Many of these women, local residents say, come from Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Some are obviously underage. As the night falls, more and more women come out to their working stations, usually dropped off by men in old cars. The women are wary of strangers but several of them can be overheard speaking Romanian. But official statistics from Germany and some other EU member states show that Romanian nationals represent a significant portion of sex workers in these countries.
Sex trafficking: Could UK learn lessons from Romania?
Silent victims: the hidden Romanian women exploited in the UK sex trade | Sex trade | The Guardian
Prostitution in Romania is not itself criminalized, although associated activities, such as procuring , are criminal offenses, and solicitation is a contravention punishable by fines. In the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century there were legalized brothels , but these were closed by the communist regime in the late s, and prostitution itself became a criminal offense in There had been proposals in the past to legalize and regulate prostitution such as in  but these were rejected, especially as Romania is a party to the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others , which states that prostitution is "incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger[s] the welfare of the individual, the family and the community" and binds countries which ratify it to ban organized prostitution such as pandering or running a brothel. According to the official explanations of the Ministry of Justice, with regard to the new penal code "the fact that prostitution will be excluded from criminal penalties does not mean "legalizing "it, transforming the activity into one regulated or permitted by law, because the persons practicing prostitution will still be sanctioned with a contravention. On January 20, , Iana Matei was named "European of the Year" by Reader's Digest for finding and rehabilitating victims of forced prostitution. Clients are not prosecuted, unless they knowingly use the services of a victim of forced prostitution ,  or the prostitute is a minor Art. Article  criminalizes procuring; it states that "The causing or facilitation of the practice of prostitution or the obtaining of financial benefits from the practice of prostitution by one or more individuals shall be punishable by no less than 2 and no more than 7 years of imprisonment and a ban on the exercise of certain rights.
Romania's sex trafficking trade: 'There is no other life they know'
The definition is quite fitting for one small NGO that has utilized selling lavender-based essential oils to raise funds for its mission to fight sex trafficking. Since it opened in , Reaching Out Romania has provided psychological, medical and legal assistance to more than victims of sex trafficking. The organization was founded by Iana Matei, a trained psychologist who was approached by authorities and asked to intervene when three young girls were rescued from a trafficking situation. The girls told Matei that they had been sold by a gypsy and then sent out on the streets.
It was founded by sex workers who first met on online platforms, seeing that we shared the same wish to do something about the high level of violence and discrimination. Therefore we strive to work intersectionally and have already developed a collaborative relationship with local groups and associations working on Roma, LGBTQIA, migrant, housing, feminist and HIV issues. SexWorkCall has existed for a few months, and we decided to deliberately focus internally during this time, on building our collective. Through a project with ICRSE on migration and sex work, we managed to access some resources which helped us establish.