Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                    


Domestic consumption and investment have fueled strong GDP growth in recent years, but have led to large current account imbalances. Romania's macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur creation of a middle class and address Romania's widespread poverty. Corruption and red tape continue to handicap its business environment. Inflation rose in 2007-08, driven in part by strong consumer demand and high wage growth, rising energy costs, a nation-wide drought affecting food prices, and a relaxation of fiscal discipline.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Romania

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Romania.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Country Information Romania

Terre des Hommes via its Internet platform against sexual exploitation of children in tourism

[accessed 17 September 2011]

COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN TOURISM - Romania, and in particular Bucharest, is one of the key travel destinations in Europe for paedo-sexual offenders. The street-children are frequently victims. It is estimated that five per cent of the homeless children in Romania are forced into sexual exploitation. As a reaction, there has recently been an increase in the numbers of arrests, with foreign perpetrators receiving long prison sentences in Romania.

LAW - The sexual abuse of children in Romania is punished with prison sentences of up to fifteen years. Romania ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in October 1990, and in January 2002 it ratified the optional protocol on child trafficking, child prostitution, and child pornography


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Hannah Darnton, ECPAT International, 2012

[accessed 6 September 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Romania. The report looks at protection mechanisms, responses, preventive measures, child and youth participation in fighting SEC, and makes recommendations for action against SEC.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law provides one- to 10-year prison sentences for persons convicted of sexual acts with minors, depending on the circumstances and the child’s age. Sexual intercourse with a minor who is 13 to 15 years of age is punishable by a one- to five-year prison sentence. Sexual intercourse with a person younger than 13 is punishable by a two- to seven-year prison sentence and deprivation of some rights. The law also criminalizes sexual corruption of minors (which includes subjecting minors to sexual acts other than intercourse or forcing minors to perform such acts), luring minors for sexual purposes or child prostitution, and trafficking in minors. Pimping and pandering that involve minors increase sentences by one-half. The law allows authorities to maintain a registry of individuals who had committed sexual offenses against or exploited adults and children. As of September the register was not operational.

Child pornography is a separate offense and carries a sentence, depending on the circumstances, of up to seven years’ imprisonment, which may be increased by one-third if the perpetrator was a family member or someone in whose care the child was entrusted or if the life of the child victim was endangered.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

[accessed 19 December 2010]

[58] The Committee notes the establishment in 2001 of a national Task Force on Trafficking, the adoption of a national plan of action on trafficking, as well as the increased efforts of the State party to cooperate in regional programs to prevent trafficking and assist victims. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that Romania continues to be a country of origin, of transit and, to a lesser extent, of destination for trafficked children, as also noted by CEDAW, in June 2000 (A/55/38, paras. 308-309).

New Center in Romania to Aid Missing and Exploited Children

Alexandria, Virginia -- Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

[accessed 19 December 2010]


v  The number of missing children reported missing in Romania has steadily increased from 244 in 2003, to 660 in 2004, to 750 in 2005.

v  There are an estimated 100,000 homeless children throughout Eastern Europe, including 2,000 in Romania. Child trafficking and child prostitution are problems in Romania and represent a large threat throughout Eastern Europe. Homeless or "street" children are frequent victims. An estimated 5 percent of the homeless children in Romania are forced into child prostitution.

v  An estimated 30% of sex workers in Bucharest are under 18 years of age. Romania, and in particular Bucharest, is one of the key travel destinations in Europe for child sex offenders.

v  Romania is a country of origin and transit for women and girls who are internationally trafficked from Moldova, Ukraine, and other parts of the former Soviet Union to Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Child Prostitution Flourish in Bulgaria, Romania

Sofia News Agency, March 5, 2007

[accessed 13 July 2011]

Child prostitution in Bulgaria and Romania is on the rise, according to a research, published by UNICEF.

Dark side of migration

Ana Maria Smadeanu and Michael Bird, The Diplomat, 03 Oct 2006

[accessed 19 December 2010]

After working with street children in both Australia and Romania, Matei was approached in 1998 by police in Pitesti who asked if she could help with some girls between 14 and 17 forced to work as prostitutes.

She asked the local authorities for help. "But they did not understand what I meant by children forced into prostitution," says Matei. "No one wanted to work with them. The orphanages did not want the girls because they thought they would set a bad example to the other kids."

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – ROMANIASalvati Copiii has carried out a series of workshops aimed at preventing CSEC. Representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions attended the workshops. This organisation has also given lectures in schools on sexuality and self-defense strategies for children facing potential sexual abuse. IOM has embarked on an information campaign against trafficking and a research project on CSEC in Romania.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 13 July 2011]

[62] A National Plan of Action against sexual abuse and exploitation of children is awaiting approval before Government and legislation covering sexual abuse of children is being reconsidered.  Some stipulations of the Penal Code have been modified and the punishments for involving children in sexual acts or producing pornographic materials have been substantially increased.  These changes have resulted from an increase in the number of reported cases, as well as pressure from NGOs which have developed various prevention and intervention programs for eliminating sexual abuse and exploitation but which, without an adequate legislative framework, were not efficient.

Romania Bans Foreign Adoptions

Deutsche Welle DW-WORLD.DE, 22.06.2004,1564,1243642,00.html

[accessed 13 July 2011]

The new law banning foreign adoptions is meant to better protect Romania's orphans, as many of the children supposedly destined for adoption were instead being trafficked into prostitution or the illegal organ trade.

Romania's Blighted Street Children

Glenda Cooper, BBC News, Bucharest, 17 September, 2004

[accessed 13 July 2011]

But he is most concerned by the increased targeting of these children by traffickers and pedophiles.  "They are taken in a car and sold like an animal, and used for prostitution in different houses," he said.  He did not believe how bad the problem was until he discovered an illegal brothel near his sister's house.  "He had girls, starting with eight- or nine-year-olds - most of them coming up off the street"

Easy Prey - Inside the Child Sex Trade

Cable News Network CNN

[accessed 19 September 2011]

A Romanian filmmaker returns to his native land to document child prostitution and trafficking of Romanian street children.  Gallery - Armed with a hidden camera, filmmaker Liviu Tipurita investigates the growing child sex trade in his native Romania, focusing on the street children of Bucharest, the capital [Next]

Dead Souls

Justin Logan, February 21, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 July 2011]

Maybe the most shocking thing was that the children seemed to go from giddiness to extreme discomfort when they found out that the man wanted to talk with them, not have sex with them. It was the talking that they saw as violation. The documentary showed the author bargaining with a Romanian father outside of a graveyard in Milan over how much it would cost to have sex with the man's 14-year-old son.

Combating Human Trafficking - Romania

Basic Education and Policy Support Activity BEPS, October 2003 – June 2004

[accessed 13 July 2011]

BEPS launched a pilot project using education to combat child prostitution and trafficking in northeastern Romania. The project targeted a trafficking route near neighboring Moldova and Ukraine, which passes through two of the most impoverished counties of the country. The project worked to educate the general public, parents, educators, and youth about the risks of trafficking.

Children's Fund Announces Major Step Against Child Pornography

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL, 11 November 2001

[accessed 13 July 2011]

The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, is praising Romania for ratifying an international agreement on child prostitution, child pornography, and the sale of children.  The overnight statement from UNICEF comes after Romania recently became the 10th country to ratify the agreement, thus making the protocol legally binding to signatories as of 18 January 2002.

Mission to France, 25-29 November 2002 [DOC]

Report submitted by Juan Miguel Petit, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 July 2011]

The report focuses on the sale of children in the context of trafficking of children and child prostitution, and on child pornography and its links with domestic child sexual abuse.  Concerning the sale of children, trafficking and child prostitution, the report relates information presented to the Special Rapporteur by the Children’s Ombudsman (Défenseure des enfants), the police, NGOs, as well as government ministries.  According to this information, children are being trafficked into France primarily from Eastern Europe, notably Romania, and from West Africa, but also from Asia including such countries as India and China.  Many, if not most, of these children are under the control of trafficking networks and are forced into prostitution.

Youth-Sex Trade Flourishes In Post-Communist Eastern Europe

Paul Knox, Toronto Globe and Mail, Scripps Howard News Service, Stockholm, Sept. 4, 1996

[accessed 13 July 2011]

They're the child and teen-aged prostitutes of Eastern Europe, where the youth-sex trade is flourishing in the turmoil of the post-Communist era.  Some of the most harrowing stories told at a global conference on commercial child sex here come from Romania, where girls as young as nine have been found working as street or train-station prostitutes.

Trafficking of children [PDF]

Report by Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe

[accessed 13 July 2011]

[Turn to: Romania à 1. Overview à 1.2 Trafficking of children]

Anecdotes of child prostitution around train and bus stations, mainly of Roma children, are common.  The Romanian Embassy is not interested in repatriating these children and adolescents, and no special programs or services exist for migrant children living on the streets.

Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation - Romania

Donna M. Hughes, Laura Joy Sporcic, Nadine Z. Mendelsohn, Vanessa Chirgwin, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, 1999

[accessed 13 July 2011]

PROSTITUTION - There are approximately 2,000 homeless children in Romania. Many of them are forced to accept money for sex to survive. AIDS is an increasing problem. (Harold Briley, "Bitter winter for Romania’s street children," BBC, 2 January 1998)  5% of the homeless children in Romania are in prostitution. The main railway station in Bucharest is a main area for children in prostitution.

Bitter winter for Romania's street children

Harold Briley, BBC News, January 2, 1998

[accessed 13 July 2011]

Some of the girls are child prostitutes. When you are 11 or 12, with nowhere to go and nothing to eat, it seems an easy - and sometimes the only - way to survive. Unaware of the dangers, they fall pregnant, and their babies die. Those that don't, they abandon because their unformed breasts contain no milk to feed them. Occasionally there is a girl cradling a sickly baby. Some of the children have AIDS, doomed to die before they become adults.

ROMANIA - Report On The Worst Forms Of Child Labour [PDF]

Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005 - Romania

[accessed 14 September 2012]

CHILD PROSTITUTION AND PORNOGRAPHY - 5% of the homeless children in Romania are in prostitution.  There are approximately 2,000 homeless children in Romania.  Many of them are forced to accept money for sex in order to survive.

Child Prostitution Seen As Threat to Eastern Europe

Reuter, Strasbourg France, 29 April 1996

[accessed 13 July 2011]

Victims were being recruited among an estimated 100,000 homeless children in eastern Europe, according to the survey by the ECPAT organization.  Child prostitution was rife in bars, hotels and around train stations. Experts blamed local gangsters, poverty, and lax attitudes developing as a reaction after the fall of puritanical communist regimes.  It said...boy prostitutes came mainly from Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic.

ECPAT: Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes

ECPAT International Newsletter, Issue No : 33  1/December/2000

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 September 2011]

EASTERN EUROPE - Hungary and Poland are receiver, sender and transit countries for the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Romania is a sender and receiver country but Bulgaria is only a sender country. Hungary and Poland receive children from Romania, Ukraine and Russia. The main destinations for children trafficked from and through Poland are Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Many of the victims are boys. Furthermore, in Poland students voluntarily prostitute themselves in Germany over the weekends in order to earn money.




ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - ROMANIA [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 12 July 2011]

A number of street children in Romania are involved in prostitution or have been forced to engage in the production of pornographic material, while other vulnerable children are also recruited by paedophiles or trafficking networks at a very early age. Most street children come from Roma families. Street children are among the most vulnerable groups of children, and both girls and boys are sexually exploited at a very early age. Rape is very frequent in the streets, and girls and very young boys are the main victims. There are at least 2,000 street children in Bucharest and 5,000 in the whole country.

Furthermore, sexual exploitation of children in tourism has been exacerbated by the development of the tourism industry in Romania. At the end of the 1990s, a series of cases involving European and American child sex exploiters traveling to Romania to gain sexual contact with children signalled that this particular form of sexual exploitation threatened to add to the numerous trafficking and other issues related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) that the country already faced. While it does not seem that an organised child sex tourism industry has developed, there is evidence that the country is visited by foreign nationals seeking sexual contact with children, and appropriate prevention measures must be taken to avoid any increase of these types of crimes against children.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 19 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - It is estimated that about 30 percent of sex workers in Bucharest are under 18 years of age. There are indications that Romanian teenage boys and girls are involved in the sex trade in the countries of Western Europe. Romania is a country of origin and transit for internationally trafficked women and girls from Moldova, Ukraine, and other parts of the former Soviet Union to Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Cambodia for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Trafficking in girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation was a problem. There also were isolated cases of children involved in prostitution for survival without third party involvement.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Romania",, [accessed <date>]