During the meeting, an overview of the results achieved during the project to improve the institutional framework for national anti-trafficking policy planning and implementation, to encourage involvement of non-governmental organizations and non-traditional stakeholders in assisting, supporting and protecting victims of human trafficking was presented. The project also aimed at strengthening the capacities of competent Moldovan authorities in the area of identification of victims, investigation of criminal offenses and application of criminal liability, and promoting international cooperation.
Mr Mihai Beregoi, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova highlighted the importance of the project particularly in strengthening capacity of law enforcement agencies. He noted that during the implementation of the project Moldova’s anti-trafficking efforts were retrograded from Tier 2 Watch list to Tier 2 (US TIP Report 2018) therefore conclusions and recommendations from the project are important to continue further improvement of anti-trafficking actions in Moldova.
Head of the General Police Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova Mr Alexandru Pinzaru expressed his gratitude to the joint project team – colleagues from Moldova, Lithuania and Latvia, which managed to implement such a short-term and very ambitious project to support Moldova’s anti-trafficking policy, prevention and fight against trafficking in persons and international cooperation.
“The consolidation of capabilities in the fight against trafficking in human beings is a key priority of the Police Development Strategy 2016-2020. This project helped familiarize the best practices of other countries, and refined recommendations would be a step forward in this direction,” said Mr A.Pinzaru.
“Combating trafficking in human beings is a national, international and the EU priority. National public authorities, municipal administrations, international and non-governmental organizations, and civil society must work together to combat this phenomenon, since this challenge alone is insurmountable. An institutional partnership at both national and international level is a way forward,” – welcoming participants of the meeting, emphasized (Vidaus reikalų ministerija) Vice-Minister of the Internal Affairs of Lithuania Mr Česlovas Mulma.
EU delegation representative in Moldova Mr Steven Daniels said that the EU`s dialogue with the Moldovan authorities in this area should continue to be pursued. During the speech he congratulated Lithuania and Latvia on successful implementation of this project, which involved actively public authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations. The implementation of the project was supported by Mobility Partnership Facility and the project will be used as a reference project to continue such approach of project funding in Moldova.
The project consisted of four components:
I “To support the improvement of the national institutional framework in Moldova to address THB and national anti-trafficking policy planning, in particular with the focus on the National Plan for Preventing and Combating THB and its implementation”;
II “To support the improvement of cooperation with NGOs and non-traditional stakeholders in assisting THB victims”;
III “Study visits to EU Member States on inter-institutional cooperation and partnerships with civil society, non-traditional partners”;
IV “To support the capacity building in the area of victim identification, investigation and prosecution as well as to promote international co-operation and action against THB”.
Selected Rapporteurs for each project component briefly informed participants of the meeting about main findings, conclusions and recommendations in their respective area.
The Ministry of the Interior of Latvia provided partnership in the project particularly supporting implementation of two project components: Ms Lasma Stabina, National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator of Latvia worked on assessment of Moldova’s anti-trafficking policy (component I) and Mr Andris Bidzāns, Chief Inspector of Anti-Trafficking Unit of the State Police during trainings for law enforcement agencies of Moldova (component IV) shared knowledge, experience and best practices of Latvia acquired from performing investigations of cross-border human trafficking cases and cooperation with international colleagues in Joint Investigation Teams (JITs).
Mr Vladimir Negura, Project Manager in Moldova informed that the project was implemented for eight months and it provided strong aspect of international cooperation involving project partner countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Moldova – as well as Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark, Cyprus, the United States of America.
The Project is funded by ICMPD in the framework of Mobility Partnership Facility.