Romanian Institute for Human Rights
One of the tasks of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights is to inform “the public bodies, non-governmental organizations and citizens, particularly by disseminating the international documents, practices and procedures in the field of human rights…” (Art. 3 paragraph b in Law No. 9/1991).
One important way RIHR fulfils this duty is organizing events in the form of conferences, seminars, symposia, colloquia, roundtables where acknowledged specialists in the field of human rights, both from inside and outside the Institute, from Romania and from abroad, are invited to participate as moderators and lecturers, with a view to present and debate together with the participants in the event on various topics related to human rights.
The participants to such events are representatives of those socio-professional categories who by virtue of their position and/or profession come to contact with various members of the civil society, and in the relationships established with the latter human rights standards and principles should take precedence. These persons include: representatives of the legal profession – judges, lawyers, prosecutors; representatives of the police, gendarmes, penitentiary staff; representatives of the staff in educational units – pre-school educators, primary school teachers, pre-university and university teachers; representatives of the written and audio-visual press; physicians, biologists, chemists, physicists, etc. Last but not less important, the participants also include, almost without exception, pupils and students as well as representatives of NGOs whose activity and interests are related to human rights.
Unrepeatable events devoted to themes or moments related to human rights
Sustainable economic and social recovery based on an equality and human rights approach
On July 9, took place the online meeting on ”Sustainable economic and social recovery based on an equality and human rights approach”.The event was organized by the Collaborative Platform on Social and Economic Rightsconsisting of the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), of which RIHR is a member, and the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET).
The discussions tackled the consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic had on states, but also their ability to manage the negative effects of the crisis. The measures taken by the states have had a different impact on different categories of people, and highlighted issues that society already faces: inequality, cohesion, poverty, exclusion, access to community services, or the lack of such services. Among the categories of people most affected are children (from disadvantaged families), Roma, older persons, single-parent families, people with disabilities, migrants, but also health personnel.
Participants found that at the global and European regional level there is no positive attitude towards human rights in states’ approach/discourse on economic recovery, although the recovery measures should be based more than ever on the realization of economic and social rights, taking into account the provisions of the European Social Charter and the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, and respecting the commitments on sustainable development.
In this regard, it is necessary for human rights and equality institutions to become real partners for policy makers (government, parliament), so that measures taken at the national level respect the human rights-based approach. Therefore, these institutions must play an active role in developing recovery measures, by providing assistance, information, and expertise in accordance with their mandate.
Meeting of the working group for awareness, prevention, combating and management of bullying situations
On July 7, the Romanian Institute participated in the Meeting of the working group for awareness, prevention, combating and management of bullying situations–an online event organized by the General Secretariat of the Government – structure with interinstitutional coordination role in the public policy development process concerning awareness, prevention, control and management of bullying situations.
It was the second meeting of the working group, following the first meeting held in February. The first meeting of the working group focused on various issues and measures that could be taken in the future in the process of preventing and combating bullying, such as: introducing in the school curriculum subjects on bullying, expanding the audio-video monitoring of schools, audio-video surveillance in public spaces near schools and preschools, encouraging children to report cases of violence and to develop the skills to seek support in situations of risk, empowering children, parents, and teachers.
From an organizational point of view, the second Meeting of the working group for awareness, prevention, combating and management of bullying situations was based on the following agenda: presentation of the first meeting minutes; presentation of the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of art. 7 para. (1^1), art. 56^1 and of point 6^1 of the Annex to the National Education Law no. 1/2011, on psychological violence - bullying (by the Ministry of Education and Research - MER representative), debating the issues identified during the first meeting that arenot covered by the current legal framework, setting the date of the next meeting, and the list of guests.
During the debates, the importance of developing actions and mechanisms to prevent the phenomenon of bullying was emphasized. Participants agreed that key elements of prevention are: (1) empowering the main actors involved in public policy making and (2) strengthening the capacity of people exercising duties/functions in the school environment such as teachers and school counselors.
In order to achieve an effective policy to prevent and combat bullying, various directions of intervention have been proposed, such as: (1) empowering teachers and school psychologists/counselors to apply the methodological rules adopted in the field of bullying; (2) designing and organizing training courses for teachers, in the field of bullying; (3) extending interinstitutional collaboration in order to formulate a comprehensive approach to the phenomenon of bullying; (4) understanding bullying as a national health issue and strengthening the partnership with the Ministry of Health in the process of formulating anti-bullying policies.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights supported the need for a special approach in the field of cyberbullying. Considering that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the framework of school relationships has been reconfigured and the student-student and student-teacher interaction takes place mainly in the virtual environment, it is necessary to pay more attention to the protection of children from any form of violence manifested through electronic applications/platforms. The Institute also drew attention to the importance of formulating a complex approach to the phenomenon of bullying, in which to highlight both means of prevention, means of intervention in the event of effective manifestation of acts of bullying,and means of rehabilitation of social relations within the community, in the period after the acts of bullying were committed.
The future actions proposed during the meeting consist in: organizing the meeting with representatives of the civil society with expertise and experience in the field of combating bullying and cyberbullying (on 14.07.2020); organizing the online meeting of the working group in the extended version (authorities and civil society, on 27.07.2020).
Taking into account the multiple forms of bullying, it was also proposed to expand the activities of the working group in orderto include issues related to mobbing.
Webinar - Human rights to water and sanitation
On July 1, RIHR was invited by the non-governmental organization Human Right 2 Water to participate in a webinar organized in light of the 10 year anniversary of the recognition of the human rights towater and sanitation by theUNGA. Special Rapporteur on human rightsto safe drinking water and sanitation, representatives of CONAGUA (National Water Commission of Mexico), the representative of the National Institute for Human Rights in Kenya, as well as representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank had the opportunity to speak at the webinar.
More than 50% of states have included water and sanitation rights in their national constitutions. However, most of them are still working to ensure full access to clean and sustainable water sources and sanitation, especially for marginalized groups.
There are specific regulations in countries such as Mexico and Kenya, but problems concerning either effective access to water sources or the absorption of fundshave been identified in both countries.
To ensure access to water and sanitation, indicators should be considered to assess progress, while at the same time it is necessary to promote best practices and ensure community participation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the rights to life and health are closely linked to the right to water and sanitation, given that the main measure to prevent the transmission of the virus is hand washing. Therefore, achieving the right to water and sanitation must become a priority, especially for marginalized groups and communities facing poverty.
Human rights in the new normal – people’s views and experiences in EU societies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak
Between June 24-25, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the online event ”Human rights in the new normal – people’s views and experiences in EU societies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak”, organized by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). On this occasion, FRA launched the report ”What do rights mean for people in the EU”, which presents the experiences and opinions of citizens of the Member States of the European Union on their fundamental rights.
From a structural point of view, the event was organized in two public panels with distinct themes: Them and us: Addressing perceptions that human rights are for other people, but not for me; respectively Fair technologies as a tool to safeguard public health?. The public debates took place on June 24 and June 25, between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. CET; during the debates current challenges to the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemicwere examined. Further details on the issues that have been the subject of public debate are available by accessing the event link: https://fra.mci-events.eu/.
The Institute also participated in the event’s section aimed at analyzing the results of the report launched by FRA from a national perspective (country breakout session). The session about Romania took place online, on June 25, between 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm, and there were discussions regarding the synthesis, by Romanian participants, of some ideas for streamlining the use, at the level of the results and conclusions of the study prepared by the FRA. Two aspects were highlighted from RIHR’s intervention during the discussions: (1) the importance of human rights education among vulnerable social categories and (2) the need to increase the degree of decision-making transparency to achieve a better awareness of the importance of human rights for Romanian society. We also point out that the ideas mentioned above were inserted in the conclusions of the country session.
February 24-May 31
Between February 24-May 31, based on a collaboration agreement, students from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), in Bucharest, finished their internship at the Romanian Institute for Human Rights. In this first collaboration project between the two institutions participated students enrolled at undergraduate studies (Faculty of Public Administration, 1st year) and students from the Master’s Program – Management of Public Services (English Department), 2nd year.
The internship took place within the research department, both at RIHR offices (until March 13) and online (March 14-May 31).
Through the activities included in the internship, the Institute aimed to ensure better information and knowledge of the complex issue of human rights. At the same time, the students had the opportunity to learn about the Institute’s actions and its role within a system of national human rights institutions with different mandates in the field of human rights. Education has an important role in the promotion and protection of human rights, human rights education in particular, through which is encouraged understanding, tolerance and the need to assume responsibilities within the society in which we live.
The evaluation of the students from the BA program consisted in conducting research on a general topic, with 3 sub-themes (the role and importance of RIHR’s activity in the field of human rights promotion; analysis of an issue in the thematic area of human rights; presentation of ECHR case law).
Regarding the internship of students enrolled in the master’s program, the evaluation of the activity was done on the basis of a research project (in English), themed The right to good administration, art. 41 of the CDFUE. The projects were developed under the coordination of the Institute’s researchers (by establishing the research topics, indicating the relevant materials and information sources). This topic was also chosen in the context in which the Institute, in fulfilling its mandate, acts for a better knowledge of the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Between May 27-28, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the Seminar organized according to art. 10 of Resolution 42/15, adopted at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council of September 2019 (A/HRC/RES/42/15), which aimed at identifying the necessary measures to ensure that technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), including those on profiling, decision automation and machine learning, should not affect the right to privacy.
The seminar was held online and the discussions were summarized in 4 sessions approaching the following topics: Session I: Setting the scene - how does artificial intelligence (AI) affect theenjoyment of the right to privacy?; Session II: The right to privacy and the protection of other rights affected by AI; Session III: Preserving the right to privacy: legal and regulatory approaches; Session IV: Preserving the right to privacy: due diligence, data governance and other safeguards.
The Institute was previously requested to submit an analysis on the following issues: the main challenges regarding the impact of AI on the right to privacy and other human rights; identifying AI technologies that may infringe the right to privacy; assessing AI regulations that can provide an adequate level of protection of the right to privacy; highlighting the existing legal limits in this area; establishing guarantees (procedural, institutional, technical) regarding the design, development, implementation and evaluation of AI technology.
April 15-May 6
The second stage of the internship project based on the agreement between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the Faculty of Letters of the University of Bucharest – ”European Studies” Programme has ended. The project aimed at assesingthe level of knowledge of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union among young people, as well as their willingness to be informed about this instrument.
A preliminary analysis of the answers received in the quantitative research conducted by applying questionnaires revealed that most interviewees are aware of the existence of the Charter, however the levels of knowledge regarding the provisions of this regional human rights instrument are different. In a majority percentage, respondents state that they do not know at all or have vague knowledge about the content of the Charter, with a small proportion of the target group stating that they are up-to-date with its provisions. It was also noted that about one-third of the interviewed group may cite a right that they associate with the provisions of the Charter.
Regarding the way in which the provisions of the instrument are perceived by the target group, it should be emphasized that the vast majority (over 90%) of young respondents are convinced that the implementation and observance of the Charter rights in EU member states is mandatory and these rights and obligations concern them directly, as European citizens. On this occasion, young people expressed their willingness to deepen their knowledge of the Charter: about 70% said they were interested and very interested in accessing such information.
In addition to knowing the level of information of young people about Charter, another aspect RIHR focused on in the study was the dissemination of information support, aimed at improving the initial level of knowledge and, in particular, understanding the optimal way to deliver this information. In this sense, according to the analysis of centralized responses, it appears that the vast majority of respondents are interested in receiving informational content on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, structured, summarized and in writing (over 80%), and those who prefer to access data on Charter in an interactive way (telephone applications, online instruments, etc.) represent a percentage of approximately 80%. Also, 70% of respondents stated that both means of information are accessible.
Following the interpretation of the results of the study, the final stages of the internship project – which lasted until May 30 – was dedicated to an information campaign for young respondents, both in the format agreed by them and through a training session that also includes pedagogical applications.
Based on the agreement between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the Faculty of Letters of the University of Bucharest - European Studies Programme, Department of Cultural Studies, regarding the practical training internship, and considering the situation generated by the Covid-19 crisis, the practice project has been designed in a manner that allows all planned activities to be done through new media applications (Zoom, Google Classroom). The project consists of several stages of work and combines research, information and training.
The first stage of the internship consisted in analyzing the degree of knowledge of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union among the students and it was materialized by applying online questionnaires.
The participating students answered the questionnaires, which were designed to evaluate the level of knowledge of the provisions of the Charter, the capacity to analyze the rights provided by it, as well as the recipients of the provisions of the Charter or its application.
The second stage of the internship involves conducting an information campaign for those respondents interested in deepening their knowledge of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, by using media, as well as by developing practical activities based on didactic strategies.
Means of remote communication allowed a large number of students who attend state or private universities, both from Bucharest and from around the country (Oradea, Cluj, Iasi, Timişoara, Galaţi, Brasov, Ploiesti, etc.) to participate in the internship. The specializations of the participating students cover several fields: Journalism, Letters, Political Science, Medicine, Mathematics, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Agronomy, Engineering, Construction, Police Academies, Military Academies etc.
The research carried out among the student respondents aims to estimate the need for training in the field of the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as their availability to be informed on this subject. At the same time, the purpose was to understand how to design various information materials to serve the students on a wider scale, depending on typologies, specializations, etc.
The Olympics of Altruism, 2020 Edition
The Olympics of Altruism, competition for promoting proactive and prosocial attitudes among youth, organized in partnership with Western University, Faculty of Psychology and Sociology - Social Work Department and Romanian Institute for Human Rights, launches the 2020 Edition.
The competition aims to promote and reward the behaviors that can contribute to the consolidation of an inclusive society and to encourage volunteer work among young generation.
The Olympics targets high school students enrolled in the 12th grade at any school institution in the country accredited by the Ministry of Education and consists of sending online materials (images, videos, essays) that summarize their volunteering activities.
This year, two important modifications of the Regulation have been made, in order to comply with the rules of protection of public health and to allow a wider dissemination of the competition in the current social context:
- All the stages will take place online (there will be no award ceremony)
- The application period was extended by one month.
Thus, the stages of the competition will be as follows:
- Launching the contest: March 20, 2020
- Receiving the applications: March 20, 2020 - May 20, 2020
- Announcing the winners.
For more information, please read the attached Regulation.
In the context of current challenges regarding the rights of women in the Romanian society and on the occasion of International Women's Day, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration with the civil society, organized the debate "Empowerment of women". RIHR representatives, along with Liliana Pagu, president of the Women's Association of Romania - Together and representatives of the Association of Christian Women, analyzed the existing obstacles in the field of promoting and protecting women's rights, proposing strategies to improve the results in this direction. The discussion tackled various issues such as the difficulties faced by the categories of vulnerable women (refugee women, women with disabilities, women belonging to ethnic minorities), the observance of their rights, women's access to justice and health services, as well as ways to combat violence against women and girls.
As part of the event, RIHR presented its booklet "Women's rights - a life without violence is the right of every woman", dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 12 key areas that demand concrete interventions to ensure equal treatment and equal opportunities for women and men, girls and boys were identified within these reference documents. In many UN member countries, post-Beijing changes have taken place, but the 12 key areas continue to remain topical, because there is still much to be done so that women can enjoy their rights fully. In agreement with these necessary measures, in his message transmitted this year on the occasion of International Women's Day, the UN Secretary-General mentions that „Gender equality is a means of redefining and transforming power that will yield benefits for all. It is time to stop trying to change women, and to start changing the systems and power imbalances that prevent them from achieving their potential.” According to the report on social norms recently published by the UN, “91% of men and 86% of women show at least one clear bias against gender equality in areas such as politics, economic, education, intimate partner violence and women’s reproductive rights. About 50% of men and women interviewed across 75 countries say they think men make better political leaders than women, while more than 40% felt that men made better business executives.” Even more concerning is that the level of discrimination against women has increased in the last decade, despite all efforts.
In addition to the issue of gender equality, another topic addressed during the event referred to one of the 12 key areas, namely violence against women. Now, in 2020, Romania has broad legislation in the field of combating violence and considerable efforts are being made to harmonize it with the European legislative framework. However, there is the paradox of specialized legislation, on one hand, and the aggravation of the phenomenon of domestic violence, on the other.
In conclusion, the participants asserted that 8th of March is more than a symbol for women everywhere.
Useful links: http://irdo.ro/irdo/pdf/Drepturile%20Femeilor.pdf
The most recent working meeting within the project “Mental health - a priority on the public agenda” aimed to address and submit to debate two other topics from the seven priority axes identified in the previous public consultation process: Support and care for patients with dementia and Support Services for informal caregivers/carers.
The working session took place at the Center for Social Dialogue / Memory Center - space opened within the mentioned POCA project - and presented two models of good practice for each of the debated categories. Regarding a successful care model, the representative of the “Floare Roșie” Center for Elderly Sector 6, presented the applied pilot initiatives which, taking into account the positive impact they had on the beneficiaries, could be considered examples to be followed by other centers. In terms of support for caregivers, the representative of EASI (European Association for Social Innovation) reviewed the results of a training course aimed at the pilot project to create an online support group for informal caregivers of people with dementia.
Romanian Institute for Human Rights, along with Ecomondia Association and several preschools from Bucharest („Olga Gudynn International School” Floreasca, „Garmy Kids” Kindergarten and „Prichindel” Kindergarten) carried out an environmental education project in late February. It consisted in the transposition of the information children received through formal education courses, in the form of artistic creations.
Celebrating the fact that 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health, children have created nature-inspired drawings and made greeting cards or pictures out of seeds. Their works were later exhibited at the Senior Center „Clubul Înțelepților” in Sector 2, and given as a present to the elderly from the Center.
The project "Mother Tongue - What is your MoTo?", designed and carried out by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with Mark Twain International School, had the closing event of almost three months of activities on Monday, February 24th.
Aimed at celebrating the International Day of Mother Tongue, the project consisted of non-formal, interactive and participative activities. However, the subthemes were varied, aiming, among others, at: enhancing children’s knowledge regarding the importance of using and promoting the mother language, promoting tolerance, understanding and interaction between different cultures, within school communities - and by extension - within society.
The project required the effective involvement of the students, who created graphic informative materials for children their age. Moreover, groups of students from all levels of study (from primary school - to high school) were engaged in various activities, children of 29 nationalities having been included.
During the closing event, hosted by the Bucharest Metropolitan Library – Ion Creangă Library, the groups of children presented their works and shared the experiences and knowledge they have gained from being involved in the project. Furthermore, the students donated to the library multiple books written in less used languages: Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew etc.
Subsequently, the Bucharest Metropolitan Library – Ion Creangă Library decided to organize an exhibition to share with the public some of the handmade books and other works children created within the RIHR project.
Based on the partnership between the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and Titu Maiorescu University - Faculty of Law, between February 10-14 an internship aimed at informing and raising awareness of young beneficiaries (students in the fourth year of the Faculty of Law ) on theoretical and practical aspects specific to the field of human rights was organized.
The internship took place at RIHR’s headquarters, with the involvement of representatives from all departments of the Institute, and students have had the opportunity to understand the powers provided by RIHR’s mandate, as well as its organization and functioning.
The internship had the following objectives: information on the main framework, methods of action, responsibilities, structure and organization of national human rights institutions; deepening the main topics of interest related to the areas of action of the Institute; familiarization with international and regional legal instruments for the protection of human rights; initiation in the working methodology specific to the analysis of the ECHR’s case law, etc.
From a formal perspective, the internship materialized through the elaboration, by each student-beneficiary of the internship, of a research paper focused on the analysis of the most recent and relevant cases from the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
At the invitation of ”Simion Stolnicul” Highschool from Comarnic, Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized a thematic debate for the eighth-grade students, the event taking place at the local Culture House.
The activity sought to address the rights of the child, from the perspective of hypothetical discussions and exercises of imagination, as well as the relationship between respect, violation or prohibition of a certain right and the consequences deriving from it.
The structure of the debate meant to organize the students in three teams, each of them having the opportunity to promote a right to choose and, in the same time, to identify the ways in which they can translate into practice the rights of the child in everyday life, both within school environment and outside of it.
This activity aimed to cultivate the children’s interest in knowing and applying their rights, as well as to raise their level of responsibility in an interactive manner.
Between December 12 and 14, 2019, the Christian University "Dimitrie Cantemir" along with the International Institute for Human Rights, organized the seventh edition of the International Conference "European Culture of Human Rights. The right to happiness”.
The event was organized in collaboration with partners from Romania and abroad (the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations, the Union of Jurists of Romania, the Leibniz Society of Romania, the Europea Academy, the Romanian Academy of Legal Sciences) and it brought together teachers, representatives of public authorities and institutions, practitioners in the field.
From the organizational point of view, the Conference proceedings were held both in a plenary and in 4 sessions of debates: (1) Theoretical coordinates of the right to happiness - transdisciplinary approaches; (2) The right to happiness and Human Rights; (3) National law, European Union law and the right to happiness; (4) Global society and the right to happiness.
The conference aimed to promote a cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary approach on human rights issues in general and the right to happiness in particular. The proceedings of the Conference were open to the public, and one of the main objectives of the event was to raise awareness among the young people in the university education system (students, master’s students, doctoral students) regarding the challenges posed by the modern society in the field of human rights.
The first National Anti-Bullying Forum in Romania, organized by the Child Helpline Association, was held at the Palace of Parliament, Human Rights Hall, marking the completion of the project "STAND-UP - Increasing the participation and role of civil society in influencing and improving public policies. "
The purpose of the Forum was to provide a debate environment for evaluating concrete measures for reducing the bullying phenomenon, especially in schools, among the discussed topics being: proposals for anti-bullying public policies developed by the Child Helpline Association; Parliament's role in supporting public policy proposals drawn up by non-governmental organizations; strategies for managing bullying situations; participation of children in the process of raising awareness and preventing this phenomenon; the experience of other European states in combating bullying; its impact on children's mental health; the role of parents in developing a safe environment for children.
Also, there were organized 5 workshops which approached topics such as: analysis of public policies and anti-bullying proposals elaborated by the Child Helpline Association, accessing EU funds for developing public policies in this field, methods and strategies for developing the resilience capacity of the victim to bullying, examples of good practice in the prevention of bullying behavior.
By participating at National Anti-Bullying Forum, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights concluded this year’s campaign to combat violence, online violence and bullying in schools.
The event brought together representatives and experts of the relevant authorities and institutions in the field of education and human rights, social partners from the pre-university education system, nongovernmental organizations, student associations, as well as foreign experts – specialists in the prevention and fight against bullying.
On November 27, with the occasion of the International Day for Combating Violence against Women, and within the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with the Women's Association of Romania - Together (AFRI) organized consultations with civil society and national institutions. The topic of the debates was "The paradox between the evolution of legislation in the field and the amplification of the phenomenon of violence against women".
Were presented examples of good practices and were identified the difficulties faced by those involved in the implementation of the law and in the fight against domestic violence. The participants made a series of recommendations, which will be summarized in the forthcoming IRDO publication, Women's Rights - a life without violence is the right of every woman, meant to be a guide of good practices as a useful work tool for practitioners, but also a source of information for the victims of violence.
As highlighted by the Amman Declaration and the Beijing Platform of Action, about the roles of national institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, the Institute encourages public and political participation of women, respect for their economic and social rights as levers in combating domestic violence and marginalization of women, especially of those belonging to vulnerable categories (minorities, migrant women, victims of trafficking in human beings).
During the event, was also presented an analysis carried out by the Institute, on the evolutions in the national legislation in the field of combating violence against women, encompassing the period immediately following the recommendations addressed to Romania by the UN Committee established under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Psychologists, representatives of the Romanian Police and of other national institutions, nongovernmental organizations and practitioners in the field of combating violence have analyzed together the most pressing issues that they are facing in their activity, including: lack of funds, lack of personnel, access to information, bureaucracy, cumbersome procedures, lack of adequate support centers for women victims of violence and abuse.
It was concluded that education, information, access to justice and health services are the main ways by which the perpetuation of violence can be combated and stopped.
As part of the series of events dedicated to the International Children's Rights Day, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated at the opening of a small exhibition of drawings named “Together at kindergarten, together at school” made by children from A.R.C. Metropolitan School, OGIS School Pipera, „George Topârceanu” School, School No. 2, Afumați, „Anastasia Popescu” School.
The event was organised at the National Museum of the Romanian Literature and included, in addition to the exhibition opening, several activities in which the participating children tried to put into practice this year's theme of November 20th: “For every child, every right.”
Presentation of essays, short sketches, dialogues and travel diaries illustrated with great imagination various rights such as the right to engage in play and recreational activities, the right to education (combating school dropout), the right to the freedom of expression, thought, the right to health, etc.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights launched a project to carry out various activities in partner educational institutions. Nine schools, from 4 counties, took part in the project. Based on the age of children (primary school, middle school and high school), each school selected from the activities put forward by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and carried them out throughout November.
Children created banners and logos, participated in events and wrote essays. Participants:
- Mark Twain International School, Bucharest (4 classes), coordinated by professor Laurențiu Toma
- School No. 1, Berceni, Ilfov county, (4 classes), coordinated by professors Stana Martac, Magda Ion, Mariana Bobi, Mirela Monica Ungureanu
- School No. 20, Bucharest, (4 classes), coordinated by professors Silvia Aruxandrei-Stan, Mihaela Lazăr, Ileana Stan, Andreea Catana, Iuliana Munteanu, Iuliana Muscalu, Carmen Burca, Veronica Dumitrache și consilier școlar Diana Ciobanu
- „Nicolae Iorga” High school, Bucharest (2 classes), coordinated by professors Victoria Toader and Monica Bunescu
- Montesara Primary school (1 class), coordonated by Roxana Rusu
- „Tudor Vianu” High school, Giurgiu, (2 classes), coordinated by professors Florentina Minică, Carmen Rădulescu, Ildiko Andras, Daniela Simedre
- School No. 1, Singureni (5 classes), coordinated by professor Constanța Stoica
- „Gheorghe Surdu” High school, Brezoi, Vâlcea county (6 classes), coordinated by professors Elena Tomescu, Maria Ionescu and Bianca Mazilu
- „Take Ionescu” School, Râmnicu-Vâlcea, Vâlcea county (9 classes), coordinated by Daniela Predișor, school counsellor
Romanian Institute for Human Rights was invited to participate in the fourth edition of the traditional Symposia organized by CCD and CJRAE Cluj, the result of the national educational projects „Explorers in the World of Emotions” (CAER 686) and „STOP Bullying (Say NO to Intimidation)” (CAER 2019).
In the opening of the event, the project coordinators, CCD and CJRAE Cluj executives, as well as the RIHR representative, spoke of the importance of organizing such projects on combating high-impact violence in schools, and presented the activities carried out by the Institute in this area, hoping that institutionally coordinated efforts can lead to the limitation of violent phenomena and behaviors in schools and beyond.
The project „Explorers in the World of Emotions” has as partners the County Resource and Educational Assistance Centre of 27 counties, including CMBRAE, with 950 teachers implementing the project activities for 27,432 children.
The second project, „STOP Bullying (Say NO to Intimidation)”, included 30 participating counties, the activities having a significant impact: 600 teachers coordinated the activities attended by 18,000 pupils (from primary classes high school).
The West University of Timisoara, through the Social Assistance Department of the Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, was the host of the awards for the Olympics of Altruism. Without being a classic Olympics, the essay or photo / video contest addressed to high school students in the country was a fair play competition between adolescents who have contributed to the good of their communities, either those who volunteered in various NGOs, or pupils participating individually.
Key speakers at the opening of the event were Cosmin Goian, Head of the Social Assistance Department, Elena Baciu of the same Department, the coordinator of the Olympics, and Silvia Iorgulescu, Head of the RIHR Training sector (RIHR being partner institution in the project).
It is worth noting that representatives from all regions of the country were present, as well as the impressive diversity of activities that involved (blood donation, afforestation, cultural mapping of historical monuments, awareness of the danger of trafficking with human beings, working as volunteers in hospitals or centres for children and the elderly). Thus, all participants - not just the winners - have played an active role in promoting and protecting the right life, to a healthy environment, through cultural activities on the protection against inhumane abuses and treatments, etc.
On the occasion of the International Book and Copyright Day, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights organized, in partnership with Ecomondia and the „Ion Creangă” branch of the Bucharest Metropolitan Library the launching of books by children for children. Four schools responded to the challenge of the project partners: „George Topîrceanu”, Gymnasium School, Gymnasium School no. 2 Voluntari, Olga Gudynn International School and Gymnasium School no. 81.
The challenge was a double one: on the one hand, the choosing of the theme; on the other hand, making the book exclusively from recyclable materials. The students focused on three major themes: books that collected memories from the „School in a different manner”, travel journals, recreation and reinterpretation - by adapting childhood fairy tales to the realities of the contemporary world.
On this occasion, a debate on the rights of the child took place (with an emphasis on the right to education). The pupils were invited to express their views on how they responded to be up to the challenge when choosing a travel itinerary, sharing their impressions and producing books from eco materials.
On World Health Day, the Ecomondia Association, together with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the Bucharest Municipality Inspectorate, initiated an event focused on the right to health through some special activities. The children from schools and kindergartens who participated in the program - Olga Gudynn International School Bucharest, Garmy Kids - had as a theme for this year to create drawings and / or DIY projects for the promotion of healthy eating. „The main character” was a healthy product, not always appreciated by children: the fish.
Involvement of the participants in the creation of drawings, sketches, paintings, as well as in performing a mini-show with poems and songs made them better understand the importance of eating food they do not necessarily like but which has added value for a healthy, varied and balanced diet.
Following the presentation of the projects, the children participated in an interactive course - presented by the RIHR representative - on how to protect their health: eating healthy, hygiene rules, reducing violence and bullying in schools, etc. The students also learned about the future Ecomondia projects in which they can get involved.
On World Water Day, in the context of the international UN Water Action Decade for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Biodiversity, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in partnership with Ecomondia, presented for the first time “Towards Blue Shores” series of movies.
The story of these movies created by children for children begins in 2008, when at the initiative of Lucreţia Băluţă, of the Romanian National Commission for UNESCO, pupils and teachers especially from the countries crossed by the Danube were invited to get together and learn more about the Danube Delta - Biosphere Reserve. Later, the idea came of creating a movie to tell the story of a river starting from its source to whereit flows into the sea. Under this school project, with the involvement of teachers and students, the movie proposes a field research, with direct knowledge of places, a didactical presentation based on documentary materials. The title “Towards Blue Shores” was chosen to emphasize the need for a clean, unpolluted environment. The story of the Argeş river was chosen describing a trip on its shores, highlighting touristic objectives such as Curtea de Argeş and the dams built on the river, an opportunity to talk about how tradition and modernity blend into a beautiful and clean landscape.
At the invitation of Romanian colleagues, children from other countries responded, who in turn created their own movies that tell the story of local rivers. Thus, three countries have contributed to the Blue Shores Movie Competition: Turkey, Bulgaria and Moldova. The films were first presented to students of 5 and 7th grades of the “Nichita Stănescu” Theoretical High School.
The representative of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights spoke about the right to a healthy environment and the environmental challenges that European countries are currently facing: pollution, food waste, genetically modified seeds. The participants identified some of their responsibilities for maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
Lucretia Băluţă, the initiator of the project, spoke about the Blue Shores Movie Competition and other ongoing programs for children run by the National Romanian Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with foreign partners.
March 15 - April 15
Between March 15 and April 15, in several Constanţa county schools the Institute runs in partnership with the Constanţa School Inspectorate and the “G. E. Palade” college, the educational project “Motivational Speaker”. Under this partnership, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights coordinates the information section in the field of children’s rights.
Among the main objectives of the project are: motivation to develop a positive attitude towards the studied subjects in school curriculum, orientation of learning towards an established goal, formulation of expectations, acting according to a set of principles; maintaining motivation, namely establishing short time achievement purposes, presentation and management of tasks in a motivating manner, improving quality of learning experiences, increasing confidence in their own forces, acquiring a positive self-image, developing self-motivation and promotion strategies; encouraging positive self-evaluation - providing motivational feedback.
On the Day of Nonviolence in School, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Apostol Arsache Secondary School in Vedea, Giurgiu County, organized for V-VIII grades a poster contest with messages to promote a culture of tolerance.
Students were invited to propose their own solutions to combat violence in the school environment as being directly interested and responsible for creating a space of collaboration, tolerance and understanding, favorable to learning and to acquiring social attitudes.
Pupils from primary grade classes participated in activities by creating posters. By their graphical format with powerful visual impact and friendly contents, the images have advocated for promoting attitudes of mutual understanding and respect, by fostering trust and friendship, and by reducing verbal and physical violence behaviors.
Students from secondary grade classes have created messages that will be displayed in classes and within the school, presentations of the causes of violence, or billboards with rules to be observed in the school environment, to prevent conflicts.
The four gymnasium classes, coordinated by Prof. Sorin Meclea, had different approaches to the phenomenon of school violence, the common denominator being the confidence that, through collaboration and joint efforts,violence could be stopped and prevented.
On January 28, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with Nicolae Kretzulescu Commercial School in Bucharest, organized a session of presentations and debates on the commemoration of Holocaust victims and the fight against hate, xenophobia, racism and neo-Nazism in the context of contemporary society. This year's UN-designated theme was "Demand and defend your rights."
The presentation by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights focused on an interdisciplinary research that addressed the subject in terms of historical, sociological, psychological approaches having as main objectives training, education and awareness of the Holocaust. After a review of the events that generated the Holocaust and of the history of the Jews' persecution, were presented to the target group some personalities who saved human lives during this horrific period of humanity.
The action also materialized in debates that focused on the role of the young generation in a world marked by profound transformations and new waves of violence. The young generation has the responsibility to respect and promote the values of humanity, fundamental rights and freedoms, to further transmit the ideals and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Useful links: Andreea Oana Şcoala Superioară Comercială Kretzulescu postare #HolocaustRemembranceDay #Neveragain #Neverforget
On the occasion of the International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, an occasion to reflect on the tragic consequences that extremist manifestations had on the values of human solidarity, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the "Virgil Madgearu" Economic College in Ploiesti in collaboration with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and Adolescenţa Foundation organizedan educational program dedicated to marking this day, with the theme "Remembrance of the Holocaust".
The event which was attended by students of the 10th grade of the college as well as by teachers aimed to raise awareness on the events that took place during the Holocaust, so that the young generation could learn from past lessons and act against discrimination, defending democratic values in their community. The theme chosen this year by the United Nations on the occasion of the Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day was "Remembrance of the Holocaust: Demand and defend human rights." It marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Students presented in various forms - videos, posters, articles, life stories, about the historical background of the Holocaust horrors, the understanding of its significance and the recurrence of extremist manifestations.
The main objective of the event was to raise young people's awareness of the effects of the Holocaust and of the dangers of radical extremist and totalitarian regimes that lead to serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms nowadays. Promoting diversity, respect for the other, human dignity, equal opportunities are the fundamental principles for the development of a democratic society in which such painful events on humanity should never be repeated.
On the National Culture Day, January 15, 2019 took place the award ceremony of the winners of the essay competition "Why I Like ...", initiated by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Corint Editorial Group and the Bucharest Municipality Museum-Palace Sutu. The three partners have joined their efforts in this project in an educational mission, thus materializing an important aspect of education as enshrined in Article 29 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, namely "educating the child in a spirit of respect to his / her parents, to his / her language, to his / her identity and cultural values, to the national values of the country in which he / she lives, to the country of origin, and to different civilizations from his / her own.
The contest consisted in writing creative essays on historical and cultural Romanian figures and was addressed to children aged between 12 and 16 years. The award ceremony was not accidentally chosen, but aimed to commemorate some of Romania's cultural emblematic personalities as a national contribution to European culture, especially in the context of our country's takeover of the presidency of the European Council.
The works of the children also aimed at presenting personalities from different fields and - surprisingly but graciously - presented not only well-known figures, but also some mistakenly forgotten or part of the local or regional cultural heritage (in the contest, the participants were from 5 counties: Bucharest-Ilfov, Cluj, Hunedoara, Prahova and Vrancea): Queen Mary, King Ferdinand I, Mircea Eliade, Badea Cârţan, Nicolae Păulescu, Ana Aslan, Emil Racovită, Ecaterina Teodoroiu, Ioan Buteanu, Petre Liciu , Marin Sorescu, Henri Coandă, etc.
The 10 prizes consisted of book packages offered by the Corinth Editorial Group, by Flori Mihalache, PR Director, present at the festivity. The winners also benefited from a free-guided tour of the exhibitions hosted by the Bucharest Municipality Museum - Şuţu Palace.
On Monday 2018, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights hosted the debate "A life without violence is the right of every woman". The event was organized in partnership with the Women's Association of Romania - Together (AFRI) on the occasion of the International Day for Combating Violence Against Women and the 16 days campaign of activism for the rights of women (also called the orange days) beginning on November 25 and ending on December 10 on the International Human Rights Day.
Given the reality of the Romanian society and following the recent legislative changes, the RIHR proposed through this debate to identify new ways and means of communication between the institute and the actors involved in the fight against violence in general and against domestic violence in particular. Through the working group set up and expanded over last year, the consequences of domestic violence against family and society, as well as the barriers faced by the actors involved in combating violence against women, have been analyzed.
The representatives of NGOs have highlighted the barriers they face in their daily work, according to the specificity of each organization, the gaps in the implementation of the legislation and presented examples of concrete cases and good practices. Issues related to the victims' lack of trust in the judiciary, the fact that re