The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review will examine the human rights reports of 14 States (including Romania) during its forty-third session, which will take place from 1-12 May 2023 in Geneva. Romania's record will be examined on Tuesday 2 May (09h00 - 12h30) and the debate will be webcast.

The fourth UPR cycle (November 2022 - February 2027) focuses on improved implementation and monitoring, and states must specify the measures taken to implement the recommendations received in previous reviews, as well as present the developments that have taken place since the previous review and report on the challenges it faces in its follow-up actions. The reports that form the basis of Romania's evaluation are available here.
In fulfilling its mandate, which also consists of informing the public opinion abroad, the international bodies, about the practical ways in which human rights are ensured and respected in Romania, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights has contributed to the evaluation process of Romania within the framework of the International Universal Periodic Review Mechanism - fourth cycle, established by UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251. The contribution of the RIHR was twofold: 
I. Reporting to the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
As a national human rights institution, RIHR responded to the request of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit a briefing for the 43rd session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, to be held from 1-12 May 2023. Building on the recommendations addressed to Romania in the third UPR cycle, the submission of the Institute focuses on areas considered to be of particular importance, without providing an exhaustive overview of the field. In this regard, the themes addressed in RIHR`s analysis were access to sexual and reproductive health and services; women's rights and domestic violence; equality and non-discrimination; trafficking in human beings; the right to health; the right to education; the rights of the child; freedom of opinion and expression. 
RIHR`s submission to the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review can be found here
II. Contribution to the national report
At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RIHR contributed to the country report for the fourth UPR cycle by providing information on the work carried out by the Institute in relation to the recommendations received from the Romanian State and the institute`s mandate. In this respect RIHR provided information on the following topics: national human rights institutions - issues related to the status, the law of the Institute and the accreditation process according to the Paris Principles; women's rights - issues related to discrimination and domestic violence; children's rights and their protection against exploitation; migrants' rights; equality and non-discrimination; right to education.



The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the only global mechanism that examines the human rights situation in all Member States of the United Nations and, at the same time, a unique process that involves a regular review of the human rights situation in all 193 of the  United Nations Member States, in which states provide each other with constructive human rights recommendations, thus contributing to concrete improvements in human rights worldwide.

UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council (HRC), which is based on equal treatment for all member countries. Through this mechanism, States are given the opportunity to declare the actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries and to overcome the challenges of human rights. The UPR also includes a system for sharing best practices on human rights around the world.


UPR process

Romania in the UPR process

UPR Purpose.

The ultimate purpose of the UPR is to improve the human rights situation in every country with significant consequences for people around the world. UPR is designed to promote, support and extend the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground. To achieve this, UPR involves evaluating human rights progress /the activities of states in the field of human rights and addressing human rights violations whenever they occur. UPR also aims to provide technical assistance to states and enhance their capacity to deal effectively with human rights challenges and to share best practices in the area of human rights between States and other stakeholders.  

 UPR Mechansim

The UPR process includes five steps:

- Presentation of a national report by the country under review;

- A presentation before the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, where other countries ask questions and make recommendations to the country under review;

- Adopt the Working Group report that includes a summary of the discussion and recommendations made by other states;

- Provide an official response on recommendations indicating what recommendations  are accepted by the country under examination and which are those that are not accepted (notes);

- Adoption of the outcome of the review by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Revisions are made by the UPR Working Group, consisting of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council. Each state review is assisted by a group of three states, known as the "troika," serving as rapporteurs. The Troika may group issues or questions to be discussed with the state under review to ensure that interactive dialogue takes place in a smooth and orderly manner.The internal human rights framework, the measures taken to promote and protect human rights in the country under review, the human rights issues and the measures taken to remedy the violations are discussed.

NGOs have the opportunity to provide information that can be added to the report. These can be mentioned by any of the States participating in the interactive discussion during the review of the Working Group meeting. NGOs may participate in the UPR Working Group sessions and make statements at the ordinary session of the Human Rights Council when considering the results of the state examinations. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched

„The Technical Guidelines for  stakeholders submissions” "Ghidul tehnic pentru prezentarea părților interesate".

The documents on which the analysis is based are: 1) the information provided by the State under review, which may take the form of a "national report"; 2) the information contained in reports of human rights experts, of idependent groups in the field of human rights  and of other UN entities; 3) information from other stakeholders, including national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Following a review by the Working Group, a report is prepared by the troika, with the involvement of the state under review and assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This report, called the "Final Report", provides a summary of the real discussion. Therefore, it includes the questions, comments and recommendations made by states to the country under review as well as the replies of the revised state.

The revised State has the possibility to make preliminary comments on the recommendations, choosing to accept or to note them. Both the accepted and registered recommendations are included in the report. Once the report has been adopted, drafting changes to the report  on  their own statements can be made by States in the next two weeks. The report should then be adopted in the plenary session of the Human Rights Council. During the plenary session, the state under examination may answer questions and issues that have not been adequately addressed within the Working Group and can respond to the recommendations made by States during the review.

The main responsibility of the State is to implement the recommendations contained in the final outcome. UPR ensures that all countries are responsible both  for progress and failure to implement these recommendations. The international community will contribute to the implementation of recommendations and conclusions on capacity building and technical assistance through consultation with the country concerned. The Council will address cases in which states do not cooperate if considered necessary.

The Human Rights Council decides on the measures it should take in case of non-cooperation (necooperare) of a UPR country.


Romania in the UPR process

The third UPR cycle - 2018

Romania's review took place at the third meeting on January 16, 2018. At the 10th meeting, which took place on January 19, 2018, the Working Group adopted the Report on Romania .

A list of questions prepared in advance by Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America was sent to Romania via the Troika.

 (Document, Document, Document)

During the reporting period, the Government took several steps to improve its institutional and legal situation regarding the protection of human rights. The national report was structured in line with the recommendations of the second review, of which a large number focused on protection against discrimination, especially against Roma. The national report highlighted the importance that the authorities have given to this issue and provided information on the measures taken to integrate Roma culture into school curricula and improve their access to the labor market and health system. The Romanian Government's strategy for the inclusion of Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority 2015-2020 took into account the European Union recommendations.

Romania has continued to pursue a policy aimed at preventing and sanctioning all forms of discrimination. The Government has developed and adopted the National Strategy "Equality, Inclusion and Diversity" for the period 2016-2020, based on the recommendations of the Council of Europe and  of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The Government has given increasing importance to the protection of the rights of persons belonging to vulnerable groups. Therefore, it adopted a series of normative acts to improve the protection of the rights of people with disabilities, including the National Strategy "A barrier-free society for people with disabilities" 2016-2020 and the Operational Plan on the implementation of the national strategy. Several measures have been taken regarding the legal representation of people with disabilities during the reporting period.

For example, Law no. 8 of 18 January 2016 ( Legea nr. 8 din 18 ianuarie 2016) on the establishment of the mechanisms provided for by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted  to designate and set up a Monitoring Council for the implementation of the Convention, an independent mechanism for the promotion, protection and implementation of the rights guaranteed by the Convention.

The government has also continued its efforts to reduce child poverty, including through financial support from the European Union. All national strategies addressing the social exclusion of different groups of vulnerable children impose the need for an integrated national response to tackle multiple factors of inequality. Providing personalized and integrated support through single entry points or through managers of personalized cases could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of social services. In addition, following  the recommendations from United Nations bodies on human rights,the Parliament adopted a law on the establishment of the Child’s Ombudsman in 2017, an independent institution to oversee how child rights will be respected at national level in 2018.

In 2018, the Child's Ombudsman  was established, a structure coordinated by a Deputy Advocate of the People (Law No. 9/2018 amending and supplementing Law 35/1997 on the organization and functioning of the People's Advocate Institution).

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, encouraged Romania to work on strengthening the national reporting to consolidate the follow-up and reporting mechanism in relation to international and regional human rights mechanisms and with the obligations stemming from the treaties to which Romania is part.

The documents on the third evaluation can be found here (aici).

The Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the working meeting organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the finalization of the Country Report, which was the basis of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council, on the degree of application and the observance of the universally recognized standards in the field of fundamental rights and freedoms by the UN member states. The report contains the overall situation of Romania's performance in the field of protection and promotion of human rights, the efforts and achievements of the governmental authorities, as well as the problematic issues and difficulties encountered in this field in Romania.

Throughout 2018, the Institute has devoted its efforts to the promotion and implementation of international standards on women's rights in the context of the UN Committee on Discrimination against Women, the Seventh and Eighth Periodical Reports on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women.