ROMANIA: National Laws

Summary: General overview of Romania's national legal provisions on children's rights, including guidance on how to conduct further research.

National laws on children's rights

Status of the CRC in national law
Article 11 of the Constitution of Romania provides that properly ratified treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are part of domestic law, and Article 20 of the Constitution further dictates that constitutional provisions relating to citizens' rights and freedoms must be interpreted and applied in compliance with ratified treaties.  Courts should therefore be able to cite and discuss the CRC, although the Committee on the Rights of the Child has noted that domestic courts do not cite the Convention in cases concerning children's rights.

Constitution: Title II of the Constitution contains a number of rights provisions that apply regardless of age, but also a number that specifically address the rights of children:

  • Art. 29(6): creates a right for parents or legal tutors to ensure an upbringing in accordance with their own convictions
  • Art. 32(4): provides for free public education and social grants for children or young persons from underprivileged backgrounds and for institutionalised children
  • Art. 48(1) and (2): respectively establish the equality of parents' rights and duties regarding their children, and the equality of children regardless of the marital status of their parents
  • Art. 49(1) and (2): provide for the "special protection and assistance" of children in pursuing their rights, and for granting allowances for children, specifically children with disabilities
  • Art. 49(3) and (4): prohibit the exploitation of minors and their employment in activities harmful to their health or morals, and set a minimum age for paid employment
  • Art. 49(5): requires public authorities to contribute to ensuring the conditions of free participation of young persons in the political, social, cultural and sports life of the country

Legislation: Romanian law does not have a comprehensive or consolidated Children's Act, though thematic legislation does exist that specifically addresses the rights of the child. Laws relevant to children's rights include, but are by no means limited to:

  • The Criminal Code
  • The Family Code (amended by Law No. 288/2007)
  • Law No. 272/2004 on the protection and promotion of the rights of the child
  • Law No. 122/2006 on Asylum
  • Law No. 84/1995: the Education Law (amended by Law no. 268/2003)
  • Law No. 273/2004 on the legal status of adoption
  • Law No. 274/2004 on the set up, organising and functioning of the Romanian Adoption Office (amended by Law No. 233/2011)
  • Law No. 448/2006 on the protection and promotion of the rights of disabled persons
  • Decree No. 545/1972 on re-education centres

Legal Research:
The Romanian Chamber of Deputies maintains a full database of national legislation in Romanian (, and the World Law Guide has published a selection of Romanian legislation in English ( The website of the Constitutional Court of Romania has published the Constitution in English ( In addition, the GlobaLex initiative at New York University has published a guide to legal research in Romania ( and the U.S. Law Library of Congress ( and the World Legal Information Institute ( have compiled selections of relevant links to legal and governmental resources.

Case Law
CRC Jurisprudence
Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any cases in national courts that reference the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Case Law Research ( maintains a database of Romanian case law in Romanian, and the website of the Constitutional Court ( publishes selected decisions in English, French and Romanian.

Compliance with the CRC
In its 2009 Observations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed attempts to harmonise national legislation with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly with regards to a 2005 package of legal reforms. However, the Committee noted with disappointment that courts do not refer to the Convention in cases concerning children, and expressed concerns about the implementation of legislation, particularly with respect to the decentralisation of public agencies, family services, the education of children in detention centres, and legislative proposals such as those concerning day care services.

In depth analysis
Some of the main concerns that emerged from the 2009 Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to Romanian law were with respect to children in conflict with the law. The Committee highlighted the widespread violation of procedural rights of children subject to a criminal investigation, the practice of detaining children in adult detention facilities, and the limited access to education facilities for children in detention. The Committee also reiterated the concerns of the national Ombudsman in that the legislation that governs re-education centres was considered to be obsolete and inadequate to protect the rights of children. The Committee also expressed its utmost concern at reports of the ill-treatment of children at the hands of law-enforcements officials, and recommended that the State institute a complaints mechanism for children in detention to investigate allegations of such treatment.

Furthermore, the Committee expressed concern at the high level of sexual exploitation and abuse affecting children, particularly insofar as Romanian law treated domestically and internationally trafficked girl victims of sexual exploitation differently and sometimes acted to criminalise child victims of abuse.

At the time of the Committee's 2009 Observations, it considered Romanian adoption law to provide for lengthy procedures that may not be in the best interests of the child. In particular, the Committee expressed concern that insufficient protections were in place for separated children, and recommended that the State amend this legislation to extend protections for unaccompanied children to those who have been separated from their parents. This legislation has been amended since, but the Committee is yet to examine the new legislation for compatibility with the Convention.

Current legal reform projects
Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any current legal reform projects.


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.