The delegation of Romania has joined the statement made by Greece on
behalf of the EU, the acceding and associated states. I would, however,
like to take this opportunity to briefly touch upon development at the
national level in this field. Over the past decade, Romania has attached
priority attention to the protection of the rights of the child. Three
months ago, on 20 of January 2003 Romania presented its second periodic
Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. This was on
opportunity for a frank and constructive dialogue between the members of
the Committee and an inter-disciplinary Romanian delegation, allowing for
detailed and comprehensive information, as well as for a clearer
understanding of the situation of children in Romania.
Initiated in 2001, the Romanian Governmental Strategy in the area of child
protection is based on the following principles:
- Looking after the best interest of the child which prevails in all actions conducted in the implementation of the Government Strategy.
- Non-discrimination and equality of chances.
- Ensuring family environment for every child, including those in difficult situations.
- Continuing the process of decentralization, with a view to bringing services closer to the community, increasing their diversity as well as having various service-providers, both public and private, generate a stronger social cohesion in the approach to all child-related issues.
- Solidarity. Upbringing, development and education of all children are carried out in the spirit of dignity, freedom, and respect for one's fellow beings and in the spirit of solidarity with those in difficulty.
- Inter-disciplinary approach. The protection of children's rights is a mix of social, family and education policies and requires coordinated, inter-sector and inter-disciplinary interventions.
- Partnership between all stakeholders.
Please allow me to mention some important results achieved over the
past two years:
- About 60 large residential institutions (orphanages) where shut
down, which contributed to a significant reduction of the number of
institutionalized children (about 40%);
- Development of a large variety of services as an alternative to
the "classical" residential care
- A re-assessment of children going to special schools, leading to
the integration of about one third of these children into the regular
- The establishment of a single decision-making authority at county
level to deal with children's issues;
- The entering into force of a comprehensive legislative package
containing the Law on National Social Assistance System, the Law on
the Minimal Guaranteed Income and the Law on the Fight against Social
Exclusion provides the context wherein children's social problems are
approached within the framework of the situation of their families,
with the aim of generating unified policies and increase the
harmonization of action and the efficiency of the allocation of
Accordingly to this Strategy, the Government's short and
middle term objectives and priorities in this area cover
specific interventions, institutional capacity building and
improvement of the legislation, including:
- Prevention of child abandonment through providing support to families in difficult situations;
- Diversification of the family allowances in order to better support and meet children's needs;
- Continuation of the restructuring and/or closing down the large residential institutions, particularly those for children with severe disabilities;
- Harmonization of the legal framework necessary for the organization and operation of the system that protects children's rights;
- Reform of the juvenile justice system;
- The shift of some of the decision-making process regarding the individual child's situation, from the administrative level to courts;
- Development of new procedures regarding child trafficking elimination;
- Establishment of the accreditation procedures for service providers, together with the improvement of the standards for each service;
- Establishment of an operational system of inspection against the standards for all services for children and families;
- Human resources development;
- Improvement of financial mechanisms.
I would like to end this short presentation by re-affirming Romania's
full commitment to promote and implement systems that will ensure that
the rights of the child are properly observed and protected. Determined
to continue the positive trend in improving the situation of children
in Romania, Romanian Government also expresses its appreciation for the
fruitful cooperation with our international and national partners in this
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