Negreşti City, Vaslui County, Romania – During the first half of the month of June, World Vision Romania, Iasi & Vaslui Office, supported the effort of 30 youth, beneficiaries of the A.R.T. Group (Youth are Aware, Raise their Voice and Take Action Against Human Trafficking) to initiate and implement an awareness campaign on Human Trafficking: A Person May Choose, a Slave Has to Obey, in their community.
The campaign was developed around two main actions: organizing informing sessions about human trafficking and disseminating informing brochures among the local community. As a result, seven informing session have been organized for 415 children from three schools and 3000 brochures have been handed out in Negreşti City.
The campaign has been initiated and developed by the children from the A.R.T. Group, who have been supported by World Vision Romania, Iasi & Vaslui Office. The idea occurred as a result of a previous contest organized in March, when the same children competed with drawings, video footage, power point presentations and poems about preventing human trafficking. All of the materials have now been put to great use in the current campaign. Additionally, children have contributed with their own ideas on designing and writing the text for the informative brochure or organizing the informing sessions.
“This experience has been very new to me, as I have never been in such a situation, and, to my surprise, my efforts have been appreciated by all of the people I have interacted with. This is what made me feel more confident and, in the same time, made me realize that our work was not in vain. I think that the campaign has had a positive impact inside the local community and I strongly believe that we should continue with these type of activities,” said Ana Maria, a member of The A.R.T. Group.
The campaign was made possible with the support and help of The National Agency against Human Trafficking, Iasi Regional Centre: “We thank and congratulate the young students from A.R.T. Group, for their involvement in the informing sessions on Human Trafficking. We will continue to support the initiatives of World Vision and of their volunteers in any sort of activities that concerns the prevention of human trafficking,” said Vasile Dron, Chief Commissioner.
During the fall of 2012, the children from A.R.T. Group from Negreşti City, Vaslui County, have developed on their own a local research meant to identify the most often and important problems of the youth from inside their community. Their research, under the close supervision of Simona Stratulat, the A.R.T. Group Coordinator, identified the following problems: school abandoning, street violence, natural disasters, the Roma population, and the issue of abortion.
In April 2013, the European Commission presented the first report on Human Trafficking. The report highlighted that most of the people accused of coordinating or facilitating Human Trafficking in the USA came from Romania and Bulgaria. The study points out that in 2010, Romania has been reported as the country inside the European Union with the highest number of confirmed or supposed victims of Human Traficking: 1.885 people, out of which more than a third are children.