Statements

Commission on Human Rights
Sixty-First Session

Comments
by H.E. Ambassador Doru Costea
Permanent representative of Romania
on the mission to Romania of the special rapporteur Juan-Miguel Petit

Geneva, 6 April 2005

1. My delegation is grateful to Mr. Juan-Miguel Petit for his mission in Romania, his report and recommendations. The Romanian authorities were glad to lend to the Special Rapporteur the assistance he needed, and to engage in a mutually useful dialogue. The competent bodies are considering carefully the recommendations made by Mr. Petit. Additional action will also follow.

2. As a general remark, I would like to emphasise that my authorities would have liked to see more focus on the considerable rapid positive changes in the protection of the child in Romania, both by legislative and institutional mechanisms. In particular we would have liked to see in the report a deeper analysis on the new law on international adoptions, which represent a very determined and courageous response by the Romanian authorities to the complex issue of adoptions.

In this vein, I would like to emphasize the considerable positive impact on the protection of children, brought by the comprehensive package of four laws adopted last year on:

    (i) the protection and promotion of the rights of the child;
    (ii) the legal regime of adoption;
    (iii) the creation of the National Authority for the Protection of the Child;
    (iv) the creation of the National Office for Adoptions.

3. The report reminds us that many challenges lay ahead of us and immediate steps need to be taken to face problems like child trafficking and child sexual exploitation. As the Rapporteur put it, it is effective remedies for the root causes that must be sought to give efficiency to policies and programmes. Social exclusion is strongly felt by children. Government will find ways to provide children and their parents with social programmes that offer viable alternatives before they become victims of trafficking and prostitution.

4. We are glad that the Special Rapporteur recognizes that Romania has one of the most comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in Europe. This means that the subject deserves a few specific comments. I will therefore refer to the efforts undertaken by the Government of Romania in order to implement the respective legislation.

  • In terms of prevention, note should be taken that all relevant ministries participate in a Counter-Trafficking Steering Committee. The government developed and distributed course materials on trafficking to schools, taught an anti-trafficking course for teachers of various subjects and levels, and conducted mass media prevention campaigns targeting the public at large. The government continues to improve its ability to monitor its borders and keeps statistics on illegal migration and movements of persons.
  • As to the prosecution, it is relevant that trafficking is criminalized, pursuant to the special anti-trafficking law mentioned by the Special Rapporteur in his report. The Ministry of Interior has a specialized unit devoted to trafficking, migration, and adoption with seven persons at headquarters and investigators in 15 regions throughout the country. The Prosecutor General's office assigned prosecutors throughout the country specifically to prosecute trafficking and related crimes. The Government of Romania played a substantial role in organizing and coordinating the South Eastern Europe Cooperation Initiative (SECI)-led Operation "Mirage". Border monitors have procedural guidelines for identifying and responding to trafficking situations, and police interdicted several trafficking operations at the borders.
  • Finally, inasmuch as protection is concerned, the government drafted regulations for implementing the victim protection aspects of the anti-trafficking law. The government provides space and police protection at a refugee centre turned trafficking shelter. The government actively assists in preparing documents for repatriations. Foreign and domestic victims are provided support services, including rights presentations and legal assistance.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to reassure the Special Rapporteur and this distinguished Commission on the readiness of my authorities to interact further for a constant improvement of the policy aimed at protecting children who are victims of trafficking or in other vulnerable situations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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