Romanian Police seek to stop "trafficking"

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Salamon Alapitvany (
Thu, 28 May 1998 09:19:13 -0700

Romania seeks to stop "trafficking" by confiscating women's passports

The City of Braila Police Department, Romania has developed its own
strategy to prevent "trafficking", or preventing the travel of suspected
sex workers outside of Romania, it is now summoning suspected sex workers
to the city police station for questioning with regards to prostitution and
then confiscating their passports.

During these interviews the women are told that for the protection of
Romania's international reputation they will be denied travel documents and
that they must surrender their passports or be prepared to be arrested and
imprisoned for any number of fabricated offences relating to domestic

Most of the women concerned consensually travel to Turkey for migratory
sex work and do not engage in sex work inside Romania. The Police have also
threatened to publicly expose their migratory activities to their families
and the local community if they continue to travel abroad for sex work.

One young woman whose travel documents were confiscated has recently
committed suicide and another has attempted suicide.

The police action has actually increased sex work migration as dozens of
young women fearful that they would lose their passports as well, have
quickly left Braila to return to Turkey to prevent their documents being

This action is in clear breach of Romania's commitment to the European
Convention on Human Rights, this convention guarantee's the right of any
individual to leave any country including their own.

We would invite anyone to comment on this abuse by writing to Romanian
President Constantinescu at and requesting that the Minsitry of
the Interior investigates the activities of the Braila Police Department.

Please write in considerate and measured terms.

Please copy and message to us at

Please do not refer to the following:

This report was filed by our Romanian out-reach worker, who has also been
threatened with passport confiscation, to prevent her leaving Romania and
attending the GSN conference and AIDS98, where she is scheduled to talk
about Romanian migratory prostitution.

Salamon Alapitvany and Ildiko K Memorial Civil Rights Institute

Working for peace and equitable justice for all marginalised people
Seeking to include sex workers within civil society without discrimination
Believing in change through consensus not repression.

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