but the purchase of sex should also be criminalised (e.g., according to the "Nordic model").

After the introduction of such a law in Norway (i.e., criminalising the purchase of sex), both street and internet prostitution decreased, AND, human trafficking, for the purposes of sexual exploitation, also declined.

Of course, we do not wish to add to the suffering of prostitutes. And, as such, we would propose that first-and-second-time offenders be sentenced to either enter a work-training programme, finish their secondary education, or pursue third-level studies - and, be helped by the state (financially, if necessary) to do so.

As a society, we need to demonstrate that we are not willing to accept prostitution and human trafficking as a way of life, and, at the same time, we must be willing to actually help address this situation, by providing real, life-affirming solutions to the people involved.

Thank you for signing this petition, and thank you for standing up for the human person.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://familynews.ro/as-much-as-a-third-of-western-prostitution-workers-are-romanian/

http://projects.aljazeera.com/2015/08/sex-trafficking-in-romania/

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3888793/6648090/ks-tc-14-008-en-1.pdf/b0315d39-e7bd-4da5-8285-854f37bb8801

http://www.caritas.org/resources/Coatnet/HumanTraffickingRomania.html

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Prostitution harms women and increases human trafficking: it's time to criminalise the sale and purchase of sex

For the Kind Attention of the Leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Mr Liviu Dragnea:

As Christmas and the end of the year approach, this is a good time for reflection on the problems of prostitution and human trafficking in Romania.

We, the undersigned, call on the new PSD-led Coalition Government to reconsider the decriminalisation of prostitution, which occurred in 2014. And, we also call on the new Government to consider criminalising the purchase of sex, as well.

Prostitution is not a "job". Yes, prostitution pays, but prostitutes are constantly subject to violence, to acquiring STDs or HIV/AIDS, and to having their dignity, as human beings, degraded. More often than not, it is a matter of exploitation and "forced labour" - whether by real, physical coercion, or by some other type of coercion, which can include economic hardship, or even emotional blackmailing.

And furthermore, new studies have shown that human trafficking is more prevalent in countries which decriminalise, or legalise and regulate, prostitution. This means that both Romanian and foreign women and minors (both boys and girls) can be lured into prostitution by criminal pimps -- both in Romania and in other countries.

And, by downgrading the offence from a criminal act to a civil act in the Romanian Civil Code, the Romanian Government made it easier for the pimps to operate...and, made human trafficking more likely. The obvious reason: if the women simply have to pay a fine for breaking the statute, it is much easier for their pimps or traffickers to keep them on the streets.

And, "sex tourism" is neither healthy for the individual, nor society. It is fundamentally degrading of the human person, and can also tear apart the fabric of family life.

Therefore, not only should prostitution be re-criminalised, but the purchase of sex should also be criminalised (e.g., according to the "Nordic model"). After the introduction of such a law in Norway, both street and internet prostitution decreased, AND, human trafficking, for the purposes of sexual exploitation, also declined.

Of course, we do not wish to add to the suffering of prostitutes. And, as such, we would propose that first-and-second-time offenders be sentenced to either enter a work-training programme, finish their secondary education, or pursue third-level studies - and, be helped by the state (financially, if necessary) to do so.

As a society, we need to demonstrate that we are not willing to accept prostitution and human trafficking as a way of life, and, at the same time, we must be willing to actually help address this situation, by providing real, life-affirming solutions to the people involved.

Thank you for putting this important issue on your agenda for government. And, thank you for standing up for the human person.

A very Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Just in time for Christmas: Romanian women and children are NOT for sale!

Sign this petition now!

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666 people have signed. Help us reach 1,000 signatures.