ROMANIA: Children's rights in the Special Procedures' reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of the UN Special Procedures. This does not include reports of child specific Special Procedures, such as the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which are available as separate reports.

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.



Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Gabriela Knaul

Country visit: 17 to 24 May 2011

Report published: 4 June 2012

Juvenile Justice:

The strategic goals for judicial reform focused on eight areas: (i) independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary; (ii) quality and transparency of the justice administration system; (iii) free access to the justice system; (iv) efficiency of juvenile justice; (v) institutional and legislative framework for international judicial cooperation; (vi) alignment of the penitentiary system to European standards; (vii) victims’ protection and social reintegration of offenders; and (viii) prevention and combat of corruption within the judiciary. These goals were complemented by the five-year Information technology strategy for the reform of the judiciary, adopted also in 2005, with the objectives of modernizing and automating the judicial system; standardizing procedures and ensuring the use of indicators in the administration of justice. (Paragraph 11)


Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Gulnara Shahinian


Country visit: 13 -17 December 2010

Report Published: 30 June 2011

Background: Special Rapporteur aimed at gathering information in situ on risk factors that could increase the vulnerability among sectors of the population at high risk of becoming subject to contemporary forms of slavery, such as children left behind by emigrating parents. She focused her visit on sectors of labour in which the worst forms of child labour, the exploitation of children for economic purposes as well as other exploitative, slave-like situations persist. Romania’s widespread poverty continues with 23 per cent of the population2 being at risk of poverty in 2008, including 33 per cent of children aged below 17 years. The poverty risk is three times higher in rural than in urban areas and 75 per cent of poor children live in rural areas. The international financial crisis has harshly impacted the population, and in particular children living in poor agricultural rural areas, Roma children, and children working and living on the street, among others, increasing their pre-existing vulnerabilities to contemporary forms of slavery  (para 6, 7, 8).

International law obligations: Romania is also a party to a number of International Labour Organization Conventions among which the ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007 following a pre-accession period which saw many reforms in the fields of child protection. This also included promotion of social inclusion for vulnerable groups such as children at risk. (paras 12, 14, 15).

National laws on child labour: Article 49 (2) of the Constitution prohibits the employment of minors, Article 49 (4) provides that minors under the age of 15 may not be employed. Article 13 provides that a person may also work at the age of 15, with the agreement of his/her parents, related to activities corresponding to his/her physical development, skills and knowledge. Children under 16 who work have the right to continue their education. Children aged 15 to 18 may work no more than six hours/day and no more than 30 hours/week, provided that their school attendance is not affected. Minors cannot work overtime or during the night, and they have the right to an additional three days of annual leave. According to article 280 of the Labour Code, it is a criminal offence punishable with a prison term to employ minors in breach of legal age conditions. Law No. 272/2004 provides for the schools’ obligation to promptly inform the social services of any minors who miss classes in order to work. Article 87 (1) provides that the child has the right to be protected against exploitation and cannot be forced to perform any work with a potential risk for the child’s education, or be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Article 13 (5) of the Labour Code provides that the employment in unhealthy or dangerous workplaces may only take place after the age of 18 and that such workplace categories shall be established by Government Decision. Parents whose children carry out hazardous activities are required to attend parental education programs or counselling and can be fined. Persons who employ children for hazardous tasks can also be fined (paras 19-23, 25, 26).

The new Criminal Code establishes as separate offenses many crimes amounting to contemporary forms of slavery, such as exploitation for begging, forcing a minor to beg, and benefiting from the services of an exploited person. The Special Rappporteur welcomes the information received by the Government according to which the Law on the Rights of the Child is in the process of being amended so as to encompass compensation in case of violations of children’s rights. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Labour Code applies only to persons employed on the basis of a labour contract, and there is no minimum age for admission to unpaid employment in national legislation. Another inconsistency is that the minimum age for entry into employment is established at 15, while the age for completion of compulsory education is 16 (paras 64, 65, 74).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government consider to take all necessary steps to implement the recommendations made by the Committee of the Rights of the Child in its 2009 concluding observations in relation to economic exploitation, including child labour,10, the street children,11 and sexual exploitation and abuse; establish within the police specialized units on children sexual exploitation. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the Government initiative to undertake a national census in 2011 and strongly recommends that statistical information on child labour be included as a special chapter in this endeavour in a gender disaggregated manner (paras 86, 87).

National Institutional framework: The GDCP, known until July 2010 as the National Authority for the Protection of Children's Rights (ANPCD), ensures monitoring of compliance with the rights of the child, coordination and control of activity of protecting and promoting the rights of the child, including all programs for the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Labour inspectors are members of the Intersectoral County Teams for preventing and combating child labour (ICTs), the identified cases being reported to the General Directorates of Child Welfare and Protection (GDWCP). These cases are in turn reported to the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour (NSC) for further action at the central level. In 2009, the Labour Inspection reported a total of 164 youths between 15 and 18 years old found at work without observing the legal conditions for employment. The Labour Inspectorate also developed a campaign on the elimination of child-labour exploitation focusing on raising awareness in order to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and identify child labour. The National Programme for the Prevention and Elimination of WFCL was launched by the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of the International Labour Organization in 2000 and completed in 2009. Its main achievements include the creation of the NSC, the interinstitutional organ which coordinates and monitors the programmes for the prevention and suppression of the worst forms of child labour (paras 29, 31, 32).

The Intersectoral County Teams (ICTs) are an institutional capacity at county and Bucharest city level which were developed through cooperation between ILOIPEC and the Government. An ICT is to identify, refer and monitor cases of child labour that occur in its jurisdiction. Its basic membership includes the GDWCP, which coordinates the work, the territorial labour inspectorate, the county police inspectorate, the county school inspectorate, the county directorate of Public Health and NGOs. Also, the ICT supervises the global monitoring activity regarding cases of child labour exploitation, and the GDWCP is in charge of centralizing the monitoring of data. At the community level, there are two relevant institutions the Social Welfare Public Services (SWPS) and the Consultative Community Structures (CCS). Both collaborate with and report cases to the GDWCP at local level (paras 33, 34).

The institution of the Ombudsman deals with complaints about violations of children's rights. It is assisted by deputies who are specialized in the different areas. Any person, including children, can address the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can either take actions on complaints or act ex officio and request information and the targeted authority must provide it. It then issues a nonbinding recommendation. The number of received petitions and actions taken ex officio are low (para 36).

During her visit, the Special Rapporteur met with the Intersectoral County Team of the Slobozia County. In an emergency situation, each department will get involved under its jurisdiction in a coordinated manner. It also carries out awareness-raising activities targeting both decision makers and the general public as well as professional training on child labour. It also submits reports on child labour to the Child Labour Unit and the GDCP for follow-up action. Each intersectoral team has a different plan of action. The role of such institution which operates at the local level but also constitute a platform dialogue for the county and national level is crucial. The Special Rapporteur was impressed by both the elaborated conceptual framework and the dedication of its members. In her opinion, this innovative institutional framework constitutes a best practice. However, the Special Rapporteur was informed that no specific budget line exist in the ICT for the work carried out by this institution (para 67).

The Special Rapporteur received information showing a general trend towards budgetary cuts which might lead to a weakening in the child’s protection and welfare and which can only be partially explained by the economic constraints faced by the Government. The Special Rapporteur does not share the Government’s view that renaming the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and removing it from the State Secretariat does not have any detrimental impact on the protection of children’s rights. The entity has lost some of its supervision and coordination functions, hence the leading role it used to play in the overall protection of children’s rights (para 76).

The Special Rapporteur also received information which shows that the referral system for children in worst forms of child labour might not always work efficiently in practice. One explanation being that, in some people’s mentality, child exploitation might still be seen as something acceptable. Regarding the sectoral strategy for decentralization in the field of child rights protection the Special Rapporteur has received information that tends to indicate that the ongoing decentralization process might have resulted in some disparities in the delivery of services among different counties (paras 78, 79).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government consider elevating the status of the General Directorate for Child Protection by establishing a post of State Secretary; Consider establishing an ombudsman for children as an independent structure for child rights monitoring; Increase resource allocation to build the capacity of labour inspectors as well as their number so as to improve the monitoring of child labour throughout the whole country, including in remote areas (para 84).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government design a strategy for improving the efficacy of national and local institutions dealing with child labour; Take immediate and effective measures to change the public perception that child work is a tradition which is harmless by undertaking awareness-raising campaigns for children, parents and other caregivers in the rural areas. Measures should include educational programmes for parents as well as systematic inclusion in school curricula about children’s rights and their relationship to child labour (para 88).

Worst forms of child labour: The Special Rapporteur wishes to acknowledge and underline the difficulty in drawing a clear distinction between work that children can legitimately carry out and work that should be prohibited. She has therefore aimed at collecting information on the magnitude of WFCL and economic exploitation of children and has been guided by both the ILO Convention No. 182 and article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Some children, mostly Roma children, were involved in street begging, washing cars at dangerous intersections, loading and unloading heavy merchandise, or collecting waste products such as scrap iron, glass or paper. She also received information about children working in the agriculture sector, including in animal farming and in the construction sectors. Most of the time, child labour is performed for some food and money that will support the child’s family (paras 37, 38).

The latest data available from the Child Labour Monitoring System indicates that in 2009, out of the 47 Intersectoral County Teams (ICT) established at national level, 30 ICTs received notifications of 1,274 cases of children involved in worst forms of child labour and at risk of entering such labour. A total of 1,049 cases were confirmed, out of which 964 were cases of children involved in worst forms of child labour and 85 were cases of children at risk of starting WFCL. Children found in the WFCL were begging (642 cases), victims of cross-border and internal trafficking (71 cases), domestic workers (65 cases), engaged in forced labour (45 cases), working without a contract (44 cases), working in the streets (41 cases), involved in prostitution (23 cases), in illicit activities (22 cases), and in hazardous child labour (11 cases). The number of cases of children involved in worst forms of child labour in 2009 slightly increased compared to 2008 (para 39).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government develop a nationwide policy to raise awareness on the rights of the child and on the worst forms of child labour; to monitor the compliance with the prohibition of the worst forms of child labour in all sectors of the economy; To extend bilateral cooperation agreements with receiving States for the protection of unaccompanied Romanian children, their return to the country of origin and the fight against networks of child exploitation (para 88).

Street children: A distinction needs to be made between children who are occasionally found on the streets and children permanently living there.  With regard to children occasionally found on the streets, in urban areas, most of them are forced to beg or perform other activities such as washing cars, selling small goods, loading and unloading merchandise, collecting recyclable objects, stealing or even prostituting themselves in order to help their families survive. Reports indicate that they do so in very difficult conditions and unsafe environment, some for over eight hours a day, the majority of them having dropped out of school at an early age (paras 41, 42).

Children permanently living in the streets of Bucharest are the second generation of street children, i.e. they are the children of those who ended up in the street as a result of the opening of the orphanages in the early 1990s. These children usually emanate from destitute and dysfunctional families and live in a physical or sexually abusive environment until they run away at around 10 years. They are occupying dilapidated houses at night and are inadequately protected from the harsh cold and who sniff bags of paint solvent to suppress hunger. While noting the existence of shelters in big cities, some do not accept minors, others are open only during the day and request identification documents. It is the view of the Special Rapporteur that the continuing existence of this category of street children shows that reintegration programmes have failed (para 43).

In 2009, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, while noting the adoption of an Action Plan for the social reintegration of street children as well as a reported decrease in the number of children living in the streets, was concerned that many of them have to work for their sustenance, the majority do not go to school and lack birth certificates. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Government has recognized the issue of undocumented children who live in the streets and deliver temporary identification documents which allows them to go to school and have access to health services. She further notes the work done by NGOs in assisting undocumented children to go through the process of acquiring temporary identification. The social workers she met provide to street children in Bucharest, using funds raised by themselves, meals, temporary accommodation, vocational training and mediation to help them find a job, assist them in relation to obtaining identity documents and accessing health services (paras 44- 46).

The Special Rapporteur encourages the State to consider child work in the streets as one of the worst forms of child labour as the circumstances in which this work is carried out by children, harm their safety and morals, exposing them to exploitative practices, including sexual violence; To include street children as belonging to vulnerable groups so as to make them benefit from discrimination policies and take measures to eradicate the deep stigma affecting street children, including Roma street children (para 86).

Undocumented work:  Most young people and children provide seasonal labour during summer and are tempted to perform undeclared work and accept employment inconsistent with their physical and mental immaturity. Lack of civic education, a poor financial situation, lack of supervision and parental interest are some of the reasons mentioned by the Ministry that push young people to perform activities such as those. The Special Rapporteur was informed that the Labour Inspectorate has been focusing since on the extent of undeclared work and its negative consequences. It has launched national campaigns to reduce this phenomenon. The Labour Inspectorate has also been developing campaigns on the elimination of child-labour exploitation aimed at raising the awareness of employers. Statistical data shows, however, that the monitoring actions performed by the Labour Inspectorate focus broadly on the detection of cases of undocumented work which deprive employees of any legal protection and social safety nets, hence exposing them to increase vulnerability. Those statistics further show that fines have only been imposed on the detected cases. Thus the threshold may not have been met so as to bring those cases under article 280 of the Labour Code. During its meeting with the Special Rapporteur, the Labour Inspectorate had informed her that the majority of those cases were not prosecuted as charges against the employers were dropped if no social harm had resulted. According to the law, the determination of the level of “social harm” is left at the judge’s discretion. The judge will apply several criteria to assess social harm, such as the age of the child, the type of labour performed, the financial status of the child’s family, etc. It further reported that while it notifies the prosecutor of the facts through a report, it is not part of the legal proceedings and is often not notified of the result of the case. The Labour Inspectorate did not exclude that case of bonded labour might occur but that such cases were not detected (paras 48, 49).

Sexual Exploitation: Some children, mostly adolescents from rural areas, were brought to big cities under false promises made to their parents that they would get a job, then they were drugged and sexually exploited in private homes. The Special Rapporteur notes that prostitution is illegal but the demand side is not being addressed. When alerted of cases, the police allegedly only fine the prostitutes when caught, but are unable to enter the houses where girls are allegedly retained. Reports of children witnessing this sexual promiscuity and then becoming themselves pimps has been also brought to her attention, as well as sporadic actions by the Government. Allegations of a similar nature were also received by the Special Rapporteur on migrants during his visit to Romania in 2009 (para 50).

Child Trafficking: Children who have been trafficked to foreign countries, or who are trafficked internally, will by definition end up in situations amounting to WFCL as either labour exploitation or sexual exploitation. The Special Rapporteur received information in relation to recent and broadly publicized cases of trafficking in Romanian children who were exploited in the destination country in agricultural work, organized begging, and petty thefts. Romanian Roma children disproportionately fall victim to these exploitation rings. In October 2010, seven Romanian children, some as young as 9, were found being forced to work as farm labourers in near-freezing conditions in Worcester, United Kingdom. The children were among 50 Romanian workers discovered picking spring onions. Also, in spring 2010, a child-trafficking ring, which sent hundreds of Romanian children to beg and steal in the streets of the United Kingdom, was crushed in a major police operation in southern Romania. More than 300 policemen and prosecutors searched over 30 houses in the town of Tandarei and arrested 17 people on child-trafficking and money-laundering charges. Authorities found firearms, jewellery, large sums of money and forms giving the child traffickers permission to take the children out of the country. At least 168 children, aged between 7 and 15, have been identified as victims of the trafficking ring, which earned millions of euros a year. The majority of children were of Roma origin and were taken from their families in Tandarei and forced into shoplifting and pickpocketing. Children are also trafficked internally and their exploitation occurs in private dwellings, making such cases difficult to uncover (paras 51, 52).

Children left behind as a consequence of parents’ emigration: A recent phenomenon, a consequence of the economic situation pushing parents to go abroad to find employment or better jobs opportunities, is  “children left behind” without parental care. As a consequence the school dropout rate has increased in recent years. While the school dropout rate is indicative of the magnitude of the phenomenon, the Special Rapporteur regrets that no recent statistical data were available. The law provides that parents emigrating need to notify authorities about this, but it was reported that few parents do so, and most of these situations remaining undocumented. A range of measures have been developed to address this issue, including daycare services as well as emergency centres (paras 57- 59).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government strengthen awareness-raising campaigns for parents aiming at informing them regarding the risks their children may encounter while they are left behind; Develop counselling services for the persons taking care of children in the absence of their parents and for the children themselves; Develop local-action strategy to enable local social institutions to identify children and support children left behind by migrating parents, and allocate the necessary budget for protecting these children (para 92).

Increase in school dropouts: The Special Rapporteur notes that in 2009, the Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned that the enrolment in primary school had decreased and that the number of school dropouts had increased significantly in recent years, affecting children from urban areas and disproportionately children of Roma origin. The Special Rapporteur’s attention was in particular drawn to an increase in the dropout rate of boys between the ages of 12 and 15, an age deemed to be good to start to work. The Special Rapporteur would like to emphasize the need to address child labour as a cause of school dropout or low education performance. Understanding this interplay between education and child labour as well as the context of the country where children have traditionally always helped out parents, in particular in the agriculture area, the Special Rapporteur welcomes the efforts carried out by the Government to retain children in schools, such as through innovative measures making child allowances payments tied to school attendance. (paras 61, 62).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government ensure that children complete their 10-year compulsory education, taking concrete action to address the reasons behind non-completion of schooling, including cultural traditions and poverty; in particular strengthen initiatives aimed at addressing the indirect costs of attending schools and the lack of school transportation in rural areas (para 85).

The Special Rapporteur welcomes Government efforts to address the causes of the worst forms of child labour and provide alternatives to the alleviation of poverty. Poverty, education and worst forms of child labour being inextricably linked, she welcomes the establishment of some government programmes in the area of education, including programmes to reduce the disadvantages in education affecting children living in rural areas. She refers in particular to social programmes supporting parents in poor rural areas to send their children to school, such as free transportation or the reimbursement of the travel costs for distances longer than 50 km from home to school, free school supplies, the distribution of milk and bread in the morning, as well as the granting for parents of various social benefits. The Special Rapporteur further welcomes efforts undertaken by the Government, with the key participation of civil society organizations, aimed at reintegrating children who were compelled to abandon school to help their families survive, such as the “A second chance” programme (para 69).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government ensure equal enjoyment of human rights by Roma by further promoting equal access of Roma children to education, thereby contributing to prevent them from being engaged in the worst forms of child labour , and as well as to right to housing, health care and employment (para 84).

Lack of statistical data: There is a lack of recent statistics and there are no centralized data on the extent of child labour, which make it difficult to develop coherent strategies and might give misleading indications that such problem does not exist in Romania. The National Institute of Statistics does not include a category that corresponds to worst forms of child labour but uses instead the category of “children who perform hard activities”, which appears to have a narrower meaning (para 73).

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government collect and keep up-to-date statistical data on the nature and extent of the worst forms of child labour in accordance with the national and international standards and definitions so as to determine priorities and design targeted strategies for its elimination as a matter of urgency (para 85).

Cooperation with civil society: 80. The Special Rapporteur met with numerous members of a vibrant civil society committed to work on issues of child protection through both the delivery of services and

advocacy work. Civil society’s work started in the early 1990s, but after EU accession, international donors either stopped funding NGOs and international organizations such as UNICEF, or drastically reduced their contributions. The Special Rapporteur was informed of difficulties faced by NGOs with proven track record to secure the funds required for carrying out their activities, including loans to supplement operational funds as a precondition for receiving EU assistance. She was further informed that some NGOs had to change their sectors of activities as State resources were no longer available.

Special Rapporteur on Migrants

Jorge Bustamante

(A/HRC/14/30/Add.2 )
Country visit: 15 to 20 June 2009

Report published: 16 March‬‬ 2010

Relevant Domestic Visits:

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur consulted Government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Administration and Interior; the Ministry of Labour, Family and Equal Opportunity (hereinafter “Ministry of Labour”); the National Council against Discrimination; the National People’s Advocate Institution; the Senate’s Committee for Human Rights, Cults and Minorities; the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons (NAATP). (Paragraph 2)

The Special Rapporteur also held consultations with the United Nations Resident Coordinator and representatives of the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Population Fund. He met with representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Committee of the Red Cross, non-governmental organizations and research institutions. (Paragraph 4)

Children Left Behind:

Emigration flows have stimulated the national economy but have also posed challenges to Romania. Protection challenges include specific groups such as the Romanian diaspora, children (especially those left behind by migrating parents) and those sectors of the population which are more vulnerable to transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons. Reference is made to those groups and emerging trends hereinafter. (Paragraph 7)

Outmigration in Romania has affected children, particularly children left behind by their parents who migrate abroad for labour. Various studies carried out in Romania between 2006 and 2008 have documented that children left behind encounter increased vulnerability, particularly in the areas of protection and education. According to a study released in 2008 by UNICEF,4 the complexity of this phenomenon arises from aspects related to the economic and social situation of Romanians, including large gaps between the different strata of society. Studies also show that this phenomenon greatly affects western Romania. (Paragraph 12)

The Government of Romania indicated to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 20075 that the phenomenon of children left behind by migrating parents at home in the care of relatives, extended family and even State institutions increased with the opening of the country’s borders following its accession to the European Union. (Paragraph 13)

In 2008, UNICEF estimated that around 350,000 children (over 8 per cent of the child population) were affected by this phenomenon. Of these, approximately 126,000 were affected by the migration of both parents, 50 per cent were below the age of 10, and 16 per cent had lived apart from their parents for more than one year.6 The phenomenon seems to be on the decline, since information provided by the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights updated to include March 2009, showed that at least 51,790 children were left behind by one migrating family member. Of these, at least 10,995 had a single caregiving parent working abroad and 28,447 children had both parents working abroad. A total of 3,560 children left behind benefited from the special protection system established by the Government, which is described below. (Paragraph 14)

The National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights is the central body established under the authority of the Ministry of Labour. Its main responsibilities include the coordination and control of children’s rights-related activities in Romania. (Paragraph 67)

The institutional structure for the protection of children left behind, inter alia, by migrating parents, includes the National Authority at the central level, the General Departments of Social Assistance and Child protection at the municipality level and the Public Social Assistance Services within municipalities. Representatives of the general departments of social assistance and child protection can access corporate bodies’ offices and private homes to verify cases of child abuse and neglect. (Paragraph 68)

Law No. 272 of 2004 on the protection and promotion of the rights of the child provides the general legal framework for governmental intervention in cases of children at risk, which includes children left behind. Pursuant to Order No. 219 of 2006, local authorities are responsible for identifying cases of children left behind, while parents migrating for labour abroad have the obligation to inform local authorities of their departure and the child’s social welfare guardianship arrangements. (Paragraph 69)

The Special Rapporteur welcomes partnership initiatives between the Government and stakeholders to implement projects focused on the protection of vulnerable groups in the context of migration. This is the case of a project focused on children left behind and the elderly for the period 2009–2011, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also praises projects implemented by stakeholders aimed at bringing children left behind in Romania closer to their parents who have migrated to work abroad through electronic means of communication and scheduled long-distance telephone conversations, which have proven to have positive effects on programmes dealing with youth gangs and criminal behaviour (Paragraph 78)

The Special Rapporteur identified the phenomenon of children left behind by migrating parents and child trafficking as major issues affecting children in the context of migration in Romania. (Paragraph 96)

In connection with the protection of children left behind, the Special Rapporteur shares the concern expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the mismatch between responsibilities and resources allocation at the local level as a result of decentralization in the provision of social services. (Paragraph 97)

The progress made by Romania in the protection of human rights in the context of migration is noteworthy. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur observed efforts made by the authorities to protect children left behind by migrating parents, improve detention conditions of irregular migrants in short-term holding centres, combat transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, facilitate the temporary evacuation of refugees to Romania and institutional reforms to increase efficiency in the management of migration. There still remain some challenges that warrant further attention and resources and, accordingly, the Special Rapporteur wishes to make the following recommendations. (Paragraph 104)

Transnational Organized Crime:

Romanian nationals have been prey to transnational organized crime, primarily trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour and forced begging mostly in Europe. Forced labour takes place in the agriculture, construction and service sectors, among others. Romania is also a country of transit and, to some extent, destination7 in the human trafficking cycle. Roma children are reportedly major victims of transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons and forced begging. (Paragraph 15)

Information gathered by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe in a visit to Italy in January 2009 shows that a significant number of unaccompanied migrant children of Romanian origin entered Italy irregularly, most of whom reside in Rome. By the end of 2006, 6,551 unaccompanied migrant children were recorded, with 36 per cent of them coming from Romania. Many of these children were reportedly involved in irregular employment and begging, theft and sexual exploitation . (Paragraph 18)


The Special Rapporteur was also informed by the Romanian authorities of the constant decrease in trafficking in persons in Romania since 2005. However, stakeholders also informed the Special Rapporteur of a possible shift in the patterns of recruitment of victims of trafficking in persons, which may lead to an increase in such recruitment in countries to which persons of Romanian origin emigrate. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur wishes to draw the Government’s attention to the continued vulnerability of women and girls to such trafficking once they travel to Western European countries and encounter limited working opportunities. (Paragraph 20)

Human trafficking is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment between 3 and 12 years in cases involving adults and between 5 and 15 years, in cases involving children. These penalties may be increased up to three years, if the trafficker belongs to a group of organized crime and, by five years, if coercion is applied against children. (Paragraph 63)

NAATP is the specialized structure in charge of monitoring and reporting cases of trafficking in persons as well as promoting assistance to and protection of victims. It refers victims, through the 15 regional centres, to specialized structures which provide assistance services such as the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights. The agency also coordinates victim/witness cooperation with law enforcement agencies and victims’ access to social services. NAATP operates under the authority of the Inspectorate of the Romanian Police within the Ministry of Administration and Interior. (Paragraph 64)

Activities related to the fight against trafficking in persons are coordinated by the Ministry of Administration and Interior through the General Directorate on Combating Organized Crime, as part of an inter-ministerial working group pursuant to Government Directive No. 299 of 2003. Activities for the prevention of human trafficking and the protection of and assistance to victims of trafficking are coordinated by NAATP through an inter-ministerial working group. NAATP is also the technical secretariat of a number of inter-ministerial groups on issues pertaining to trafficking in children. (Paragraph 65)

The National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights coordinates and oversees the implementation of plans, programmes and activities on the prevention of child trafficking as well as on the protection and assistance of child victims of trafficking. In that capacity, it chairs the working sub-group for the prevention of and fight against trafficking, formed by experts from different ministries and central authorities, civil society and international organizations such as UNICEF and IOM (Government Decision No. 1295 of 2004 and Joint Order No. 123-429 of 2004). (Paragraph 70)

Relevant International Obligations:

Romania is a party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified in 2002 and 2004 respectively, both of which contain provisions requiring or encouraging measures for the protection for witnesses to offences sanctioned under those treaties. Romania is also a party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, both of which supplement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. (Paragraph 29)

Dependent Children:

Romanian legislation allows immigration for family reunification. Aliens holding a valid residence permit may request family reunification, inter alia, with the spouse; dependent children and dependent relatives of the sponsor or his/her spouse of first-degree kinship in the ascending line, in cases where they are unable to look after themselves. The visa is generally issued for a period of 90 days. Residence permits can be extended for the duration of the sponsor’s permit or, up to five years for family members of a Romanian citizen. (Paragraph 62)

Sexual Abuse:

The Special Rappporteur heard allegations on the existence of “houses of confinement” in Bucharest where children, including foreign children, would be hidden away during the day and sexually exploited at night. According to allegations, those houses would periodically change location to avoid detection. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur was informed by the Brigade of Countering Organized Criminality in Constanta, that similar allegations were made several years ago in their area of responsibility, which led to the apprehension of those responsible. (Paragraph 98)

Take all necessary steps to verify the accuracy of the allegations of the existence of “houses of confinement” in Bucharest where children, including foreign children, could be hidden away during the day and sexually exploited at night and which allegedly periodically change location to avoid detection. (Paragraph 107g)

Birth Registration:

According to information received, there is a correlation between birth registration and immigration status in Romania, since migrant parents lacking identity or resident documents tend not to register their children at birth. Most such children have access to education; however, undocumented children, including migrant children, seem to face difficulties in getting access to health care. (Paragraph 99)

Detention of Minors:

Domestic legislation does not contain provisions on the conditions for taking irregular migrant children into custody or on a special detention regime. Irregular migrant children who are unaccompanied are usually escorted to welfare centres where they are accommodated until granted refugee status or temporary rights to stay or returned to their families. During such time, they have the right to education and may benefit from counselling and assistance from child welfare staff. The Special Rapporteur was not informed of the criteria for deciding on returning unaccompanied children, but was nevertheless informed that unaccompanied children are only returned to their families in the country of origin or in a third country where parents or other family members are located. (Paragraph 100)


In relation to the protection of children in the context of migration, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government:

(a) Consider submitting its initial report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography with the aim of further strengthening efforts to protect Romanian children from such practices;

(b) Consider entering into bilateral agreements envisaged under the European Union Directive 77/486/CEE to promote learning of the heritage language in host countries among migrant children and children from a migrant background;

(c) Increase regional cooperation, inter alia, by entering into human rights- based bilateral and multilateral agreements to protect migrant children, especially unaccompanied children, including in matters of safe repatriation, the fight against trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation and smuggling;

(d) Consider revising existing bilateral agreements on the return of unaccompanied Romanian children, in light of international standards, inter alia, to introduce clauses recognizing that return and repatriation of children should be encouraged only when it is in the child’s best interests;

(e) Consider establishing centres for hosting separated and unaccompanied children, regardless of their immigration status, where they could be provided with specialized assistance according to their protection needs by staff and interpreters (who might be recruited from the migrant community) trained on such issues as cultural and religious sensitivity, multicultural understanding and post-traumatic treatment; (Paragraph 108)

In relation to the protection of children left behind by migrating parents, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government:

(a) Continue implementing policies to address the situation of children left behind by migrating parents, taking into account the best interests of the child as a guiding principle and ensuring the participation of these children in the design and implementation of such policies;

(b) Continue strengthening the programme for the protection of children left behind by migrating parents, including by implementing the four recommendations made in the study on this phenomenon published by UNICEF in 2008, which are: revise the Order No. 219/2006 issued by the Secretary of State of the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights, through consultations with all the public and private stakeholders with relevant expertise in the field; improve and strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms at local level, with emphasis on the

Public Social Assistance Services; build the capacity of public social services at the national level and raise awareness and improve information on the negative effects of migration on children among all those concerned (parents and the public at large);

(c) Increase training programmes in parenting skills and continue strengthening efforts to raise awareness among potential migrants of the child protection measures available to children left behind by migrating parents and the responsibility of migrating parents to inform relevant authorities and appoint a guardian responsible for the child in their absence;

(d) Strengthen capacity-building efforts at the local level particularly by equipping all Romanian counties with the resources necessary to provide the adequate support to children left behind, including children left behind by migrating parents;

(e) Continue improving measures for the identification and support of children left behind by migrating parents, including by considering the increase in human and financial resources available to social assistance services belonging to municipalities, with a view to strengthening their role, particularly in the early identification of risk situations affecting children left behind;

(f) Compile and take steps to share good practices in addressing the situation of children left behind by migrating parents, especially in the areas of health and education, with countries of origin of migration flows in all regions. (Paragraph 109)


Special Rapporteur on Health

Paul Hunt

(E/CN.4/2005/51/Add.4 )
Country visit: 23 to 27 August 2004

Report published: 21 February 2005

Relevant Domestic Visits:

During the mission, the Special Rapporteur met with officials from the Ministry of Health, including the Minister of Health, Dr. Ovidiu Brinzan, the directors of the national health insurance programme and the national drug agency, the national AIDS adviser and the Roma adviser to the Minister of Health. He also met with officials from the Ministries of Justice; Finance; Foreign Affairs; Labour; Social Protection and Family; Development and Prognosis; Environment and Water Management; Economics; Foreign Trade; Administration and Interior. He also met with the National House of Pensions and Other Social Security Rights; the National Authority for Child Protection; and the National Authority for Disabled Persons. He met with advisers to the Prime Minister on health, social inclusion and the Roma community. The Special Rapporteur travelled to the Constanza and Dolj counties, and held meetings with local authorities in both regions. He also met with the Ombudsman’s office, the Romanian Bar Association, the National Institute of Magistrates, the General Directorate of Penitentiaries and the Office of the Prosecutor. (Paragraph 2)

The Special Rapporteur also met with a number of international organizations and United Nations agencies working in Romania, including WHO, UNDP, the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNAIDS and the United Nations Population Fund. He met with members of the donor community, including USAID, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the World Bank. He held meetings with a number of associations of health professionals, including the Federate Chamber of Physicians. The Special Rapporteur held a round-table discussion with several non- governmental organizations, including associations of people living with HIV/AIDS, mental health advocacy groups, a legal resource centre, associations for the human rights of women, networks for people with disabilities, and groups working to promote the human rights of the Roma. He visited several medical facilities, such as the mental health facilities at Poiana Mare and Vedea, and the Victor Babes hospital and Professor Alexandru Obreja Psychiatry Hospital in Bucharest. He also met with people living in rural areas and Roma communities. (Paragraph 3)

International Obligations:

The Government of Romania has ratified a range of international human rights treaties recognizing the right to health and other health-related rights, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has also ratified regional human rights treaties including the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols, the European Social Charter (revised), and the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The ratification of international human rights treaties gives rise to obligations, which are binding under international law, to give effect to the provisions therein. (Paragraph 11)

Important issues related to the right to health are addressed in Romania’s recent reports to other international human rights treaty bodies.5 In January 2003, for example, the Committee on the Rights of the Child considered Romania’s second periodic report (CRC/C/65/Add.19), which contained information relevant to the period from 1993 to 1998, including on access to health for children. In its concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.199), the Committee welcomed the enactment of legislation and the adoption of the national health programme for the child and the family, and the national strategy for combating HIV/AIDS. It noted the deterioration in primary health care, however, and expressed a number of concerns in relation to discrimination against children living with HIV/AIDS and children with disabilities, as well as the high rates of abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, particularly among minorities. The Committee recommended that efforts to implement the National Strategy for the health sector be strengthened and that measures be adopted to address discrimination against vulnerable groups. At regional level, the European Committee of Social Rights recently reviewed Romania’s record in relation to the European Social Charter and made a number of observations in relation to the protection of health, in particular regarding maternal mortality. (Paragraph 13)

Marginalized Groups:

The Special Rapporteur urges the Government to extend its efforts to engage communities more actively in planning, monitoring, assessment, management and execution of health programmes and services. In particular, he stresses the importance of ensuring the participation of marginalized and other groups such as women, children, the elderly, and people with mental disabilities. (Paragraph 21)

However, much more needs to be done. Rigorous efforts should be made to ensure that health information and education reach every sector of the population in Romania. Posters, leaflets, radio campaigns, street-theatre - whatever works to get life-saving information to men, women and children - should be used. For example, creative education, training and media programmes should be explicitly designed to change attitudes that foster discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS or persons with mental disabilities. This is crucial to raising awareness and understanding among individuals and communities that discrimination against these and other individuals and groups is unacceptable and a violation of human rights. Increased efforts also must be made to ensure that people know that domestic violence is a breach of criminal law. Innovative ways must be devised to ensure that individuals and communities have information regarding the benefits available under the health insurance system, the availability of contraceptive and other reproductive health services, including cervical cancer screening, and so on. The Special Rapporteur was frequently advised that Romania does not yet enjoy a well-established participatory culture in which individuals enquire about what they are entitled to receive by way of health services. In these circumstances, the Government has a heavy responsibility to take the initiative and actively encourage greater participation and enhance public information and education in relation to health. (Paragraph 25)

A range of issues concerning health professionals was raised during the mission of the Special Rapporteur. These included their poor terms and condition of work, which have led to strikes in recent months; the need for human rights training for health professionals; and the importance of enhancing accountability within the health system. A further issue was the incentives provided to health professionals to work in rural areas, with a view to ensuring equitable distribution of health care. The Special Rapporteur recommends that medical schools integrate human rights training for health professionals into their curricula. All health professionals should receive regular education and training on the human rights of patients, including their rights to health and non-discrimination; the health-related human rights of vulnerable groups, such as women, children and people with disabilities; and their own human rights relating to their professional practice. In addition, the Special Rapporteur urges the Government to enhance the terms and conditions of all health professionals, including providing adequate incentives to encourage health professionals to work in rural or other underserved areas. (Paragraph 29)

Sexual and Reproductive Health:

Romania continues to face the consequences of decades of a “pro-natalist” policy under former President Nicolae Ceaucescu, which restricted women’s access to contraception and abortion, and offered financial support to mothers of large families. Many women resorted to unsafe and illegal abortions. This contributed to an extremely high maternal death rate in Romania and led to an alarming number of children being placed in institutions when families were unable to provide care and support. (Paragraph 39)


Romania has one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV and AIDS in Central Europe. According to national statistics, in December 2003 there were 14,353 registered cumulative cases of HIV/AIDS in Romania and 10,259 people living with HIV/AIDS. The use of unscreened blood and blood products, as well as the use of contaminated needles between 1987 and 1991 reportedly led to the spread of HIV among thousands of newborn and young children. Since the early 1990s there has also been a steady increase in HIV rates among young adults due to sexual transmission and injection drug use. (Paragraph 47)

The profile of HIV/AIDS is particular in Romania in that it has predominantly affected children: currently Romania has the largest number of children living with HIV in Europe. The majority of people living with HIV/AIDS today in Romania were infected during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It has been widely observed that the conditions for the explosion in the epidemic amongst children had their roots in the “four child per family” policy of the Ceausescu Government, which led to very high rates of institutionalized children. The failure to use adequate infection control within medical facilities coupled with the practice of giving blood transfusions to malnourished children and frequent injections of medications and vitamins drove the nosocomial transmission of HIV. (Paragraph 48)

In recent years, the Government of Romania has led a dynamic campaign to provide treatment and care for people living with HIV and AIDS. Together with United Nations agencies, development partners, people living with HIV and civil society groups, the Government has established legal, policy and programme frameworks for HIV/AIDS treatment and care, including universal coverage for antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. As reported by UNAIDS, currently “all those determined to be ‘in need’ according to international guidelines have access to HIV treatment in Romania” - in total, 5,700 patients, including 4,350 children. In many respects, Romania’s approach to HIV/AIDS treatment and care is a model. (Paragraph 49)

However, during the course of the Special Rapporteur’s mission, many people expressed concerns regarding the urgent need to address HIV prevention. Given the high percentage of people aged 15-19 living with HIV/AIDS, rates of heterosexual transmission and vertical mother-to-child transmission may be set to soar without urgent and large-scale prevention efforts. An open public discussion regarding the importance of prevention - including condom use and prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes – will be essential to the distribution and prevalence of the disease in years to come. Prevention programmes should be adapted to suit the needs and values at community level, including information and education in local languages aimed at reducing risk-taking behaviour and encouraging responsible sexual behaviour; expanded access to essential commodities, including male and female condoms and sterile injecting equipment; harm reduction efforts related to drug use; expanded access to voluntary and confidential counselling and testing; and early and effective treatment of sexually transmittable infections. Youth-specific HIV education and services should be made available and accessible to young men and women. Pregnant women accessing antenatal care should have information, counselling and other HIV-prevention services available to them. (Paragraph 50)


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved US$ 16.9 million in funding, to be disbursed over two years, for a five-year tuberculosis programme. The project aims to integrate tuberculosis care into general facilities, enhance the ability to treat multiple drug resistant tuberculosis, and improve the quality of laboratories. It will also support the development of guidelines and training for health-care workers in the management of tuberculosis in children. Tuberculosis control programmes for Roma and other population groups with high risk will be expanded. Working together with the Ministry of Justice, programmes will be developed to address tuberculosis in prison populations. In order to address barriers such as the lack of financial resources for patients who need to travel for the purposes of tuberculosis treatment, new programmes are being developed to include, for example, support in the form of transportation tickets. Such initiatives are a particularly important means for promoting adherence to treatment, and therefore better treatment outcomes. (Paragraph 57)

Environmental Health:

Environmental health problems arise from, inter alia, limited access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, air pollution and the contamination of water by industrial effluents. These factors directly affect the health of communities across Romania, in particular rural communities, and children. Because of space constraints, this chapter gives attention to just one environmental health issue, access to safe water and adequate sanitation, which is an underlying determinant of the right to health, and reflected in Millennium Development Goal 7. (Paragraph 69)


During his mission, the Special Rapporteur also learnt of the Roma community health mediators scheme. The mediators are recruited from local Roma populations and given training in health-care promotion, and then work with local communities to encourage healthy behaviours and raise awareness about, and encourage use of, available health-care services. During his visit to Dolj county, the Special Rapporteur also learnt of local initiatives undertaken by the County Directorate for Child Rights Protection, including programmes to help Roma obtain identity documents, and their support of programmes developed with the Association of Roma Young People and Students, including on sanitation and sexual and reproductive health. (Paragraph 77)

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government extend the participation of Roma, including Roma women and children, in the development, implementation and monitoring of health policies and programmes affecting them. He encourages the Government to extend the Roma community health mediator scheme, and to develop schemes to encourage Roma to train and qualify as health professionals. (Paragraph 80)

The Special Rapporteur urges the Government to ensure that Roma, including Roma women and children, benefit from access to culturally sensitive health information and education, including on sexual and reproductive health, and to involve Roma in developing and distributing this information. (Paragraph 81)


Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion

Abdelfattah Amor

Country visit: 7 to 13 September 2003

Report published: 16 December 2003

International Obligations:

As far as international law is concerned, Romania is a party to the six core international human rights instruments (the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women). (Paragraph 12)


The Romanian Constitution, which is currently under revision, sets out the principle of equality of citizens regardless of their religious beliefs and prohibits any discrimination on these grounds (art. 4, para. 2, and art. 16). The principle of freedom of religion is enshrined in article 29, which, in the absence of a special law on religions (see below), is the current benchmark in matters of freedom of religion or belief:

(6) Parents or guardians have the right to ensure that the education of the children for whom they are responsible is in accordance with their own beliefs.”

In principle, the provision of religious education in all kinds of educational establishments is guaranteed by the Constitution but, despite some efforts by the authorities, a number of religious minorities are finding it difficult to provide religious education in State schools, particularly when only a small number of pupils belong to their community. Moreover, only recognized religions are allowed to provide such education. (Paragraph 55)

In addition, pupils with non-Orthodox beliefs are in theory entitled to opt out of courses on the Orthodox religion but the religious intolerance towards non-Orthodox minorities in some schools means they dare not exercise this option. The Special Rapporteur was told that some pupils in a school in the department of Timis who are members of the Baha’i community were told by their religious teacher that they would be put in a lower class if they continued to follow lessons on the Baha’i religion. (Paragraph 56)

Several religious minorities described to the Special Rapporteur the problems they had encountered because of their religious traditions or practices. Seventh-Day Adventists explained how they had been faced with a situation in which children from their community had been told they had to sit school exams on a Saturday, which is their day of prayer. The Supreme Court finally found in their favour in 1999 and they had had no such problems since then. Members of the Muslim community, meanwhile, explained to the Special Rapporteur that although there were no official rules concerning their day of prayer, many of them managed to come to some kind of arrangement on a case-by-case basis. (Paragraph 57)


Special Rapporteur on Housing

Miloon Kothari

Country visit: 14-19 January 2002

Report published: 3 February 2003

Street Children:

Throughout his activities, including his two reports to the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/2001/51 and E/CN.4/2002/59), the Special Rapporteur has adopted the indivisibility approach to his mandate, seeking to examine issues of adequate housing from broader perspectives and to establish linkages with other rights and issues, including gender, children, poverty, land, water, safe environment, food, indigenous people, refugees and displaced persons. For his mission to Romania, the Special Rapporteur was particularly interested in examining the challenges the country is facing in housing and related sectors against the backdrop of ongoing transition to market-oriented economy and the impact of privatization on the rights relevant to his mandate. The Special Rapporteur also focused his attention on the gender dimensions of housing rights and the need for protection of the poor and the vulnerable groups, including the Roma and children living on the street. (Paragraph 2)

The phenomenon of street children in Romania is a complex issue that requires both immediate and long-term, multifaceted approaches. There are four categories of street children: (a) children who are sent from home by parents to work or beg; (b) children who ran away from their families; (c) children who have no family and no place to live; (d) children who live on the street with parents. In Bucharest, it is estimated that there are about 1,500 street children and approximately half of them live permanently on the streets because of extreme poverty, domestic violence and family disorganization. A significant number of them are open to such risks as delinquency, drug abuse, prostitution, suicide and other health risks including HIV/AIDS. (Paragraph 46)

Romania, as a State party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is under legal obligations to take appropriate measures to implement its provisions, including article 27.3 on nutrition, clothing and housing. In Romania, there is a general shortage of shelters for street children, yet the current government policy is to close down long-term institutions and to return children to homes. At the time of the Special Rapporteur’s mission, there was only one night emergency shelter in Bucharest and the existing residential centres were able to meet only two thirds of the need. Even when the children leave such institutions after having grown up and graduated high schools, many of them end up on the streets again due to a severe shortage of housing, high unemployment and low wages. The Special Rapporteur notes that the Committee on the Rights of the Child raised some of these issues at its thirty-second session in January 2003 when it considered Romania’s periodic reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Paragraph 47)

The Special Rapporteur recommends that the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights should, in cooperation with the local authorities and MPWTH, design a long-term strategy to provide more appropriate and adequate shelters for the growing number of street children, also taking into account relevant concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. For the strategy to be effective, it should be multidisciplinary and also include measures to improve legislative framework in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to create programmes for education and public awareness, to facilitate the reintegration of street children and to improve the capacity and standards of the social services dealing with children. The Government and the international community should increase support to such civil society and non-governmental organizations which provide services to those children in need. (Paragraph 48)

Relevant Domestic Meetings:

The United Nations Resident Coordinator/Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided the Special Rapporteur with an overview of the human development situation in the country. The UNDP office organized an inter-agency meeting to which representatives from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated and provided relevant information to the Special Rapporteur. The Special Rapporteur also held meetings with the World Bank, and with the UNHCR Representative. Prior to departure, the Special Rapporteur received briefings in Geneva from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which conducted a country profile on housing sector for Romania in 2000. The Council of Europe, the Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) also provided him with information material. (Paragraph 4)

During the mission, the Special Rapporteur held a number of meetings with members of civil society and the national human rights institutions. He met with Executive Directors of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, Health Aid Romania, Fundatia Dezvoltarea Popoarelor, Romani CRISS and Save the Children Romania. The Special Rapporteur was grateful to Save the Children Romania and the Health Aid Romania which organized for him visits to orphanages and houses for children with HIV/AIDS, respectively. The Executive Director of the Open Society Institute provided valuable assistance and information for the mission of the Special Rapporteur. The European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest and the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) provided briefing notes to the Special Rapporteur, concerning the situation of Roma in the country. The Special Rapporteur also met with members of professional associations, including the rector of the University of Architecture and Urbanism, the President of the Ordinului Architects Order in Romania, the Association of Urbanism Professionals in Romania, as well as individual academics, consultants, lawyers and journalists. The Special Rapporteur also received valuable information materials from other civil society organizations, including the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and the Habitat International Coalition. (Paragraph 5)

Relevant International Obligations:

Romania has ratified all six major international human rights conventions: the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, on 15 September 1970;1 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on 9 December 1974; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, on 9 December 1974; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, on 7 January 1982; the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on 28 September 1990; and the Convention against Torture, on 18 December 1990. At the regional level, Romania has also ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, on 20 June 1994; the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, on 11 May 1995; and the Revised European Social Charter, on 7 May 1999. (Paragraph 7)

From the above-mentioned constitutional provisions, and being a State party to all international human rights treaties, Romania has clear commitment to the right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to adequate housing, as contained in the Covenant. It is also bound to similar provisions under article 27, paragraph 3, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on the right to non-discrimination as reflected in article 14, paragraph 2 (h), of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and article 5, paragraph (e), of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (Paragraph 10)

The Roma:

In the Zăbrăuţi district of Bucharest, the Special Rapporteur visited a Roma community of approximately 400 families living in five apartment blocks which lack any kind of heating sources, electricity, sanitation and domestic water. The president of the Initiative Committee of Zăbrăuţi district, together with the Roma community, handed him a letter describing the poor conditions they live in. The overwhelming majority of Roma women spend virtually all their time taking care of their children and household duties. Inadequate housing and often health-threatening living conditions exacerbate their burden, forcing them to spend more time collecting water, fuel and fodder, or taking care of sick children. Thus, Roma women, as primary care-givers whose main locus in terms of childcare, household duties and social interaction is often the home, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor housing. (Paragraph 31)

Lack of personal identification documentation presents another obstacle for some Roma in accessing public services. One mother from Zăbrăuţi told the Special Rapporteur that she was reluctant to take her sick child to the hospital because without “papers” the doctors would not see them. Simple poverty is a further barrier; another woman reported that she could not send her children to school because of lack of clothing during winter. Such conditions bring with them not only threats to the physical, but also to the mental, health of those affected. Furthermore, this community is currently facing a threat of eviction, as one of the apartment blocks has been designated by the Government for conversion into an orphanage centre. It is well-evidenced that both the experience and the threat of eviction bring not only physical risks, but additional psychological strains to bear on the community. These often impact most strongly on women as the central emotional and stabilizing force within the family and on other vulnerable persons such as the sick and elderly. The Special Rapporteur recommends that urgent attention be directed to issues of security of tenure for those living in property or in settlements without legal contract (whether private or State-owned) or proof of ownership. A review of eviction laws, policy and practice is also recommended to ensure that correct procedure is followed and that no individual or group, whether Roma or non-Roma, suffers disproportionately therefrom. (Paragraph 33).

The plan soon came under strong condemnation by the central Government, the politicians and the civil society groups. The Minister of Public Information, who oversees the Roma issue, stated: “What happened to Roma people in Piatra Neamt is unfortunate. Human rights need to be respected, no matter how local autonomy functions.”10 Following the news surrounding the controversy, a number of civil society groups took an initiative to obtain more information and background to the mayor’s initiative and to find possible solutions. Romani CRISS sent a team to Piatra Neamt to investigate the case, and met with the Roma issues experts, the County Councillor and the local Roma Party president. Following the field investigation, and upon the request from Romani CRISS, a round table discussion was organized at the Piatra Neamt Prefecture office on 11 October, with a view to clarifying the situation. It was attended by representatives from the city hall, the County Office for Roma, the local Prefecture, the Roma Party and new agencies. The round table helped to clarify the shortcomings in the communications strategies on the part of the city hall, which subsequently issued a press release stating that the plan was not intended to create a ghetto but aimed at social integration of the Roma community “by creating jobs and including children within the education system, in common classes for all the children in the neighbourhood”. They further clarified that the barbed wire was never to be set up and the public order and security would be ensured by the local police. The round table also analysed the situation of Romas in the community, particularly with regard to the accusations made pertaining to the theft of construction materials by Romas. It was acknowledged that both Roma and non-Roma were involved in the stealing of materials from the construction site. (Paragraph 40)


Special Rapporteur on Racism


Country visit: 19 to 30 September 1999

Report published: 7 February 2000


The education system tends to relegate Roma children to “special” schools, considered by some to be institutions for the mentally handicapped or for children suffering from what is regarded as asocial behaviour. The Government estimates that 70 to 80 per cent of Roma children attend institutions of this type. As a result, a large number of Roma children leave school without primary school qualifications, since education completed at special schools is not considered as completed primary education, nor is completion of a grade lower than eighth. Uncompleted primary education makes studies at secondary school impossible and even precludes attainment of a qualification in regular apprenticeship. The lack of qualifications among adult Roma is one of the main reasons for their difficulties finding jobs, their dependence on social benefits, and the general marginalization of the entire Roma community. Over time, this “parallel” system of education has separated Roma children from the majority of Czech children from their earliest age, which is hardly conducive to social harmony between the different components of the Czech population. (Paragraph 15- Czech Republic)

The Czech Government will undertake measures to achieve equality by 2020. These actions will focus on citizens in a situation precisely defined by the Government and will not be limited only to members of the Roma community. The actions will cover access to education and higher qualifications for members of the Roma community and for individuals from similarly affected groups. In its actions the Czech Government will make use of special classes, preparatory classes and courses, extra pay for teachers who work individually with students in such groups, remunerated additional instruction, scholarships for Roma students and certain preferential treatment of Roma companies in placing orders. However, the Government will not use quotas determining the percentage of Roma in public administration, the police, or among applicants admitted to schools. (Paragraph 35- Czech Republic)

At the same time, within the scope of such additional education and training activities, the Government does not want to give preferential treatment only to members of the Roma community, nor does it intend to favour all members of the Roma community. Criteria for selection of those who would benefit from the equality measures will be specified so as to include all persons in need, irrespective of nationality, race, ethnic origin, etc. Terms already in use, such as: “persons that are difficult to place on the labour market”, “children with specific educational and training needs”, etc. will be defined; the equality measures will be directed at groups defined in that way. About 80 per cent of persons to whom the equality measures will apply will be members of the Roma community and at least 70 per cent of the members of that community will need such specific help. (Paragraph 36- Czech Republic)

The Government will introduce changes in the educational system in order to ensure that Roma children are as successful as others. In order to achieve this goal, it will use various methods, including dismantling language barriers, preparatory classes, using the Romany language as a supplementary teaching language, employing Roma assistants at schools and, in particular, taking an individual approach to students. The system by which a large majority of Roma children pass through special schools and are thus assigned to the least qualified work for the rest of their lives will be replaced by a system of flexible and equality-directed classes at elementary schools with a smaller number of pupils than in normal classes. Roma adults will be given the possibility to complete elementary education and/or obtain additional education. (Paragraph 37- Czech Republic)

Preparatory classes, the presence of Roma assistants at schools and equality-oriented classes are creditable methods. However, what is most important is individual care, which requires fewer students in classes and special preparation of teachers. In order to achieve such individual care, it is necessary to provide additional training for teachers and to reduce the number of students, particularly in the early grades. Pedagogical and psychological advice centres will decide which children are having educational and training difficulties. In the first phase experienced teachers from special schools who have acquired special education and experience with individual care of children could be recruited to teach at elementary schools. (Paragraph 38- Czech Republic)

The Government recognizes the Romany language and culture as incontestable cultural values of Czech society. The Romany language and culture will be given more attention since up to now they have been neglected. Both main dialects of the Romany language, i.e. Eastern Slovak and Vlachiko, and the Roma and Vlachiko-Roma cultures will enjoy State protection as well as State support. Knowledge of Roma culture and history, as well as the culture and history of other national minorities, will be incorporated in the general education of all children. (Paragraph 39- Czech Republic)

The Government will ensure that education and training at all schools will be multicultural, that it will be education for tolerance, and that the objective of such education will be a multicultural society. Education and training in State and State-subsidized schools remains monocultural; at school, children learn only about the history and culture of the Czech nation; where they learn about the history and culture of other nations, these are usually large nations that have their own States. If the information is in some way related to the Czech nation and State, it is usually tendentious and one-sided. (Paragraph 41- Czech Republic)

Children learn about minorities that have been living on Czech territory for centuries only episodically and pupils learn almost nothing about the Roma in school. However, knowledge of the culture of people living on the same territory is probably best for an understanding of other cultures. In all cases, knowledge of other cultures helps to create a positive or neutral approach, which in turn eliminates prejudices and xenophobic and hostile attitudes. Successful education for tolerance may in the future render the anti-discrimination measures currently in force redundant. (Paragraph 42- Czech Republic)

Education for tolerance, like information about national minorities, cannot become a separate subject. On the contrary, education for tolerance should permeate all subjects; students should learn about the history of national minorities in their history lessons, just as they should learn about specific historic periods affecting national minorities, about their literature, etc. (Paragraph 43- Czech Republic)

Several non-governmental organizations and community associations provide legal or social support to the Roma in an effort to find solutions to their problems. The Roma Movement concerns itself with child education; it organizes seminars on the problems involved in educating Roma children. In 1997, the R-Mosty civic association initiated a campaign in Prague schools on the subject of “Education for tolerance and against racism”. Many talks on the subject have been given in schools. (Paragraph 54- Czech Republic)

Only 50 per cent of Roma children go to school on a regular basis. They are not segregated in specialized establishments as they are in the Czech Republic, but the prevalence of anti-Roma feeling in schools, and particularly among many teachers, discourages parents from sending their children to school. Since teachers are assessed on the basis of the percentage of successful pupils, they tend to reject Roma children, fearing poor school results. (Paragraph 69- Romania)

In 1991, the Ministry of Education drew up a Romany language study programme for Roma primary teachers (ninth to thirteenth grade) in the teacher training colleges, introducing into the syllabus the official international Romany language alphabet adopted in Warsaw in April 1990 at the World Roma Congress. The same year a collection of Romany texts was prepared for use in Romany language and literature courses for Roma primary teachers. In accordance with the 1994 syllabus, a Romany language handbook was published for students in teacher training colleges, which, along with the Romany-Romanian dictionary published in 1992, is used to teach Roma students in these colleges in their mother tongue. In 1995, a collection of texts in Romany for the second to fourth grades was published. (Paragraph 80- Romania)

The teaching of Romany in primary schools began in a few schools in the school year 1992-1993. It is also supported by education projects initiated by the Bucharest-based non governmental organization Romani CRISS (Roma Centre for Studies and Social Action) in the localities of Coltau and Valenii Lapusului in the department of Maramures. In 1993, the Ministry of Education gave its backing to authorizing two schools for Roma pupils (the “Rrom Rrom” school in Caracal, annexed to School No. 6 and the Ferentari-Bucharest School) as part of the Baptist Church's project for the education of street children. (Paragraph 81- Romania)

After completing their studies in July 1995, the primary teachers trained in Roma classes began in their schools to organize groups of pupils of their own ethnic group during the school year 1995-1996 to study the Romany language. (Paragraph 82- Romania)

The Ministry of Education has also started a coherent programme of affirmative action for Roma, from kindergarten to university. The same Ministry also inaugurated the hiring of school inspectors in each of the 42 counties of Romania. During the academic year 1999-2000, more than 150 Roma students benefited from the special State University places reserved for Roma under an affirmative action programme. There are many other Roma students in practically all the universities in Romania who prefer not to take up such special places but to pass instead through “ordinary” entry channels. (Paragraph 83- Romania)

The Association of Students and Young Roma against Racism, however, in interviews with the Special Rapporteur, denounced practices which since 1997 have aimed at abolishing the Romany language and literature department of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature in the University of Bucharest. Despite the interest expressed by a large number of students, only 13 out of the planned 20 places have been reserved for the study of the Romany language, which jeopardizes the department’s existence. The Association has asked the Rector of the University to intervene to ensure the acceptance of a sufficient number of students who have applied to enter the Romany language department, so that the department can be maintained. (Paragraph 84- Romania)

Romani CRISS was involved in the discussions between the police and Roma associations aimed at finding ways to improve relations between the former and members of the Roma minority. It also cooperates with the Ministry of Education to improve school conditions for Roma children and the teaching of the Romany language. (Paragraph 93- Romania)

In Hungary, as in the Czech Republic, where pre-school education is concerned, there is a practice of placing Gypsy children in special schools for “mentally retarded” children. This reduces these children’s chances of receiving a normal primary and secondary education and means they have no access at all to higher education. Since 1992, the law has forbidden ethnic data gathering so there are no recent statistics in this respect. However, according to 1995 figures, in 309 special schools Gypsies accounted for 41 per cent of a total of 27,365 children while representing only 7 per cent of all school-age children. According to some of the people who spoke to the Special Rapporteur, the situation is much the same at present. (Paragraph 111- Hungary)

The discriminatory treatment of Gypsy children in the Hungarian school system is particularly evident in the primary school in Pethe Ferenc, in Tiszavasvári district (in the east of Hungary). It was the practice in this school to separate Gypsy children from the other pupils and to forbid them to enter the school cafeteria and gym, or to organize promotion ceremonies, which were different from those of the other children. On 22 April 1999, in response to a complaint by 14 children of Gypsy origin, represented by the non-governmental organization Roma Civil Rights Foundation, a court found the school guilty of racial discrimination and ordered the Tiszavasvári town council to pay compensation of 100,000 forint (US$ 450). (Paragraph 112- Hungary)

Two bodies are responsible for managing the funds allocated to various projects intended to improve the economic and social situation of the Roma and to promote their culture: these are the Public Foundation for National and Ethnic Minorities and the Public Foundation for Hungarian Gypsies. The annual Budget Act contains the annual allocations for these two foundations. The board of trustees of each foundation is responsible for determining the manner in which allocated funds are used:

(a) The Public Foundation for National and Ethnic Minorities supports programmes that provide for the preservation of minority identities, the development of native languages and cultures and the protection of minority interests. It also provides important financial resources for events, programmes and the publication of books and periodicals in connection with minorities’ religious traditions and arts, as well as their various holidays and celebrations. It also offers scholarships for minority students attending high school, college or university; (Paragraph 127a- Hungary)

The measures proposed for the educational and employment sectors include positive-discrimination measures, such as the provision of educational grants for Roma children, support for especially gifted Roma children, vocational training for unemployed Roma, encouragement for private firms to hire Roma and support for small scale commercial projects undertaken by Roma. The Government is also contemplating building dormitories for Roma children in schools. (Paragraph 129- Hungary)

The segregation of Roma schoolchildren should be stopped through steps to ensure equality of opportunity for this population and equitable access to education for all. (Paragraph 142- Czech Republic)

The Hungarian Ministry of Education should take steps to end the segregation of Gypsy schoolchildren by developing teaching methods that promote equal opportunities for these children and equitable access to education for all. (Paragraph 150- Hungary)

Early Marriage:

For most Czechs it is impossible to reconcile aspects of the Roma way of life and culture with the majority culture (the persistence of nomadism to some extent; a traditional way of life in which the community, under the authority of a patriarch, takes precedence over the individual; early marriage of Roma children; the status of girls and women who have no formal education and are primarily destined for marriage). Somatic differences (the Roma seem to be darker skinned than the rest of the population) may also lie at the root of the psychological and physical distance between the Roma and the majority of the population. The Roma for their part mark their own distance from the majority, who are referred to as gadjo (which means “white” but in a pejorative sense). (Paragraph 17- Czech Republic)


The case of the Ústi nad Labem wall clearly illustrates the tensions between the Roma and the majority population. In the autumn of 1997, the district of Nestemice and the municipality of Ústi nad Labem started planning to build a four-metre high wall to separate housing inhabited for the most part by Roma (30 families, i.e. 130 persons living in two blocks of flats) from that of the non-Roma inhabitants of Maticni Street, who lived in four houses on the other side of the street. Originally, the wall was supposed to have a single opening, which would have impeded the free passage of the Roma inhabitants, while the existing barrier has two openings. The municipality and the district council justified the measure on the grounds of neighbourhood problems between the two groups of residents: Roma children allegedly were too noisy until late at night; Roma families who lived off the recycling of old goods had piled up large quantities of unusable objects; some Roma reputedly took drugs and practised drug dealing; non-Roma residents were said to have been attacked by the Roma, while the latter complained that they had been insulted by the former. Efforts at reconciliation led to the place being cleaned up but did nothing to remove tensions. (Paragraph 24- Czech Republic)

Recreational Facilities:

Initiatives inspired by the government project have been taken locally, as in the case of the city of Brno in Moravia, which has drawn up a strategic plan to improve inter-ethnic relations between the majority population and the Roma minority. This plan is aimed at the integration of the 16,000 Roma in the city, and includes educational and vocational training projects; cultural projects (theatre, publication of Romany language periodicals, production of a CD of Roma music); projects for improving Roma living conditions; and the building of a museum of Roma culture. The Special Rapporteur visited Roma House, which is a meeting and activity centre, providing educational support and vocational training for Roma, furnishing advice and psychological support to persons in need and also offering recreational facilities for children of Roma families. The Centre also supports a housing renovation project, which the Special Rapporteur visited, and plans to set up a basket-making centre, this being a traditional Roma activity. The local government also employs a Roma adviser to help in designing and implementing its projects. (Paragraph 52- Czech Republic)

Relevant International Legislation:

Romania is party to a number of international human rights conventions, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Where Europe is concerned, Romania is party to the European Convention on Human Rights and its 11 additional Protocols, the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The last-mentioned Convention is the basis for the Romanian State's policy for the protection of minorities. (Paragraph 61- Romania)

Birth Registration:

The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern about the large number of stateless persons among the Roma, particularly among Roma children whose birth has not been registered with the Romanian authorities and who still have no form of identification. The Office of the High Commissioner is of the view that Romania’s accession to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons would facilitate the search for solutions to this worrying situation and would also contribute to the integration of the Roma. (Paragraph 90- Romania)

Attacks on Minors:

On 11 January 1999, in Hajdúhadház, in north-eastern Hungary, on the pretext of a police measure, two juveniles, Attila Rezes and Ferenc Vadász, were seriously injured. As a consequence of the assault, the 16-year-old Attila Rezes suffered a dangerous cerebral lesion and only quick medical intervention saved his life. It has been reported that the police officers from the police station in Hajdúhadház district have been particularly violent to people of Gypsy origin. In March 1999, four human rights non-governmental organizations, the Roma Civil Rights Foundation, the European Roma Rights Centre, the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, conducted an investigation in this district, which revealed that police methods in Hajdúhadház were humiliating and brutal towards Gypsies. They often included beatings, physical injury and forced interrogation. The High Commissioner of the Hungarian National Police is investigating the situation and it appears that legal proceedings have been started against 15 police officers from this district. (Paragraph 119- Hungary)


Special Rapporteur on Torture

Nigel S. Rodley

(E/CN.4/2000/9/Add.3 )
Country visit: 19 to 29 April 1999

Report published: 23 November 1999

Relevant Domestic Visits:

During his visit the Special Rapporteur held meetings in Bucharest from 19 to 22 April and on 29 April with the following authorities: the Minister of Justice; the Deputy Ombudsman; the General Prosecutor; the Chief Prosecutor, Military Prosecutor’s Office, Supreme Court of Justice; the Secretary of State, Department for Child Protection; Secretary of State, Minister of the Interior; the First Deputy General Inspector of the Romanian Police; the President of the Human Rights Commission of the Senate; the President of the Human Rights Commission of the House of Deputies; the Director of the Institute of Legal Medicine; and the General Director, Department for Treaties and Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Paragraph 2)

Threats Against Children:

Miron Constantin, held in Jilava penitentiary, outside Bucharest, at the time of the visit, was arrested on 29 September 1995 by the Bucharest police, allegedly without charge. He was initially held in the Bucharest Police Headquarters, where he claims to have been subjected to beatings with wooden sticks by four police officers. The officers were demanding that he confess to a murder, which he refused to do. He claims to have suffered a broken collarbone, three broken ribs, a broken nose and a broken finger on his right hand as a result of the beatings. After going on hunger strike to protest the beatings, he finally confessed to the murder when the officers allegedly threatened to harm his daughter. Despite the fact that he subsequently retracted the confession in court, he was found guilty of murder on 18 February 1999. He had filed a complaint with the non-governmental organization SIRDO, but to his knowledge no investigation was ever made into his allegation of abuse by the police officers. (Paragraph 16)

Detention of Minors:

According to the President of the Human Rights Commission of the Senate, the “dramatic state of prisons” is not determined by an exaggerated crime rate, as many claim, but rather, by an exaggerated incarceration rate. The Minister of Justice also indicated to the Special Rapporteur that overcrowding could be reduced by changing sentencing to allow for bail. In this regard, he pointed out that both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies had passed a law to have misdemeanours punished by community service. Statistics provided by the governor of Jilava penitentiary indicate the nature of the problem. According to his records, of the 3,253 persons detained at the penitentiary, 1,104 were first-time offenders, most of them charged with theft. Between 1995 and 1998, national statistics indicate that over 50 per cent of detainees were being held for the crime of theft. This is consistent with what the Special Rapporteur found to be the situation in police lock-ups. For example, in Police Station 19, the Special Rapporteur spoke to a 15-year-old boy who had been held for three months in the police lock-up for having stolen a packet of cigarettes from a store; another 18-year-old boy had stolen 400,000 lei (equivalent to a few United States dollars) from a car. The Special Rapporteur also spoke to individuals who had been detained because they were unable to pay fines; it was reported to the Special Rapporteur that, in some cases, for amounts as small as 400,000 lei individuals had been sentenced to serve 40 days in prison. (Paragraph 26)


Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

(E/CN.4/1999/63/Add.4 )
Country visit: 27 September to 2 October 1998

Report published: 16 December 1998

Rights of Refugees:

To benefit from treatment equal to that accorded to Romanian citizens with respect to the freedom to practise one's religion and religious education for one's children (Paragraph 19f)



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