Institutul Român pentru Drepturile Omului
Guide on the Prevention of Situations of Violence Against Children and Young People Living in Residential Centres
This guide has been developed by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in collaboration with the Council for Institutionalised Youth (Consiliul Tinerilor Instituționalizați) with the aim of presenting in an accessible manner the rights of children and young people who benefit from the child protection system. The guide was produced at the request of the Senate's Commission of Inquiry on the investigation of cases of sexual abuse or any physical abuse of minors in residential services under the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection.
The document features a section dedicated to children and youth and another section for staff in the protection system. The distinction was necessary because both parties need to know how to relate to children's rights from the perspective of the human rights-based approach. On the one hand, it is essential that beneficiaries know their rights and how to claim them, but it is also necessary that protection staff understands the importance of such actions in the context of respecting international child rights provisions and ensuring the beneficiaries' right to opinion, which ensures their participation in the decision-making process concerning matters affecting them.
The guide focuses on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, drawing a parallel with the provisions of the Romanian Minimum Quality Standards for residential social services for children in the special protection system, stressing that compliance with them will lead to the fulfilment of the obligations arising from the provisions of the Convention. At the same time, reference was made to the difference between absolute and relative rights, as it is important to know how the latter can be subject to restrictions. The provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union were also mentioned, given its importance at regional level.
In order to ensure wide dissemination of the guide, the Institute will focus on promotion and information campaigns, its distribution in residential centres, training campaigns and a survey to update the guide according to the needs of beneficiaries.