The number of women who fell victims to sexual exploitation decreased to 168 in the first five months of the year from the 2007 all-year figure of 723 and 1,450 in 2006, president of the National Agency Against Human Trafficking (ANITP), Dumitru Licsandru told Rompres.
Licsandru said that Romania counts to the few states with a clear record of identified victims, due to the national database managed by ANITP.
'The fact that neighboring countries report lower figures than Romania does not necessarily mean that human trafficking stands at lower levels in those states, but rather reflects their capacity to assume the phenomenon at its real size and their capacity to adequately identify and assist the victims,' said the ANITP official.
Licsandru added that the transparency proven by Romania's presenting true-life figures should not taint the country's image but should rather be seen as a sign of the government's determination to fight this phenomenon.
He added that most states present reports on human trafficking inside their borders, without taking into account trafficking to other states.
'Expressed like that, in 2006, the total number of Romanians trafficked inside the country borders was less than 300, as the rest were trafficked abroad,' said the ANITP president.
According to data supplied by Dumitru Licsandru, the total number of trafficked Romanians was 2,285 in 2006 and 1,779 in 2007; trafficking was for the purpose of sexual and work exploitation, beggary, child and internet pornography.