ACTEDO’s submission for the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
05.07.2017 / 13:29 / Access to Justice
In January 2018, in Geneva, Romania will be under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which will assess its compliance with international human rights standards and the latest developments in the area of human rights. The basis of the Review is the UN Charter, International Treaties, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and government commitments in the area of human rights.
As part of this process, ACTEDO has submitted a report which assesses the current situation of access to justice, sexual violence, Roma and LGBT+ rights in Romania and is a result of our direct working experience with vulnerable groups and of compiling public information. Based on this assessment, we seek to provide guidance to States on third-cycle recommendations that we believe can bring about a positive change to people’s lives and advance human rights.
Read our full submission here: UPR submission for Romania by ACTEDO
Our main recommendations include:
- Design and implement a national strategy on access to justice targeting vulnerable groups, including by establishing a system of data collection on barriers to justice and the legal needs of vulnerable groups, within two years.
- Urgently remove any restrictions to the practice of non-state legal aid schemes, such as pro bono lawyering and university legal clinics, and acknowledge, encourage and finance such programmes as tools to promote human rights.
- Immediately organize annual human rights and anti-discrimination training programs for the judiciary, with an emphasis on the experiences of vulnerable groups.
- Design and implement a human rights education program in schools until the next Review.
- Establish integrated support services for victims of sexual violence that include free medical, legal and psychological support, from a human rights perspective, immediately.
- Amend Law 217/2003 on preventing and combating domestic violence to expand its scope to all forms of gender-based violence. Ensure the effective implementation of the Law by providing adequate financial resources, setting up a sufficient number of shelters, including for women affected by sexual violence and other support services.
- Integrate a gender dimension into the state and local budget and increase the annual budget allocated for gender programmes, in order to ensure compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, immediately.
- Adopt and implement legislation to ensure that evictions are carried out in compliance with international human rights standards and take safeguards against Roma discrimination and marginalisation immediately.
- Increase the annual budget allocation for social housing and immediately relocate to safe and sanitary environments those individuals and families who were forcibly evicted and placed in unsuitable living conditions.
- Amend law 114/1996 on public housing to establish a clear national framework of allocation of social housing that prioritize vulnerable groups, including Roma people, in line with human rights international standards.
- Implement nation-wide awareness campaigns aimed at reducing prejudice, hate speech and discrimination against LGBT+ people, targeting both youth and aduls
- Design and implement regular training programmes for police officers in order to reduce secondary victimisation and discrimination of LGBT+ people.