New Report Examines Trafficking Among Roma
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 4:55 PM

The European Roma Rights Centre and People in Need released a report in March, 2011, examining human trafficking among Roma in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.  Estimates of the percentage of Roma as victims of various types of human trafficking were provided by police, non-governmental organizations, and service providers in the countries.  In nearly every category, Romani persons were estimated to represent a percentage of victims vastly disproportionate to their share of the overall national population.  Regardless of the type of trafficking examined, Romani women and children make up the majority of victims.


The report found that Romani persons are vulnerable to human trafficking for many of the same reasons as other trafficking victims: ethnic and gender discrimination, poverty, and social exclusion.  In addition, compliance with international standards is weak.  Bulgaria and Hungary have ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (the Palermo Protocol) but have not revised their national laws in accordance.  The Czech Republic has signed but not ratified the Palermo Protocol.  And, while Romanian and Slovakian law have been brought in line with the Protocol, implementation is lax.  Since none of the countries studied keep track of the ethnicity of trafficking victims or perpetrators, and few Romani trafficking victims access social services, recognition of Roma as a vulnerable population is problematic.  The report recommends collaboration between authorities and national and international non-governmental organizations to better protect Romani victims and prevent further trafficking.


Compiled from: ERRC and PiN Report - Breaking the Silence Trafficking in Romani Communities (20 May 2011), Breaking the Silence: Trafficking in Romani communities (March 2011).