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Romanian Children in Classroom
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Combating Human Trafficking
Romania
October 2003 – June 2004

Romania MapIncreasing poverty and unemployment in Romania have led to rising child labor in both urban and rural areas. Many of these children are vulnerable to human trafficking and the use of children for prostitution and sexual exploitation. Some studies say that children under 18 may comprise 10-30% of sex workers in Romania.

To address these problems, BEPS launched a pilot project using education to combat child prostitution and trafficking in northeastern Romania. The project targeted a trafficking route near neighboring Moldova and Ukraine, which passes through two of the most impoverished counties of the country. The project worked to educate the general public, parents, educators, and youth about the risks of trafficking. It also provided youth in the target areas, especially high school students, institutionalized children, and trafficking victims, with the skills and knowledge necessary to find income-producing employment in their home region. The project strengthened the organizations that provide these services to increase their opportunities for receiving follow-on funding to continue the work. Another outcome of the project is the establishment of a system for identification and monitoring of at-risk youth, using county intersectoral teams. This data will contribute to the improvement of services for at-risk children or victims, provided through county protection teams in the target area.

This pilot project contributed to the USAID goal of implementing a child labor pilot project in each region of the globe as a means of field testing various methods of using education to combat child labor.

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