Romanian Institute for Human Rights
Education is not a privilege, but a fundamental right allowing for and facilitating enjoyment of the other rights of the child, making a contribution to the latter’s harmonious development, as well as to the economic, social and cultural welfare of society.
Human rights education is an integral part of the right to education, as essential instrument for the application and observance of rights and freedoms.
Courses organized in 2019
On December 9, with the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the ninth edition of the national symposium "Human rights and fundamental freedoms" took place. The symposium, part of the "Culture - Democratic citizenship - Patriotism" project, was held at "Nicolae Iorga" Library in Ploiești and was organized by "Adolescența" Foundation in partnership with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, County Library "Nicolae Iorga", the School Inspectorate of Prahova County and the Prahova House of the Teaching Staff.
This year`s UN theme for the International Day of Human Rights was "Youth Standing Up for Human Rights", in the context of the 30thanniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This campaign to defend human rights aims to celebrate the potential of young people and their ability to bring positive changes in the field of human rights. It was reminded that the empowerment of youth to better know and claim their rights would generate benefits globally
After the opening remarks, some of the projects of the students were presented. The projects were made under the guidance of their coordinating teachers. The participants were reminded of the message of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, delivered on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, who called on everyone ”to support and protect young people who are standing up for human rights.”
The event was attended by teachers and students from "Toma Socolescu" High school, "Spiru Haret" High school and the Economic High school "Virgil Madgearu" in Ploiești, and "Simion Stolnicu" High school in Comarnic, representatives of the Association of Law Firms, teachers, documentarists as well as civil society representatives. Participants and those with special contribution received diplomas, medals, trophies and scientific journals from the organisers.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights organised a training module on the issue of “Preventing torture and inhumane treatments” as part of the specialised trainings for police officers, organised by the Institute for the Study of Public Order. The training module, designed for staff of the Detention and Custody Centres, covered four themes: An Introduction to Human Rights; Protection mechanisms, instruments and systems (focused on the European Convention of Human Rights); Torture and degrading treatments; Case law of the European Court for Human Rights concerning torture or degrading or inhuman treatment.
The topic of torture and inhuman treatment was the most intensely debated. The debate started from the fundamental concepts and the definition of the two concepts and, through additional materials, worksheets and case studies, other sub-topics of interest were tackled, such as: the difference between torture and degrading or inhuman treatment., the definition of differentiation criteria - intention, severity of suffering, purpose - and conditions that facilitate or prevent the behaviours that may lead to the application of bad treatments, etc.
The Training Department of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights has obtained an accreditation from the Ministry of Education to develop a 40-hour course for professors and school counsellors. The course, entitled “Communication, Information, Development, Awareness. Education for the Rights of the Child”, was designed by the Training Department of the Institute and it will take place in 3 counties and Bucharest, in collaboration with the partners of the project: House of the Teaching Staff Ilfov, House of the Teaching Staff Cluj and House of the Teaching Staff Olt.
The topics were chosen following the consultation of the beneficiaries of the course: direct (applying questionnaires) or indirect (synthesising topics of interest in the debates occasioned by previous courses provided by the Training Department).
A particular feature of the course is that it was designed to allow the integration of the topics in the students` activity, in a participatory and dynamic way. Thus, the course consists of practical activities (and theory, where necessary) that raise the awareness on the need to adopt attitudes and behaviours in accordance with the principles of the rights of the child.
The aim of the course is to make the participants understand that Education for the Rights of the Child is not an extra professional obligation, but a fundamental part of the educational process, which creates the basis of an optimal school environment for all involved actors.
Tackling issues, debating, analysing situations, answering to questionnaires, brainstorming, and role-playing are methods that imply a dynamic approach, which stimulates critical thinking, empathy, gradual development of an opinion, awareness of the importance of the subject of the course.
The course will also consist of two annexes (good practice and models of implementing activities in classes), which provide examples in order to continue the approaches provided by the course.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights was invited by “Mihai Viteazu” School in Pucioasa to participate at the award-ceremony of the students who excelled in two local contests: the second edition of the banner contest “It is time for tolerance!” and the thematic contest “I know my rights and responsibilities”, which were attended by 22 teams of two.
On this occasion, children of the Student Council, along with parents and professors, took part in a workshop focused on the International Day for Tolerance. The workshop comprised of discussion on different creative themes (such as “what if tolerance was a colour”, commenting different quotes), as well as filling in some handouts and tests.
The International Day of the Rights of the Child is celebrated, every year, on November 20, this year having a special significance because it marks the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most ratified treaty in the world. The Convention has the objective of promoting the rights of the child at an international level, raising public awareness on the situation of children worldwide and ensuring the well-being of the children.
With this event, on November 20, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized a workshop themed "30 years anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" with the participation of 5th grade students from the "Radu Stanian" School from Ploieşti.
Moreover, a presentation was held which approached the significance of this day, the institutions dealing with the protection of the rights of the child and the main rights and responsibilities deriving from the Convention. This activity was followed by an interactive workshop, during which the children expressed their opinions about the different rights of the child, presenting several essays regarding these rights (the right to education, the right to health, the right to life, etc.).
The goal of the event was to raise awareness and inform children about their rights and responsibilities, through a better understanding of the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The event was a good opportunity to discuss the importance of respecting the rights of the child, promoting respect for values, but also about the duties corresponding to each right.
In the context of the partnership between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR) with School no. 1 from Singureni, Giurgiu County, and the electoral elections taking place in this period, RIHR representatives organised a workshop themed ”Democratic citizenship”. Forty participants from the 5th to 8th grade participated at the event.
The workshop discussion tackled subjects such as: citizenship, the functioning of a constitutional democracy and the role of each institution in a democratic state. Moreover, children were asked about the functioning of the state institutions and the relation between them, as well as their powers. Children understood what it means to be a good citizen in a democratic society, expressing their views regarding the applicability in their daily lives.
The activities ended in a dynamic way as the students participated in teams in a role-playing game during which they had the opportunity to represent a Government, Parliament and a fictional President respectively and to take on specific responsibilities, obligations and prerogatives of the selected role.
To mark the International Day of Tolerance, celebrated annually on November 16, representatives of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights organised a workshop attended by 27 students of the 11th grade from the Superior Commercial School "Nicolae Kretzulescu".
In the workshop, organised on November 13, the students listened to a song and analysed the lyrics, which included terms from the lexical field of rights and freedoms. Afterwards, participants were asked to choose terms that seemed to explain best the concept of tolerance.
Among these, students identified respect, acceptance, kindness, negotiation and compromise - as balance of two opposing opinions. Most of the concepts proposed by the students after the analysis of the lyrics are found in the Declaration on the International Day of Tolerance.
The students understood that tolerance is closely linked to the right to opinion, information and freedom of expression and that prejudice can lead to discrimination and stigmatisation. The participants concluded that it is important that actions and opinions do not affect the rights of other people. In addition, they understood that any opinion should be supported by arguments. In addition, the students were explained the differences between declarations, pacts/conventions, as well as the effects of such documents at international level.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights organised a workshop to celebrate two important human rights events – the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and 10 years of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The themes of the workshop were the right to private life, and the protection of personal data, focused on articles 7 and 8 of the Charter. The dynamic workshop (including case studies and role-playing) focused on training the participants – school counsellors at the Educational Resources and Assistance County Centre in Vâlcea – as well as identifying ways to promote these rights among children.
At the European level, the need to acknowledge the priority of children when it comes to personal data protection – especially with regard to aspects on using data for targeted advertising, building a digital identity, collecting personal data through children services or products – was stressed several times. Thus, in the 35thInternational Conference of Data Protection Commissioners adopted a Resolution on “Anchoring Data Protection and the Protection of Privacy in International Law”. The European strategy for a better internet for children stresses that parents, teachers and everyone involved in child protection should acknowledge the online risks a child faces, and that schools are best environment to promote digital education.
In order to facilitate the knowledge transfer from participants to children they work with, the workshop comprised of various activities and themes: how to define private life and privacy, what are personal data and sensitive data, what type of data needs critical protection, which are online rights and what to do if they are violated.
The Romanian National Disability Council organised a seminar named ”The future of inclusive education”. The event represented a debate on the identified barriers when applying the right of children with disabilities or special education needs, as well as good practice examples from educational institutions.
The meeting was aimed at connecting public institutions and representative bodies of people with disabilities, and consulting them to find solutions for particular issues.
The event was attended by representatives of public bodies (the National Council for Combating Discrimination, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoptions, the School Inspectorate in Bucharest), and of NGO`s activating in the field (the National Association for Children and Adults with Autism in Romania, the Association of Support for Disabled Children, the National Association for the Deaf, the National Association of the Blind etc.).
During the introductory remarks, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR) reminded of the important steps that were made in recognizing and implementing the rights of children with disabilities. Moreover, RIHR representatives mentioned that measures are still underway at legislative level, or in the field of financial and human resources allocation, adaptation of the curricula, teachers and parents training, and the conditions in which itinerant support teachers activate etc.
Celebrating 74 years since the establishment of the United Nations Organization , on 24 October, 2019, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized the event ”United Nations – establishment objectives, principles and mechanisms” at the "Mihai Viteazul" College in Ploiești.
The event was attended by students of the 11th and 12th grade, who watched with interest the presentation about the significance of the UN Day, and also about the purpose, principles and objectives of the international organization. The students were able to deepen their knowledge regarding the history and the reasons for the establishment of the UN. Moreover, they had the opportunity to learn new aspects abou the importance of the activity of the most important organisation in the world, in the protection and promotion of human rights, and its role in meeting the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
During the event, an interactive debate took place, in which the students asked questions and were interested to find out about Romania's presence within the UN, Romania being admitted as a member state since 1955. Also, it was mentioned that our country was the first one from Eastern Europe to establish an UN Information Center, in 1970, in Bucharest.
The theme of the UN day this year was "Our planet - our future" and was chosen with the aim of raising awareness that climate change is the most pressing problem of our times. At the end of the event was read the UN Secretary - General's message, António Guterres highlighting the need of linking climate change to development processes, which can lead to a fair globalization.
October 21 – November 20
To celebrate 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR) carried out a project, in Bucharest and various cities, consisting of concrete actions meant to provide a better understanding of the provisions of the Convention for children and teachers.
The project, addressed to schools and high schools, thus targeted at students of all ages, consisted of selecting a theme and activity proposed by RIHR, and carrying out thematic activities.
These activities included creating a banner or logos, debating on the right to the freedom of expression and its limits, school violence, how to play responsibly, or writing a short essay. All the selected themes were aimed at raising awareness on current, recurring issues, which have a negative impact on the learning environment.
The last informing session on the right to health and first-aid training for elders, part of the information campaign “The right to health. First aid measures for elders living in District 6” took place at “Ioan Slavici” Senior`s Centre.
This marked the end of the 6-months project, designed by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration and partnership with District 6 City Hall, General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Distric t 6, the Multifunctional Healthcare Centre ‘Saint Nectarios’, and Red Cross District 6.
Based on the estimates of ‘Saint Nectarios’ Centre, in total, over a half a year period, approximately 350 elders have received useful information regarding the exercise and protection of the right to health, they have learned about medical services and how to receive them – including through discounts based on social assistance file – and they had access to free first-aid training sessions.
The training session had different aims: to update information regarding the effective reactions in case of accidents (providing first-aid measures), developing healthy habits, reducing (as much as possible) improvised reactions, acquiring know-how in treating medical emergencies, highlighting, at same time, the need to consult a medical professional as soon as possible to receive proper medical assistance.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in partnership with Europe Direct, organised the event ‘Culture connects. Education empowers’ dedicated to the International Teacher's Day.
The main goal of the event was to celebrate the work and efforts of dedicated teachers; however, it also had the specific aim of bringing together children, young people and adults from different cultures.
Thus, the target group was composed of migrants and refugees who live work and/or learn in Romania.
Following the introductory remarks of organisers (Loredana Licuța, Europe Direct coordinator, and Silvia Iorgulescu, chief of IRDO Training Department), professors and Ecomodia NGO representative, the participants shared their experience in a world café themed workshop. The groups were seated at tables and they communicated freely, permanently changing their seat based on their interest for a certain subject.
Stories were told, connections were made, each participant sharing with the others memories, specific elements of the education system of the country of origin, cultural differences and similarities between their country of origin and Romania. Moreover, many participants brought different objects that are representative for their culture (such as fans, costumes, jewellery, and ornaments) or they created and presented posters or videos.
Fifty professors and children participated at the event organised by IRDO. They were from Mark Twain International School, A.R.C. Metropolitan School, Middle School no. 190, International School of Bucharest, ‘Iulia Hașdeu’ Highschool, ‘Ady Endre’ Highschool. The different ages, ethnic origins and backgrounds created a beautiful diversity, and their stories talked about Israel, Spain, China, Iran, Iraq, Albania, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, and Germany.
The Constanța Territorial Inspectorate of Border Police (IGPF) – Coast Guard hosted the last training session of the collaboration project between IRDO, the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, the General Inspectorate for Immigration and the General Inspectorate of the Border Police.
The session was themed ‘Human rights and sea border management’ and it focused on case studies and examples of good practices in managing illegal migration.
The main issues caused by migration by sea were analysed from the human rights perspective (multiple deaths, the difficulty of some states to agree on the jurisdiction, not reporting information obtained through migrants detection systems in a timely manner, prohibiting the entry in ports, refoulements based on bilateral agreements, etc.). Examples from states that have faced major migrant flows were given for each situation.
Moreover, there were discussions on the legal norms that govern migration management at EU borders: the duty to examine international protection applications submitted on the territorial sea, on land or at sea borders, the principle of nonrefoulement, the right to remain pending an examination of the application, the procedural guarantees and the right to effective legal remedy.
At the training session organised by IRDO, other participants took the floor on specific issues: representatives of Constanța Inspectorate for Immigration, Police Chief Commissioner Robert Neacșu from the Prevention of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, and Chief Commissioner Sava Mădălin of the Directorate for Prevention and Combat of Illegal Migration and Cross-border Crime of IGPF. The latter presented an overview of the operations that took place at Romania`s border in the first semester of 2019.
The second training session for Territorial Inspectorates of Border Police (ITPF) took place at Giurgiu. Officials of ITPF, Police Chief Commissioner Robert Neacșu, from the Prevention of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, Chief Commissioner Sava Mădălin of the Directorate for Prevention and Combat of Illegal Migration and Cross-border Crime of the General Inspectorate of the Border Police (IGPF), and representatives from the Giurgiu Inspectorate for Immigration attended the training and discussion session.
The target group consisted of 30 law enforcement officials from the Territorial Services of ITPF Giurgiu.
The first part of discussions focused on a short introduction to human rights notions from the police officers point of view. Together with the participants, various concepts were defined and explained, such as values and principles governing human rights, generations of rights, rights holders and duty bearers etc.
The second part of the training consisted of the rights of migrants, as they are reflected in international and regional law. The discussions focused on to the Convention on Refugees, the UN Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants, the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental rights of the European Union.
Following the collaboration on the prevention of corruption in the context of illegal migration, started in 2018, between the Anti-Corruption General Directorate (DGA), the General Inspectorate for Immigration and the General Inspectorate of the Border Police (IGPF), on one hand, and the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, on the other hand, three training sessions will take place this year for the personnel of the Territorial Inspectorate of the Border Police (ITPF).
The first training session took place at the Territorial Inspectorate in Timișoara, and the participants were from the Territorial Services of the Border Police (Caraș-Severin, Oravița, Nidăș, Socol, Moldova Veche, Berzasca, Moravița, Deta, Jimbolia, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Mehedinți, Orșova, Sînnicolau Mare, Porțile de Fier etc.)
IRDO representative Silvia Iorgulescu, Police Chief Commissioner Bârlici Mihăiţă, director of the Directorate for Prevention of DGA, and Chief Commissioner Sava Mădălin of the Directorate for Prevention and Combat of Illegal Migration and Cross-border Crime of IGPF were present at the debates.
The discussions focused on ‘Human right in the context of illegal migration’ and analysed the migration phenomenon, not from an administrative view, but especially from the human rights view. Among others, the participants discussed the effects of migration, which create multicultural environments at the community level of destination countries. The participants also brought up issues on the rights of migrants and the obligations of authorities. Participants have given examples from their activity regarding the rights of migrants that were fulfilled by Border Police representatives. It should be noted that at the level of ITPF Timisoara, the law enforcement officials have received human rights training from FRONTEX.
Another important debate point was the differentiation between traffickers and smugglers, which is an important issue when it comes to dealing with persons who need international protection, and victims, or concerning the different reasons behind irregular border-crossing attempts.
The session ended with a case study on identifying human rights breaching in an example of smuggling of irregular migrants, which, between the country of origin and the country of destination, transformed into a case with characteristics of human trafficking.
Additional information: http://www.mai-dga.ro/arhive/46044
The fifth edition of the information campaign ‘The right to health. First aid measures for elders living in District 6’ took place at the ‘Mihail Sadoveanu’ seniors` club. Representatives of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, Red Cross District 6, General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection District 6 Bucharest (DGASPC 6) and of the Multifunctional Healthcare Centre ‘Saint Nectarios’ have presented and discussed with the elders aspects concerning the right to health and the responsibilities each of them have when it comes to their health.
In addition, participants have been informed about the medical services provided by DGASPC 6, and they were shown how to administer first aid in case of accidents or health issues that occur at a greater frequency in case of elders.
May 28, 2019
Based on the partnership between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the Secondary School „Ovidiu Hulea” in Aiud, several sessions of workshops were held with pupils of the 4th, 6th, and 8th grades.
Depending on the age and educational needs identified, they addressed obstacles to the exertion of the right to education, the rights and responsibilities of the child, they identified in the examples provided the right to child protection, recognizing the differences between abuse and degrading, inhuman treatments to which children can be subjected.
Students in the „another type of school” programme appreciated this type of non-formal education and were happy to attend the workshop, expressing their desire to get involved in other projects initiated by the RIHR in the future.
May 23-27, 2019
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized, with the support of its partners from the Teaching Staff House in Cluj, a 20-hour course addressed to the teachers at the county level, respectively to the school counselors from the County Centre for Resource and Educational Assistance in Cluj.
The course, endorsed by the Ministry of Education, aimed at combating „harmful games and violent practices in the school environment”. Being structured on several modules, it first outlined the child's rights categories (survival and development, protection, participation), with a focus on the right to play and recreational activities (highlighting the way this right is defined in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as in the General Observation No 17 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child). There were also presented different types of games, the criteria for choosing the game, the impact of the game on the growth and development of children, the conditions in which any game should be played (without violence or discrimination, as far as possible in the open air, etc.), as well as the link between the right to play and other rights of the child.
As part of the training strategy of the Institute for combating violence in 2019, this course will be supported at the level of other counties in order to train teachers and school counselors, who in turn should transfer the knowledge acquired to other colleagues.
May 16, 2019
The campaign „The right to health! First Aid Measures for the elderly in Sector 6”continued at the Senior Club „Mihai Eminescu”. On behalf of the partners involved in the project - the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection, Sector 6, the Multifunctional Health Centre „Saint Nectarie”, the Red Cross, Sector 6 - the RIHR representative presented the campaign and some main notions about the right to health, referring to the elderly, by definition a vulnerable category.
As all the institutions involved in the information campaign (which will run until October 2019 inclusive) have the mission to protect the right to health - whether their duties concern a promotion, social protection or health care component - the event aims to provide the 50 seniors who attend the Club useful and practical information to support the exercise of this fundamental right.
More details here and here
Among the activities scheduled this year in partnership with the Gymnasium School no. 150 was also a course addressed to primary school teachers with the theme „The Right to Child Protection”, chosen by mutual agreement.
Even though the activity of teachers is mainly related to the exercise of the right to education, they also assume other additional responsibilities, most of them out of their norm, or insufficiently explained. An example is the one related to the right to protection against violence. During classes and in the school's perimeter, besides being a trainer, the teacher its also responsible for protecting the child's right to protection against any form of violence, injury or abuse, physical or mental, abandonment, neglect, ill-treatment or exploitation. The teachers need to know not only the existence of child protection rights but also what concretely means each of the concepts of protection against violence, how the victim should recognize abuse and how to react after finding about child maltreatment.
Thus, the course focused on the measures that the school management, the teachers, the school counsellors and the auxiliary staff should take to ensure a safe school environment (reducing bullying, ensuring classroom safety, respecting rights, eliminating discrimination, etc.). The participants proposed that an operational procedure should be set up for a task force in school in which they should work to prevent violence and provide methods of intervention in certain types of situations.
Also, a debate took place on adults' attitudes and practices - recommended or inadequate - in their relationship with students.
At the invitation of Mark Twain International School, as part of a 4th grade students' research project, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights held a workshop on the rights and responsibilities of the child.
The brief presentation of the rights, together with the pupils' views on the responsibilities of each person (in relation to themselves, school colleagues, other children, adults, family, school and community) was followed by an interactive game, designed to show the equal importance and interdependence of rights, and the effect of their observance / non-observance on the community and society.
At the end the pupils prepared a questionnaire and received answers to their queries about the mission, activities and events of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights.
„The right to health, First Aid measures for elderly persons in Sector 6” campaign has been launched under the ample 6 months campaign taking place during April-October 2019.
This information campaign has been designed at the initiative of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with the General Department for Social Assistance, sector 6, the Red Cross, sector 6 and with „Saint Nectarie” Multifunctional Centre for Health. The aim of the six information sessions to be held in six residential centres for elderly people is to offer appropriate information on efficient first aid measures in case of minor accidents at home, or potential environmental health risks.
The first information session took place on April 12 at „Liviu Rebreanu” centre for elderly people and was followed by a debate on the ways in which those responsible for the enforcement of the measures to guarantee the right to health fulfill their responsibilities, but also on the way in which the elderly can contribute themselves to maintaining their own health.
The information provided by the Red Cross representative, Răzvan Paraian, focused on this last aspect and highlighted the rapid measures that can be taken in the case of food-choking or of food caused burns accidents and explained in detail the symptoms of a heart attack.
See event poster (12 Aprilie)
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized - at the Theoretical High School Tudor Vianu from Giurgiu and at the Energy Technological College in Constanţa - a workshop entitled „The Right to Vote and the Degree of Civic Involvement”. The event was designed for students of the 11th and 12th grades of the two educational institutions.
To understand that everyone's participation in the well-being of the society is essential - voting being such an instrument of active participation - the students were involved in simulating an electoral process.
Finally, the social consequences of non-participation were discussed, concluding that refusing to vote cannot bring any improvement in community life.
„Dumitru Dumitrescu” Technological High School in Buftea hosted the Caravan „It is in your power to make a change”. Over 100 pupils from six classes of 11th and 12th grades participated in the event organized by Europe Direct Information Centre together with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights on the importance of voting.
The first part consisted in a brief history of the fight to win the fundamental right to vote and a presentation of the typology and structure of the Forum Theatre. During the second part an interactive play with electoral theme was performed with the aim to raise youth awareness on civic behaviours and attitudes.
The participants understood that participation and voting can sanction oppressive attitudes and they do not represent only possible personal actions but everyone’s civic responsibility.
March 25, 2019
The Penultimate stop of the Caravan “It is up to you to change something!” took place at the “Vintilă Brătianu” Technology High School from Dragomirești Vale.
Pupils attending the non-formal learning event learned from the IRDO representative about their rights and the obligations they have to assume, the right to vote being the way they can participate in community life.
From the Europe Direct Information Center, coordinator Loredana Licuţa explained the typology of the Forum Theater, inviting students to become involved in changing the story of young amateur actors from “Ion Creangă” National College, Theoretical College “Jean Monnet” and the “Mihail Sadoveanu” Theoretical High School in Bucharest.
March 19, 2019
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights was the host for students of the “Vulcana Pandele” Gymnasium School in Dâmboviţa County, involved in the Erasmus project “Kids, stand for your rights!”, together with partners from France and Poland.
The project aimed to raise children's awareness of the need to understand and exercise their rights, as well as the fact that any right also implies a responsibility. The knowledge of the fundamental rights and freedoms and the means of exercising them are essential objectives for their protection at national and European level. Also, an important goal of the project is to increase the involvement of young people in promoting their own rights and their active participation in community life.
Activities in which children will be involved by August 2020 are aimed at achieving these goals. Among these a visit to the RIHR headquarters was organized. The group of pupils in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades learned about the activities carried out by the Institute for the promotion and protection of children's rights and they participated in a workshop on the right to education, in which their contribution was essential.
The quizzes, the stories to be continued, the filing of forms with their own experiences were all opportunities to interact, actively participate in the workshop and to check their level of understanding of new concepts and information.
March 15, 2019
In preparation for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st), the Romanian Institute for Human Rights has held a training course for law enforcement on Prevention and Counterfeiting all forms of discrimination, at the Institute for Public Order Studies.
The purpose of the training session was to assimilate in a dynamic and interactive way the international, European and national legislative norms on preventing and combating discrimination. The training included a first theoretical section - presentations of relevant documents at international and regional level as well as national legislation on non-discrimination, accompanied by discussions and explanations based on them.
The second part had as a starting point a case study in which a person questioned by the police and on whom certain measures had been taken- complained of discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officials.
The participants in the course were divided into two groups, one representing the citizen who invoked the violation of rights based on some ethnicity, and the other the police staff accused of discrimination. They were asked, within the limits of the information provided and on the basis of the legal provisions set out above, to decide what rights would have been violated and whether or not discrimination could be discussed. There were pros and cons with regard to the law and the procedures in force. Through this exercise, it was intended to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in a concrete situation as well as to raise awareness on the necessity to treat objectively any situation, despite the inclination to analyse subjectively.
A number of 27 police officers from Bucharest and Territorial structures (Gorj, Tulcea, Botoșani, Mureș, Sălaj, Calarași, Constanța, Alba, Vaslui, Prahova, Giurgiu) participated in the course as follows: The Inspectorate General Police of Romania, Bucharest General Police Directorate, CountyGendarmerie Inspectorates, County Police Inspectorates, County Police Inspectorates, and Regional Police Transport Departments etc.
March 7, 2019
A new “episode” of the Forum Theater Caravan “It is up to you to change something!” an event designed and animated by the Europe Direct Information Center, in partnership with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR), took place in Brănești.
Loredana Licuţa, coordinator of the Europe Direct Information Center, highlighted the mission and activities of the institution as well as the characteristics of the Forum Theater as a type of non-formal learning and participation. Adrian Bulgaru, RIHR Director, stressed that the Institute is the first human rights institution in Romania and has briefly highlighted the importance of promoting and respecting human rights, without forgetting to assume the obligations arising from them. The appeal of both partner organizations - CIED and RIHR - to young people was to exercise their essential right to vote in the May 26th European Parliament elections.
As in other previous performances, the amateur actors - from high schools in Bucharest - brought to the audience some scenes from electoral life and some exaggerated characters. Students from the audience had the opportunity to replace actors and change the course of the story, by attitude and behaviour, bringing together a happy ending.
In conclusion, Ana-Maria Holotă and Ingrid Şulţ, young multipliers in the European Commission's program and Europe Direct Information Centers in the European Union, argued with some examples the importance of voting in the European Parliament elections.
See details at:
The presence of young students aged between 18 and 24 at the vote in the European Parliamentary elections recorded a relatively low percentage at European level.
In 2014, for example, only 28% of the Europeans in that age group exercised their right to vote. As far as Romania is concerned, participation in the 18-24 age bracket is even lower, with only 20% voting.
Awareness of the importance of the right to vote and the nomination of national representatives at the European Parliament level are the missions with which the Caravan "It is up to you to change something!" has started this year as well.
Conceived as a series of non-formal education events, the awareness campaign, carried out at the initiative of the Europe Direct Information Center, in partnership with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, aims to present to young people, in an interactive way, arguments and motivations for their participation in the European elections of May 26, 2019, aimed at changing the existing state of affairs.
As the information campaign addresses voters with the right to vote - especially those who vote for the first time - with emphasis on deprived communities and / or localities where access to information is more limited, the first stop of this year's Caravan was at Ciofliceni (Snagov) at the "Mihail Kogălniceanu" Theoretical High School, where 32 pupils were, together with the teachers, spectators and co-actors directly on the stage of a forum theater play.
The innovative forum theater method generates lively debates on a topic often considered boring by young people. It also offers the participants the chance to intervene directly in the play, changing attitudes and situations and improving the course of events. Through this exercise - direct and participatory - students better understand the value of their involvement in the life of the community.
Young students from "Jean Monnet" Theoretical High School, "Ion Creangă" National College and "Mihail Sadoveanu" Theoretical High School from Bucharest participated. The trainer of the theatre troupe performing the play having as theme the European Parliament Elections was Mândruţa Andreescu from the Youth for Tomorrow Europe Association.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights launched a campaign to raise awareness on multiple forms of violence in schools aiming to determine children / young people to respond to the need to limit conflict situations. Campaign activities and workshops started at the "Apostol Arsache" Secondary School in Giurgiu and at the "Dimitrie Gusti" Technological High School in Bucharest. Within the partnership between the two institutions - IRDO and the high school - and as part of the ISMB anti-violence and anti-bullying project entitled "Get Involved in Your Life!” an interactive teaching hour took place. The students of the 9th grade, under the coordination of Professor Liliana Violeta Constantin created various materials about the types of violence, offered proposals for non-conflict solutions to solve tense situations and designed posters with anti-violence messages.
The caravan "It is up to you to make a change!" promoting the right to vote and the involvement of young people as an important part of civil society in the elections for the European Parliament on 26 May 2019 has made a new stop.
This time, the Forum Theater Caravan host was the Technological Highschool in Fierbinti, Ialomita. The participants, 12th grade students and their teachers have been able, through this form of non-formal and interactive education, to realize that their own involvement is essential in order to achieve visible changes and obvious improvements in society.
Among the partners involved in this event - the Europe Direct Information Center and the Romanian Institute for Human Rights was also a former graduate of the high school, executive chairman of the Junii Association and promoter of the #dedataastavotez campaign, managed by the Romanian Bureau of the European Parliament.
The forum theater method proposed by the campaign implies not only watching a play about electoral morals. It also urges to reflection, raises reactions and generates salutary debates on a topic often considered boring by young people. Being invited as direct participants in the play, young people are performing a direct exercise through which they become aware of the right to participate, the value and importance of their personal involvement.
The actors involved were young people from the "Jean Monnet" Theoretical High School, "Ion Creangă" National College and "Mihail Sadoveanu" Theoretical High School in Bucharest - the trainer of the actors performing in the play on the European Parliament elections was Mândruţa Andreescu from "Youth for Tomorrow Europe" Association.
Within the anti-violence campaign carried out in school institutions in Bucharest and in the country, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights has organized a new workshop, in partnership with the secondary School no. 150.
The workshop aimed at recognizing and understanding the types of violence and increasing the awareness regarding one’s own contribution to creating and maintaining a non-aggressive climate in the community.
In terms of primary education classes, under the coordination of project manager Mrs. Iuliana Coarnă, the activity implied rendering of concepts and notions learned through drawings.
The proposed theme was to draw a conflict situation (on half page) and ways of solving it (on the other half of the page). The sheets were folded in two and each case was discussed. The conclusion was that, by choosing to see just the reasons and causes for the conflict and limiting it to this, we contribute to perpetuating violence. When we understand that all the problems that lead to conflict have a solution, we will choose to look for it before resorting to violence.
Courses organized in 2016
For the teaching staff
In the field of the continuous training of primary and secondary school teachers who achieve human rights education, in 2016 the Romanian Institute for Human Rights continued to organize, in partnership with the Teachers’ Training Centre in Bucharest the Training Programme called “Education for human rights and the rights of the child”. The Programme is accredited by the Ministry of National Education and had as target group members of the teaching staff and the auxiliary teaching staff in pre-university educational units.
- Training course on “Education for human rights and the rights of the child”
- Coordination of the UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Democracy, Peace and Tolerance by RIHR and the North University of Baia Mare, a permanent activity, including the Master Degree Courses, the only ones of the kind in Romania; the Chair functions on the basis of an agreement between the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization – Paris, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the North University of Baia Mare. The Chair is a centre for research, debate and training at postgraduate level whose Master Degree programmes, the only ones of the kind in Romania, integrate, keeping pace with the developments and progress in this particular field, the results of the research achieved at national and international level. In 2016, a new class graduated the Master Degree in human rights, democracy, peace and tolerance.
- Training course on “Interpretation and application of the Convention and its additional Protocols. Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights”.
In 2017, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in the larger context of the public’s increasing awareness about the necessity to familiarize with and observe human rights, set out as a priority to inform children and increase their interest in discrimination and intolerance issues. Thus, a number of training and information sessions were targeted to these topics and related events were organized both at the Institute’s headquarters and within the territory, with the assistance of RIHR’s partners.
- In the framework of a partnership between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and Secondary School “Prof. Ion Vişoiu” of Chitila, students were invited to RIHR”s headquarters to attend a workshop whose purpose was to inform the young participants about the fight against racism, intolerance and xenophobia. The workshop was concluded with a question-answer and debate session on the acknowledgement of human rights; the discussions were focused on discrimination, intolerance and migration.
- On occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Director of the RIHR, based on the Partnership Protocol signed with theoretic highschool “Tudor Vladimirescu” in Bucharest, was invited open the sessions of the Conference on “Is tolerance a practised value? What is the relationship between human rights and the preservation of the values characterizing a democratic society?”
- Second edition of the Municipal Symposium on “Don’t label, don’t discriminate, don’t forget!”, organized at Municipal Library “Petru Maior”, Mureş County
- Campaign entitled “Let’s say no to discrimination!” consisted of a series of dedicated information sessions organized at several high schools in Ploieşti and Buzău
- Campaign on “Without hate, with tolerance”, organized in the framework of the National Contest entitled “Without hate, with tolerance”
- Debates on discrimination and the fight against racism were also organized in the framework of project “Another kind of school”. The project also included a roundtable on “The role of civic education in combating racism”.
- Symposium on “Racism and xenophobia against migrants. Challenges to the European institutions”
Courses and workshops organized in 2018
22 February – 3 May
Extended course on “Human rights education in schools”, with 30 participants – members of the teaching staff (holding leading positions or involved with various school projects) and members of the auxiliary teaching staff (school secretariat, school library), who attended for several weeks, totalizing 40 hours
Debate-workshop entitled “Between school discipline and the rights of the child” aimed at presenting the rights of the child such as they are laid down in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, pointing out which rights were of particular interest in school, while also referring to the responsibilities of students and those of teachers for the achievement of these rights.
On request by secondary school “Prof. Ion Vişoiu” of Chitila, RIHR presented, in the framework of “A different kind of week” organized by the school, an interactive material about children’s right to education, in the context of the increasing risk of regarding school as a troublesome obligation rather than a right to be achieved.
Also in the context of “A different kind of week”, RIHR was invited to participate in the efforts to raise awareness about and settle a frequent phenomenon in schools: bullying. A mini-course with applications easy for children to understand dealt with the topic at “Nicolae Iorga” high school in Bucharest.
“How shall we treat persons with disabilities” was the topic of a course aimed at raising awareness about differences among people and the need to assist those who, for various reasons, are prevented from participating in the social life at the maximum.
Course that was devoted to a right of the child that hasn’t always been a priority with adults – the right to play and recreative activities.
Two training courses focused on human rights education and addressed to the teaching staff on “Between school discipline and the rights of the child”
Course devoted to the implementation of the rights of elderly persons in long-term care in specialized centres or at home.
One day course on the protection against the violation of rights on the Internet mainly aiming at the protection of juveniles. The course was attended by 30 representatives of institutions in the Constanţa County.