TIP Award Year:
Monica Boseff has worked in the non-profit sector for some time, working for both medical facilities and for the Church of the Nazarene in Romania. Her husband is the pastor of the Blessings Church of the Nazarene in Bucharest. She began working for the Open Door Foundation, which originally was called the Open Door Medical Foundation, in 2003, a year after its inception by two medical doctors. Ms. Boseff has medical training, as a nurse, and had worked for other medical non-profit organizations prior to joining the Open Door Foundation. In 2011, the Foundation began to get involved with anti-human trafficking work, by engaging in an awareness campaign in partnership with an organization called Men Against the Trafficking of Others (MATTO). After surveying a variety of key people in the community, Ms. Boseff realized that there was one need which was more pressing than any other: a need for an emergency shelter for victims of trafficking.
In response to that need, the Open Door Foundation decided to purchase a house. They did so in December 2012. They now run an 18 month program, some of which is residential, for women survivors of modern-day slavery. Their focus is sex trafficking, and they provide counseling services, medical assistance and consultations, comprehensive legal assistance, job training, and other various services. They have formed a partnership with the Starbucks Corporation to provide jobs for some of the survivors who are in their program. Most of the staff of the shelter currently come from her husband’s church, and devote their time to helping the women who are in their program in any way they can. They only started helping survivors in 2013, but have already helped 55 survivors find hope after their tragic and unjust enslavement. Their house offers sixteen beds, and Monica Boseff works tirelessly to make sure each of those beds is filled with a survivor who is being empowered and cared for. She was given the Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award in 2014, recognizing her incredible work with survivors.
In 2014, Romania was listed as a Tier 2 country. Romania is a significant source country for many of Europe’s trafficked people. Romanian women are found in prostitution rings all around Europe, and forced labor is also a problem. The main problem, still, is lack of government funding and support for victim services and support. This gap makes shelters and organizations like Monica Boseff’s essential to combatting human trafficking in Romania.