Following the cooperation between RoITP and the Parliamentary Commission of inquiry into the situation of missing children, the Working Group on improving national legislation on the eradication of disappearance and trafficking in persons was set up. The group was established at the initiative of the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Commission – Adriana Săftoiu, with the support of:
- Silvia Tăbușcă (ECLER) – coordinator of the Group’s activity
- Cerasela Bănică (CADO) – secretary of the Group and expert in juvenile issues
- Ștefan Leonescu (JRS) – expert on foreigners (immigrants, asylum seekers, stateless persons and refugees)
The group consists of one member of each NGO part of RoITP and it is supported by a group of global experts, ”Advisory Group for Romania (AGR)”, as follows:
N.B. All international advisors, members of AGR, act in their personal capacity as international recognized experts in the field of TOC and victims’ protection
- H.E. Gulnara Shahinian, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and member of the Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)
Gulnara was the first UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery (2008-2015). She acted as a chair of the UN expert group on trafficking and the elected vice chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings for the Council of Europe. She was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as a member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. She is vice chair of the State Commission on the Status of Women and a member of the Armenian Anti-Trafficking Commission. In 2005, she was also selected to chair the Expert Group meeting on CEDAW and violence in the family for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. She earned a degree in international law from the Saint Petersburg Institute of International Relations and one in English and Russian Linguistics from Yerevan State University.
Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican. Member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, named by Pope Benedict XVI. Recipient of several awards, including: Knight of the Grand Cross, President of the Italian Republic; Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, French Republic (2002); Grão Mestre da Ordem de Rio Branco, Brazil (2004); Official of the Republic of Austria (2004); Bernardo O’Higgins Grand Officer, Chile (2005).
In 2013, His Excellency has been encouraged by Pope Francis to extend the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences activity to human trafficking. Through a hand-written note was mentioned that “it would be good” for the Academy “to deal with the trafficking in persons and modern slavery”, adding that it might also include in that study “the trafficking in organs”.
- Kathryn (Kate) E. van Doore is an international child rights lawyer and an academic at Griffith Law School, Australia
Kate is an internationally recognized expert on orphanage trafficking. She currently researches the intersections of child rights, institutionalisation and human trafficking, and has presented international keynotes on these issues. Kate works with governments, NGO’s and companies on their approaches and responses to orphanage trafficking and modern slavery. Kate was awarded the Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award for her research and advocacy on orphanage trafficking in 2017. She was appointed an inaugural member of the Australian Government Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group in 2020. Kate is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Children, Law & Ethics, Cumberland Law School, Samford University, USA, and sits on the Global Steering Groups of ReThink Orphanages Global and ReThink Orphanages Australia. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the International Bar Association’s Presidential Taskforce on the Refugee Crisis: A Child Rights Response to Child Migration and Migrant Children at Risk. Kate is a co-founder and Board Director of Forget Me Not Australia, an international non-governmental organization focused on child protection and family reunification for children residing outside of parental care.
- Jaime Ansieta, International expert on financial investigations,
Jaime is the Former Head of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in Latin America (2017-2020) and Former Assistant Director of Financial and High-Tech Crimes at ICPO INTERPOL in Lyon (2009-2017). Currently he is the National Head of White Collar, Cyber, Corruption, and Environmental Crimes. He is a Certified Public Accountant with a Master’s Degree in Finance.
- Benjamin Greer, Research Associate of Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking and Former Special Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General.
Ben’s present role at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is as a Subject Matter Expert in the field of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation; specifically instructing and developing human trafficking courses for law enforcement and emergency personnel. His primary tasks include: Creating multiple courses related to human trafficking and child sexual exploitation for OES’s California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI); Researching and course development of the nexus between terrorist financing and human trafficking; Working with the State Threat Assessment Center, Joint Terrorism Task Forces and Fusion Centers on human trafficking intelligence products; Integrating human trafficking intelligence into the Terrorism Liaison Officer training program, and Providing issue directed briefings for the OES Director and California legislators/policymakers on the current state of human trafficking.
- Phil Brewer, International expert on TOC at HTF-UK, Former Detective Chief Inspector, Modern Slavery & Kidnap Unit, Metropolitan Police
Phil leaded the Metropolitan Police Modern Slavery & Kidnap Unit (MSKU), a team of 80 officers targeting organised criminal networks operating in London & beyond. He joined The Met in 1990 and has significant experience in tackling serious & organised crime. He has served on a number of specialist teams including The Paedophile Unit & dedicated proactive squads. He moved to The Kidnap Unit in 2013 and has played a key role in the formation of the Trafficking & Kidnap Unit, now the MSKU, in May 2014.
- Nadine Finch, International expert on children’s rights and modern slavery
Nadine is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers and a part-time Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) UK. Nadine specializes in Human Rights and Immigration & Asylum Law. Since her call to the bar of England and Wales in 1991, she has represented a large number of women and unaccompanied or separated children, a significant number of which have been trafficked to the UK. She is presently completing some research into the treatment of separated and trafficked children in need of refugee protection, which was funded by the John D, and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and which has been directed by Jacqueline Bhabha from Harvard University and Mary Crock from Sydney University. She was a contributor to the Fifth & Sixth Editions of Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice and co-author of Putting Children First: A Guide for Immigration Practitioners (LAG). Nadine is the UK Consultant on an EU Commission Project – CONNECT – Identifying Good Practices in, and Improving the Connection Between Actors Involved in Reception, Protection and Integration of Unaccompanied Children in Europe (2013-2014).
- Lucia Bird is a Lawyer and a Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
Lucia researches and writes on a broad range of organised crime types internationally, however her focus to date has been on human smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking and policy, and cyber crime. She is a practising lawyer in the data protection and cyber security space. Previously, Lucia worked as legal and policy adviser to the Planning and Development Department of the Punjab Government, Pakistan, and before that held the same role at the Ministry of Finance, Ghana. During this time Lucia was affiliated with Oxford Policy Management, a development consultancy headquartered in the UK. Prior to this Lucia worked as a corporate lawyer in London, where she is currently based.
- Cristina Huddleston, Head of European Operations, Justice and Care, UK
Cristina, in her current role as the Director of European Operations, oversees a number of areas for Justice and Care that seeks to prevent trafficking in ‘at risk’ communities, disrupt and dismantle criminal networks through strong partnership with Governments, rebuild the lives of those impacted by the crimes of human trafficking and slavery, become a leading voice on anti-human trafficking, strengthen capacity for evidenced-based outcomes and identify and embed sustainable resources in the fight against human trafficking. Cristina is a Fellow Associate of the Royal Commonwealth Society where she hopes that her work will influence and support many communities across the Commonwealth countries and engage with younger generations to build a stronger resilience against abuse and exploitation. Cristina has been seeking the right education, opportunities and paths that allowed her to develop the infrastructures required to address these issues. Cristina has implemented an inclusive model upon which strong partnerships are build and maintained and this model has won Cristina national recognition from the Marsh Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Fight against Slavery and saw the rescue of 600 victims of slavery and human trafficking and systemic change in a number of sectors.
- Derek Marsh retired from the Westminster Police Department, CA, in 2013, as Deputy Chief after more than 26 years of service.
In 2004, he co-founded the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). He served as the co-chair of the OCHTTF from 2004-12, during which time he developed and taught courses in human trafficking (HT) locally and across the state of California, supervised human trafficking investigations, assisted in creating anti-HT DVDs for state and federal grants, wrote and managed multiple HT grants, and provided Congressional testimony twice (2007 & 2009) as an HT expert witness. He has presented anti-HT outreach and trainings across California and the United States, Saipan, Italy, Argentina, Romania, Greece, Rwanda and Kenya (the latter two with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime).
Derek was the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Visiting Fellow in Human Trafficking from October of 2015 through December of 2018, researching how human trafficking task forces identify, investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases throughout the United States. In addition, he helped to develop & provide training and technical assistance through the BJA Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) and Office of Victims of Crimes (OVC) TTAC agencies. The overall goal of his fellowship was to identify labor trafficking promising practices in victim/case identification, investigations and prosecutions and to assist in developing assessment and intervention methods to enhance collaborative partnerships in human trafficking task forces. Derek works currently as the Associate Director of the Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) in Vanguard University, Costa Mesa. At GCWJ, he works to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable and at-risk populations of women, children and men via human trafficking and other local and transnational criminal enterprises. His work focuses on GCWJ’s online Anti-Human Trafficking Certificate program, grant writing and developing and providing local, national and global outreach and training programs and opportunities for first responders and frontline workers contending with human trafficking criminal and collaboration challenges and immigration and asylum situations. Derek has an M.A. in Human Behavior, an M.P.A. in Police Management & Leadership, a graduate certificate in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of FBINA Class #224.
- Chloe Setter is the head of Policy at WePROTECT Global Alliance.
They bring together the influence, expertise and resources required to transform how online child sexual abuse and exploitation is dealt with worldwide. Government and law enforcement cannot tackle this crime in isolation; it is only through working in partnership with industry and civil society that we can work towards eradicating online child sexual exploitation. The WePROTECT Global Alliance has a broad and dedicated membership of 97 governments, 32 tech companies and 34 civil society organisations and international institutions. She was formerly a Senior Advisor for Lumos UK based anti-trafficking organization and the Head of Policy, Advocacy for ECPACT UK.
- Sandra Morgan (PhD, RN) is an educator and nurse, and recognized globally for her expertise in combating human trafficking/working to end violence against women and children.
Sandra’s experience serving exploited women, men, and children includes direct care as a pediatric nurse, a volunteer with Doctors of the World (Athens, Greece) and as a past Administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). She has been a tireless advocate for victims of exploitation, slavery, and trafficking across the world including South America, Russia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She serves on the Orange County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Steering Committee, partnering with Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. In her role as Faculty and Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, she builds capacity for research, education, and advocacy directly related to the exploitation of women and children, consistently bringing together diverse groups to collaborate during their annual Ensure Justice conference as well as special focus summits. Her Ending Human Trafficking podcast has listeners in 102 countries and is now housed in the Library of Congress as a resource to practitioners and the public. She is serving a two-year White House appointment to the Public Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking. In past project Sandra has worked in Romania and still has connections with Romanian NGOs on the ground.
- James Brown has worked with police agencies across North America and Europe, and lead international missions with the OSCE, and has vast experience in community consultation with groups across those regions.
After retiring following a 33 year career in policing in Canada, Jim returned to academia to complete his Master’s in Security Studies and now his Professional Doctorate in Policing, Security and Community Safety, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
- Marcel van der Watt was a member of the South African Police Service for 10 years where he worked as hostage negotiator and investigator at the Hawks as well as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).
Marcel gained international recognition for his work in counter human trafficking and received numerous awards and commendations for the investigation of crime including a position in the YPIA Top 35 under 35 Africans for 2014. Marcel provides assistance in on-going investigations and intelligence-gathering activities and also participates on provincial and national human trafficking task teams in South Africa. He has published and presented his work on local and international platforms. He is a lecturer and Ph.D student at the department of Police Practice at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
- Erin Albright is a trainer, speaker, coach and consultant.
She has over 12 years of experience in the anti-trafficking and specializes in building organizational capacity and multidisciplinary collaboration through leadership, training, and consultation with service providers, law enforcement, task forces, and law makers. In 2016 Erin was awarded a three year Visiting Fellowship with the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime where she focused on improving victim-centered response strategies, developing capacity building tools and trainings for labor trafficking, and building multidisciplinary collaboration to respond to human trafficking. Her previous experience includes positions as the Coordinator/Director of the New Hampshire Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force, Regional Program Director for the private operating foundation Give Way to Freedom, and Data and Outreach Specialist for the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit. She has served as the co-chair of the Freedom Network’s Policy Committee, and co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Committee. She is a graduate of Mary Washington College, and Boston College Law School, and a member of the Massachusetts Bar. In 2016 she received a Commendation from (former) New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, and formal recognition by ICE/HSI and Senators Jean Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte for her work on behalf of survivors and with the NH Collaborative Task Force
- John Vanek, Lieutenant, San Jose Police Department, Human Trafficking Task Force (Ret.) is a leadership, collaboration, and anti-human trafficking consultant and speaker working with law enforcement agencies, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, academic institutions and private sector companies.
John served 25 years with the San Jose Police Department, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant. John is a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States, and the author of The Essential Abolitionist: What you need to know about human trafficking & modern slavery (2016). John is a nationally recognized authority on human trafficking and the response to modern-day slavery. John managed the San Jose Police Department Human Trafficking Task Force from 2006-2011. As part of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, John’s efforts helped launch collaborative partnerships throughout Northern California. John’s knowledge on trafficking and multidisciplinary task force leadership and operations have been utilized by the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Defense / Center for Civil – Military Relations, the Office of the United States Attorneys, California’s Office of the Attorney General, California POST Institute for Criminal Investigations, the California District Attorneys Association, the National Law Enforcement Training Network, the Not For Sale Campaign, Police One, the Freedom Network Training Institute, and other governmental and private organizations. John is a consultant with the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center. John contributed to the first version of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations e-Guide (released in 2011), and was part of the consultant team for the e-Guide’s expansion and revision in 2014.
In 2009 John was invited to join the United States Department of Justice, OVC / BJA Anti-Trafficking Task Force Planning Committee, and assisted the National Advisory Boards of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking / Colorado Project, the Chab Dai Freedom Registry, and other projects. John speaks regularly on trafficking, task force leadership, and multi-agency collaboration, and the need for greater public-private partnerships to combat crime and improve the world in which we live. Over the course of his 25-year career, John’s assignments included Special Operations, Training, Sexual Assault Investigations, Vice, Systems Development, and the Bomb Squad. He received his BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University, and his MA in Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California. John is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of International Policy & Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
- Halleh (Ha-lay) Seddighzadeh (Sah-dig-zah-day) is an international counter-trafficking expert and forensic traumatologist specializing in the psychological treatment of torture, complex traumatic stress, and dissociative conditions.
With a focus on victims of coercive, predatory trauma – including survivors of sex and labor trafficking, war, terrorism, gender-based violence, and youth who are vulnerable to indoctrination by violent extremist groups or cults – Seddighzadeh takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to healing. This approach also governs her work as a consultant and advisor to corporations, government agencies, law enforcement, tribal governments, medical practitioners, and social service providers who face the complex challenges of addressing and preventing human rights violations and providing treatment for survivors. Through her social impact consultancy, New Paradigm Labs, Seddighzadeh has created and pioneered, comprehensive anti-trafficking programs for the corporate sector through technology-driven programs and protocols to combat both sex and labor trafficking. Her work in war zones, refugee camps, and communities in crisis informs her knowledge of the intersection of transnational business, human rights violations, and crime; her immersive, applied methods reflect her deep engagement and compassion for those affected by trauma. Seddighzadeh is also the founder of ARMAN a clinical and research center supported by a network of international trauma experts, researchers, and practitioners.
- Phillipa Roberts, Director of Legal Policy (Solicitor), Hope for Justice
GRUP DE SUPORT TEHNIC:
- Kim Westfall, Founder & CEO of Uncaged
Kim is an entrepreneurial leader with nearly 30 years of experience leading and scaling successful for-profit and non-profit organizations. In 2018, after being haunted by a vision of ‘children in cages,’ Kim launched Uncaged (uncaged.org), an anti-human trafficking nonprofit that exists to unlock the transformation of girls and young women rescued from the global sex trade.
- Carrie Pemberton Ford, Director of Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking, UNITAR Fellow, UK
Carrie has large expertise in the field of modern slavery. She established CCARHT in 2008 and has been building its affiliate network over the last 10 years, gathering the best experts at the global level.
- Beniamin Lup, is the founder and president of the WorldTeach Association, which has been actively involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings since 2004.
The Association has a Center for the rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors of human trafficking in Timisoara.
- Stefan Leonescu, Senior Legal Advisor and Advocacy Expert, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Romania.
Stefan has been working in the field of migration and asylum for over 20 years, being involved in advocacy and project coordination activities. JRS Romania provides direct assistance to migrants, including victims of human or migrant trafficking, and has a night shelter that can accommodate up to 50 people.
- Cerasela Bănică, Founder & CEO of Human Rights and Advocacy Centre.
She is a human rights expert in the area of racial and gender non-discrimination and different forms of violence against children and women. In 2006 she completed LLM in Human Rights from the Central European University Budapest, Hungary.
- Silvia Tăbușcă, Coordinator of Romanian Independent Working Group against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling (Romanian THB-WG).
She has been working in the field of international human rights protection for over 15 years, with a specific focus on non-discrimination and, more recently, on human security.