Solutions to Child trafficking in Romania
The Guardian describes the story of Marinela, A seventeen year old Romanian girl who was kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. The British newspaper shared that “[Marinela’s] Daily shifts lasted twelve hours, 10pm to 10am, seven days a week.” She was later discovered and arrested for prostitution in England. It was also reported that, “Her first day in custody was the first time since her arrival in England six months earlier that she had not been forced to have sex.” (Townsend). Unfortunately, Marinela’s story is not unique, she was discovered with at least one hundred other Romanian teenage girls, and she is one of an estimated four million victims of human trafficking each year (Moju Project). Romania’s human trafficking crisis is a direct consequence of the country’s communist history, volatile political rule, and discrimination towards women. Although child trafficking is a pervasive issue in Romania, it can be solved by raising awareness and creating a safe, family- oriented environment that protects, and educates “at-risk” children while promoting self-confidence.
Romania’s long history of political unrest is one major factor that has contributed to their current human trafficking issue. During the two world wars, many of Romania’s valuable natural resources, including oil, were squandered by more powerful nations, such as Russia and Germany. After the Second World War, Romania had very weak leadership and quickly fell under Communist rule, where it would remain for a quarter of a century. Their new ruler, Nicolae Ceausescu, was a heavy-handed communist dictator known for controlling the most fearsome secret police in the Eastern Bloc (Adams). Ceausescu implemented extreme laws in a rigorous attempt to pay off Romania’s debt and make his country more of a world power by increasing the population. Ceausescu’s goal was to increase Romania’s population from 23 million to 30 million by the year 2000. To achieve this, women under the age of 45 were rounded up at their workplaces and given mandatory examinations every 1-3 months to make sure they were doing everything in their power to increase Romania’s population (“Over-planned Parenting”).
Fig. 1 This is a population pyramid of Romania. The massive population boom (in now middle-aged Romanians) is evident of how destructive Ceausescu’s population laws were (Central Intelligence Agency).
The combination of food insecurity and these utterly insane tactics drove the infant mortality rate in Romania up to 83 deaths out of 1000 births (“Over-planned Parenting”). Since many women were unable to feed themselves, let alone all of their children, a large majority of infants were abandoned to grow up in state- run institutions. Romania is infamous for these inhumane and abusive establishments, and they have become a symbol of communist oppression in the country.
Since the fall of communism and assassination of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, conditions for...