ACTEDO’s Recommendations to Romania at UPR taken up by several UN member states
21.03.2018 / 16:07 / Antidiscrimination
On December 14th, 2017, Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (ACTEDO) presented its report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the evolution of human rights in Romania in the past 5 years. At the UPR Pre-session held at the UN headquarters in Geneva, ACTEDO addressed the issue of the access to justice of vulnerable groups, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, and made specific recommendations to the Romanian state, including to regulate and encourage pro bono lawering, to create integrated services for survivors of sexual violence (which would include medical and forensic assistance, psychological and legal counselling), and to introduce mandatory sexuality education in schools.
The UPR session under which Romania was reviewed took place in Geneva on January 16th, 2018, when Romania received 203 recommendations from other UN member states. Several of ACTEDO’s specific recommendations made in our full report resonated with the states, who took them up during the UPR session, urging the Romanian state to take action as follows (see overlaps with our recommendations in bold):
- Spain, Rec. 6.89. Design and implement a national plan to combat gender-based violence as well as provide greater resources to assist victims;
- Portugal, Rec. 6.90. Create integrated support services for survivors of sexual violence, also in cases in which the aggressor is not a family member, and amend the Law 217/2003 on preventing and combating domestic violence in order to expand its scope to all forms of gender-based violence;
- Chad, Rec. 6.91. Develop and adopt a national strategy to combat gender-based violence, amend the law on domestic violence to extend it to cover all forms of gender-based violence and ensure that the revised law is fully implemented;
The access to justice of vulnerable groups:
- Mexico, Rec. 6.100. Develop a national strategy to facilitate access to justice for vulnerable groups, including by providing training on human rights to the staff of the judiciary;
- Portugal, Rec. 6.103. Remove any existing restriction to the practice of pro bono legal advice, counselling or service provided by lawyers to those in need of legal aid that are unable to afford legal representation;
Sexual and reproductive health and rights; Sexuality education:
- Germany, Rec. 6.135. Accelerate the adoption and budgeting of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2018-2020 and the National Strategy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
- Australia, Rec. 6.143. Implement and ensure equal access to mandatory gender equality and age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education within the formal education system;
- Slovenia, Rec. 6.144. Introduce education for sexual and reproductive health in the core curriculum for secondary education, including by setting out a concrete timeline of implementation of such a measure;
- Finland, Rec. 6.145. Take steps to introduce comprehensive and evidence based sexuality education in the core curriculum for secondary education, as well as to ensure sufficient teacher training on sexuality education.
- Spain, Rec. 6.63. Invest in more training and awareness raising initiatives for police officers, judges and prosecutors to guarantee effective investigations of crimes against the LGBTI community;
- Canada, Rec. 6.64. Develop and implement programmes to counter discrimination against LGBTI persons, including public awareness campaigns and specialized training for law enforcement officials;
UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, whose purpose is to monitor human rights in all UN member states, once every 5 years. Romania was evaluated on January 16th, 2018. The UPR Pre-session took place in Geneva, between the 12th and the 14th of December, and was dedicated to nongovernmental organisations from the states which are under review at the beginning of 2018.