Romanian Institute for Human Rights
Human rights are inherent to every person, without discrimination, while the right to equality and non-discrimination are the fundamentals of the human rights legislation.
The very first article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, also enshrine the basic principles of equality and non-discrimination under any circumstances as far as the exercise of all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that any human being shall enjoy.
The universal nature of human rights implies acknowledgement without any restrictions of human diversity which, irrespective of the differences between individuals belonging to various races, ethnic groups, age categories, religious or other communities, offer no justification for attitudes of exclusion and discrimination or forms of intolerance and aggressiveness.
Art. 14 in the European Convention on the Defence of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, “Prohibition of discrimination”, stipulates that The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention “shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status”.
Nevertheless, racial, ethnic, religious discrimination manifest in the daily life hinders progress for millions of people in the whole world.
Racism and intolerance can take various forms - from denying the basic principles of equality down to the nourishment of ethnic hatred that could lead to genocide.
This is the reason why the United Nations Organization officially declared 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a day that also marks the beginning of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, organized annually, on initiative by the United Nations General Assembly, since 1979, whose purpose is to raise awareness about the negative consequences of racial discrimination.
The international community also takes efforts to combat racial discrimination and promote tolerance. Elimination of racial discrimination is the opportunity to raise a world of justice and equality, where xenophobia and intolerance are inexistent. Sustainable peace can only be built on the assumption that all people have equal rights and dignity. Irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion, social or other status.
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
- Durban Declaration adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, 2001
- International Convention against apartheid in sports
- ILO Convention No. 100 on Equal Remuneration
- UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education
- ILO Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Law No. 202/2002 on equality of opportunities for women and men ro
- Government Ordinance No. 137/2000 on preventing and sanctioning all forms of discrimination ro
Government Decision No. 194 of 2001 on the organization and functioning of the National Council for Combating Discrimination ro
- Drepturi ale persoanelor aparţinând minorităţilor naţionale – Rights of the Persons Belonging to the National Minorities, coordonare Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, Ioan Oancea, IRDO, Bucureşti, 1993
- Drepturile omului în România. Protecţia drepturilor persoanelor aparţinând minorităţilor naţionale – Human Rights in Romania. Protection of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities, coordonare Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, Ioan Oancea, IRDO, Bucureşti, 1993
- Seminarul internaţional asupra toleranţei – Séminaire international sur la tolérance – International Seminar on Tolerance, Bucureşti 23–26 mai 1995, IRDO, Bucureşti, 1995
- Minorităţile. Identitate. Egalitate, Ion Diaconu, IRDO, Bucureşti, 1998 (Minorities. Identity. Equality)
- Egalitate de şanse, egalitate de tratament, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2000
- Égalité de chances, égalité de traitement, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, prefaţă de G. Conac, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2000 (Equality of opportunities, equality of treatment)
- Lupta împotriva rasismului, discriminării rasiale, xenofobiei şi intoleranţei, IRDO-ANUROM, Bucureşti, 2001 (Fighting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance)
- Convenţia internaţională privind eliminarea tuturor formelor de discriminare rasială, ediţie de colecţie, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2002 (International Convention on the Eliminationa of All Forms of Racial Discrimination)
- A Culture of Peace, Democracy and Tolerance in Romania, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, Comisia Naţională a României pentru UNESCO şi Institutul Român pentru Drepturile Omului, Bucureşti, 2002
- Fighting racial discrimination – Aspects, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, IRDO-ANUROM, Bucureşti, 2004
- Egalitatea de şanse pentru persoanele cu handicap. Instrumente internaţionale şi jurisprudenţă, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2004 (Equality of opportunities for persons with disabilities. International instruments and jurisprudence)
- Egalitate. Nediscriminare. Bună administrare, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, Mihaela Muraru-Mândrea, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2008 (Equality. Non-discrimination. Good administration)
- Protection against racism and discrimination, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2011
- Nediscriminare. Autonomie. Incluziune. Instrumente privind drepturile persoanelor cu handicap şi jurisprudenţă în materie, Irina Moroianu Zlătescu, Anna Neagoe, Ioana Cristina Vida, Alexandru Fărcaş, Dinu Ţepeş, IRDO, Bucureşti, 2012 (Non-discrimination. Autonomy. Inclusion. Instrument son the rights of persons with disabilities and jurisprudence in the field) ro
23 - 29 March
On the occasion of the European Action Week against Racism, and of marking the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights launched, in collaboration with its partners from “Regina Maria” College in Ploiești and 113 Secondary School in Bucharest, the online event “Solidarity against racism and discrimination”, which took place during 23 - 29 March.
In our efforts to protect ourselves and our families, we must remember that difficult situations such as the one caused by COVID-19 pandemic can bring out the worst in people: racism, discrimination, hate speech and prejudices. These can spread just like the new virus, becoming a viral phenomenon, which makes us more vulnerable as individuals and as a society.
To this end, the motto of the event organized by IRDO coincided with the theme chosen by UNITED for Intercultural Action for the international campaign #United4Humanity, namely SOLIDARITY. Thus, students were invited to join this campaign in the virtual environment and to post on the event page their thoughts and messages on combating racism and discrimination, to celebrate together diversity, as one of Europe's greatest riches.
Ana Maria Vasilucă from the National College “Regina Maria” in Ploiești stood out during this online activity. Under the coordination of her teacher, Roxana Vișan, she launched a dialogue on solidarity and posted messages against racism and discrimination, among which: “The power of solidarity is greater than that of discrimination!” Why are the letters reversed? Because the picture is captured in front of the mirror, due to the social distance we all live in these days, when efforts are being made throughout the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an impressive message of hope in these difficult times, where social distancing, though restrictive, still allows us to capitalize on common goals and promote tolerance and inclusion, wherever we are. In addition to messages with a strong impact against discrimination and racism, she also sent poems, her own creation, which reveal a unique vision of humanity, namely that each individual is like a flower, different from the rest, but each with its own beauty. Thus, through the eyes of a child, we are encouraged to accept, understand and value diversity.
Students of 113 Secondary School in Bucharest joined the event as well, under the guidance of prof. Florentina Ruiu, who recommended that they would each watch from home, on the same day and at the same time (Thursday, 26.03.2020, 3 pm), The Green Book movie. Afterwards, they shared their opinions (via Zoom platform), and posted on the event page their thoughts and opinions about the movie (using the Mentimeter app), concluding that art is a messenger of solidarity and a powerful weapon to combat discrimination and racism. Other students from the same school chose to post their paintings and messages of non-discrimination, human solidarity and hope using the hashtags #Everythingwillbefine and #United4Humanity.
On February 3, on the occasion of the International School Day of Non-Violence and Peace, a debate themed “Say stop to violence” was held at “Toma Caragiu” High School in Ploiești. The event was organized in the context of the Campaign to combat violence promoted by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, and targeted fifth grade students.
During the event, students participated in a thematic debate that addressed topics such as: causes of violence within school environment, types of violence, recommendations to prevent violence, practical ways to prevent and combat violence. The debate aimed to raise awareness of issues related to violence and to identify ways of resolving conflicts through nonviolent communication. Moreover, the proposed topics contributed to combating, reducing and preventing violence in schools, and helped developing and maintaining an educational environment characterized by harmony, tolerance, and respect for human rights.
Even though the International School Day of Non-Violence and Peace is celebrated on January 30, its message must be carried on at all times. All forms of violence - from physical violence, to insult or intimidation, as well as all forms of discrimination must disappear, and interpersonal relations must be based on values such as respect and tolerance.
On January 27, a workshop dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day took place at “Mihai Viteazul” National College in Ploiești. The event was organized by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in collaboration with ”Adolescența” Foundation and it tackled the theme “75 years since Auschwitz - Education in commemoration of the Holocaust for world justice”.
The workshop, attended by teachers and students of the 11th and 12th grades, aimed to raise awareness of the events that took place during the Holocaust and its effects, as well as the importance of the fight against discrimination and the protection of democratic values.
During the debate, the participants had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on the issue of the Holocaust, the significance of the violation of human rights, and, in particular, of the fundamental right to life. Also, the aim was to shape and develop tolerant, democratic behavior, acceptance of diversity and participation in the life of a society free of any manifestation of racism, violence, discrimination, intolerance, anti-Semitism, according to the values promoted by human rights.
The celebration of the International Day of Happiness (March 20th) and of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st) took place on March 19th at the “Nicolae Iorga” Library in Ploiești through the program “What makes you happy”, organized by the “Virgil Madgearu” College in Ploiești, in collaboration with the Adolescenţa Foundation, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and “Nicolae Iorga” Library in Ploieşti.
This year's theme chosen by the United Nations for celebrating the International Happiness Day is “Happier Together” with the idea to emphasize the importance of getting closer to others for personal well-being.
The program presented by the Happy Team “Virgil Madgearu” College took place under the logo “Give a smile and donate a book!” And consisted of 2 sections. A section entitled The Colours of Happiness, in the form of interactive dialogues in which the motivation of happiness was emphasized, their personal feelings and perceptions about the meaning of happiness, the colours associated with the state of happiness. Also, Happy Team young people presented a collection of their essays and poems, as well as video clips and powerpoint materials to raise awareness, on education for well-being and happiness.
The second section focused on Diversity vs. Discrimination to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which this year focused on diminishing and counteracting nationalist populist actions and extremist ideologies that fuel racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, often affecting migrants and refugees, as well as people of African descent. Issues related to various types of discrimination, groups of people at higher risk of discrimination, as well as areas where the phenomenon of discrimination is more often encountered were presented. The students were awarded diplomas and certificates of attendance.
During the European Action Week against Racism the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with Adolescenţa Foundation organized the debate “United for Diversity” at “Spiru Haret” college in Ploieşti, on March 14, 2019. The target audience were t students of the 9th grade.
Documentary materials on the phenomenon of discrimination and its negative effects, as well as the areas where discrimination can manifest on the grounds of ethnicity, religion or gender, were presented, with examples of discrimination in the field of work, education, health, and public services.
In an interactive debate, pupils were invited to intervene, report cases of discrimination they were witnessing, and propose solutions to combat discrimination.
In the second part of the activity, students presented their own videos on tolerance and human rights, and their poems on non-discrimination, tolerance and acceptance of diversity without prejudices.
Through this activity, the students actively participated, asked questions and received answers, and they gained a comprehensive picture of the discrimination phenomenon that continues to make victims globally.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with Adolescenţa Foundation organized the Tolerance and Diversity Program under the European Week against racism and discrimination. The first event of the Program started on 13 March 2019 at “Mihai Viteazul” college in Ploiești. The workshop, addressed pupils in the 11th grade, with the objective of better understanding the phenomenon of discrimination and racism, which irrespective of the kind of criterion or reason leading to its manifestation, represents a serious violation of human rights.
The students learned under this Program about various types of discrimination, as well as their effects on society, on the school environment and on groups of vulnerable persons who are more at risk of being discriminated. The participants head the opportunity to learn about the institutions that deal with sanctioning cases of discrimination. An interactive debate followed, during which the students expressed their views on tolerance and on the acceptance of diversity, concepts on which this year campaign against racism focused.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights through its work on this thematic area supported and encouraged the transmission of the campaign messages to youth. The main objective was better information and direct involvement in combating discrimination. Appropriate education and correct information can contribute to understanding and acceptance of tolerance and diversity and to preventing signals of hatred, discrimination or contempt for other people just because they seem different.
March 17 - 27
Between 17-27 March 2018, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in partnership with Foundation “Adolescenţa”, initiated a number of events devoted to the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, whose objective was to raise the public’s awareness about the danger of discrimination and racism in the context of globalization. This year’s theme proposed by the United Nations Organization for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was “Promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity and respect for diversity in the context of combating racial discrimination”.
The campaign initiated by RIHR in partnership with Foundation “Adolescenţa” took place as Caravan “Diversity - Never enough”, which visited several colleges and schools in Ploieşti.
Caravan “Diversity - Never enough”, devoted to the antidiscrimination-tolerance-unity programme, visited “Virgil Madgearu” Economic College in Ploieşti.
The second stop of Caravan “Diversity - Never enough”, devoted to the antidiscrimination-tolerance-unity programme, was Secondary School “Sfânta Vineri” in Ploieşti.
The antidiscrimination-tolerance-unity programme, materialized in the form of Caravan “Diversity - Never enough”, continued with College “Spiru Haret” in Ploieşti.
The last stop of Caravan “Diversity - Never enough” was at Secondary School “Radu Stanian” in Ploieşti.