Letter of concern on the government’s action to provide ANITP with unlimited control over NGOs active in the fight against trafficking in human beings

CADO, on behalf of the Independent Working Group against Trafficking in Persons and Migrants, has sent a letter of concern to various European and international institutions on the government’s action to give the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons (ANITP) unlimited control over NGOs active in The letter was forwarded to the Council of Europe GRETA Experts, the OSCE Special Representative and the Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission and the European Parliament. .

Through this letter, the Independent Working Group against Trafficking in Persons and Migrants publicly expresses its concern and disagreement with the provisions of the Draft Order of the Minister of Internal Affairs regarding the organization and functioning of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons which complements the Decision & nbsp; Government Decision 84/2018 for the amendment and completion of Government Decision no. 460/2011 on the organization and functioning of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons

The signatory organizations consider that through the two normative acts, the Ministry of Interior grants ANITP & nbsp; unlimited powers of control over non-governmental organizations, seriously violating their right to association and action, guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution & nbsp; by Article 40, as well as by the European and international legislation on human rights ratified by the Romanian state.

The content of the proposed provisions clearly shows that the Ministry of Interior has failed to explain clearly, precisely and predictably the need, the legitimate purpose, the social interest of including non-governmental organizations in the scope of monitoring and evaluation by ANITP, or how it will be monitor and evaluate and the effects on the activity of non-governmental organizations, violating the constitutional and legal requirements regarding the elaboration of normative acts. The lack of motivation is even more serious when it comes to limiting a fundamental right such as the right to association. Moreover, the Draft Order does not provide any guarantees to allow the protection of NGOs against the risks of abuse of ANITP, in addition and directly affecting the right of non-governmental organizations to information, expression and defense, rights provided by the Romanian Constitution .

The draft Order and including GD 84/2018 the legal basis of this order are in contradiction with the regulations of the European Union Anti-Trafficking Directive which very clearly guarantees the principle of cooperation and not subordination between Member States with relevant civil society organizations in this field. . Recently, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recommended that Member States ensure & nbsp; a legal framework and a political and public environment conducive to civil society organizations so that they can operate freely, on a legal basis, in accordance with legislation and standards. to fight for the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms .

In the opinion of the signatory non-governmental organizations, all these problems identified in the drafting of this Draft Order together with GD 84/2018, are good reasons for concern because they directly aim at limiting and controlling their activity by a public institution, a clear act of intimidation and censorship and, therefore, violation of democratic values, condemned in the past by the current government.

Therefore, the Independent Working Group Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrants (THB-WG) requests the Ministry of Internal Affairs to amend Articles 2 (1) and 3 para. 1 lit. b of Government Decision 84/2018 which will lead to the implicit amendment of Article 2 (1) of the draft order to ensure compliance with the respective normative acts & nbsp; with the constitutional provisions and the community legislation & nbsp; and international legislation on guaranteeing the right to free association and action of non-governmental organizations active in the field of preventing trafficking in human beings and providing services to victims and amending national legislation in order to clarify the role of actors involved in monitoring and evaluating & nbsp; Of the National Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings for the period 2018-2022, approved by Government Decision 861/2018.

For more information on the Viewpoint submitted by the signatory organizations, you can access this link https://www.cado.org.ro/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Punct_de_vedere_Proiect_Ordin_MA.pdf

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