19. LETTER OF CONCERN REGARDING THE ENACTMENT OF THE LAW 217/29.10.2020
We note with deep disappointment that one week after the publication of the European Commission’s Human Trafficking Report in which Romania is presented as the state with the highest number of victims in Europe (pg. 26) and with a number of children trafficked in 2017-2018 ten times higher than in the previous reporting period (2015-2016 pg.34), the President of Romania enacted a more favorable law for defendants in crimes of child trafficking and child pornography.
Although a number of 108 NGOs drew the attention of the President of Romania on the issue of the respective law and requested its resubmission to the Parliament to complete art.154 paragraph(4) in order to return it to the form provided by the Criminal Code at that time, the President preferred to enact the law in question and to send to NGOs a simple unmotivated information that the law had already been enacted.
18. REQUEST FOR NON-PASSING OF THE BILL PL-X 101 / 09.03.2020
108 NGOs ask the President of Romania NOT to promulgate the law in the form initially approved by the Romanian Parliament because it would become a more favorable law for defendants in many cases of child trafficking and child pornography, and to send the Bill to the Parliament to review amendments to art. 154 para.(4) Penal Code.
17. MINISTER OF JUSTICE: “ORGANIZED GROUPS PROTECT THEMSELVES… WE ARE DEALING WITH A PHENOMENON THAT IS STRUCTURED, ORGANIZED, PERPETUATED AND CONNECTED”
The recordings come from Radio România Iași journalist, Mihaela Munteanu, and reveal the magnitude of the phenomenon, but also the difficulties faced by bona fide investigators. In fact, the Minister of Justice tells how he found out at a DIICOT event about the increasingly sophisticated practices of human trafficking networks in Romania..
- Hearing of the Minister of Justice in Parliament (October 2020) – part 1 [RO]
- Hearing of the Minister of Justice in Parliament (October 2020) – part 2 [RO]
- Transcript of the Hearing of the Minister of Justice in Parliament (October 2020) – parts 1 + 2 [RO]
16. REQUEST FOR A LAW ON MISSING PERSONS
150 NGOs request the Parliamentary Commission of inquiry into the situation of missing children to urgently launch a dialogue with the Romanian Government in order to complete the process of drafting the law on the search for missing persons. We mention that in 2019 approximately 4,000 cases of missing children were registered, of which 10% have not yet been identified. The unjustified delay in adopting a normative act, requested by the citizens of Romania after the “Caracal experiment”, directly affects the victims of the disappearances and their families.
15. PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE DRAFT REGULATORY ACT REGARDING THE SEARCH OF MISSING PERSONS, SUBJECTED TO PUBLIC DEBATE BY THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
RoTIP appreciates the activity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to initiate, in urgent procedure, a draft normative act aimed at the topic of searching for missing persons and, at the same time, to emphasize ”the need to establish quickly the measures to allow, as soon as possible and in terms of efficiency, of some strategic decisions at the level of the Romanian Police regarding the establishment of adequate mechanisms for managing the phenomenon of missing persons.”
We draw attention to the fact that many articles in this draft normative act restrict constitutional freedoms, and the elimination or modification of these articles would make the procedures for searching for a missing person completely ineffective. We agree with the position of APADOR-CH which mentions that, in accordance with art. 115(6) of the Romanian Constitution, the Government may issue emergency ordinances that, among other things, do NOT affect constitutional freedoms. As the present normative act, in order to be effective, must interfere in certain conditions with fundamental rights, its adoption can be made only by a normative act of “law” type, adopted in the emergency procedure in the Parliament.
Therefore, we request the Ministry of Internal Affairs to return to the initial form of this normative act, that of “law”, and to start as soon as possible the procedure for its adoption. Any continuation of the delay in the procedure of adopting this normative act directly affects the possibility of rapid identification of persons who disappear daily.
- Proposals for amendments of the MoI draft [RO]
- Conformity Tabel – Draft Proposal & Proposed Amendments [RO]
14. THE NETWORK OF NGOs FIGHTING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (RoITP) – OPEN LETTER “WHO TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE SECRECY OF CRIMINAL FILES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKERS?”
The signatory organizations ask the Minister of Justice and the Superior Council of Magistracy to explain why all cases of trafficking in minors and trafficking in human beings have been deleted from the court portal, who made this decision and to publish all documents substantiating and endorsing this decision. Please publicly explain why this decision was taken without any prior public consultation in which to discuss alternative solutions.
13. THE NETWORK OF NGOs FIGHTING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (RoITP) HAS STOPPED THE PROPOSED M.I.A. ORDER!
The network of NGOs fighting trafficking in persons in Romania (RoITP) has managed to stop the adoption of the MIA order that would have enabled ANITP to evaluate the activities of the civil society in the field of fighting trafficking in persons.
The MIA has contacted the representatives of RoITP about the withdrawal from the approval procedure of the projected MIA order to modify and complete the Regulations on Organizing and Functioning of the ANITP, through which it would have been given to ANITP the power of monitoring and evaluating NGO activities.
The decision of the MIA has come as a consequence of the public debate regarding the proposed order, which tool place online on August 11, 2020. During the debate representatives of RoITP have asked for the elimination of paragraphs related to the monitoring and evaluation of NGO activities by ANITP, aspect that violates the democratic principles, being in contradiction with the provisions of the Romanian Constitution regarding the freedom of association of non-governmental organizations and with the European anti-trafficking legislation.
12. ESTABLISHING A NETWORK OF NGOs FIGHTING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
To mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, 15 NGOs working in the field of combating trafficking in human beings and protecting victims have set up an informal network, since 30 July 2020. Although Romania is the European country with the highest number of exploited victims, so far there has been no network of NGOs working in the field.
11. THE GOVERNMENT OF A ROMANIA IN FULL PANDEMIC WANTS TO CONTROL NGOs ACTIVE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS!
We consider that the wish of ANITP to monitor and evaluate the activity carried out in the field of the fight against trafficking in human beings by non-governmental organizations represents a serious violation of the freedom of action and expression of civil society and at the same time a restriction of democratic values.
- Press Release (March 20, 2020) [RO]
- Request for public debate – MIA (March 19, 2020) [RO]
- Point of View regarding the Draft Order of the MIA (24 iunie 2020) [RO]
- Press Release (June 24, 2020) [RO]
10. NATIONAL PETITION – TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE HUMAN SECURITY AND NATIONAL SECURITY
Taking into account the obligations of the institutions of the Romanian State to protect its citizens against serious violations of dignity and fundamental rights and to reduce the phenomena that directly affect national security, we – a group of 63 NGOs – appeal to the above-mentioned actors for a better and more efficient action against human trafficking networks and to protect Romanian citizens, especially minors.
Answers of the Romanian state authorities:
- Answer from ”National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men” [RO]
- Answer from ”Superior Council of Magistracy” [RO]
- Answer from ”The General Inspectorate of Romanian Police” [RO]
- Answer from ”Judicial Inspection” [RO]
- Answer from ”Ministry of Internal Affairs” [RO]
- Answer from ”Ministry of Justice” [RO]
- Answer from ”Ministry of Labor and Social Protection” [RO]
9. ȚĂNDĂREI CASE
As members of the civil society, ECLER has coagulated an initial group of 25 Romanian and international NGOs that fight against corruption and organised crime, to bring into the international community’s attention the Țandarei case on trafficking in minors.
Further details here: http://www.ecler.org/en/advocacy-tandarei-case-romania-justice-fails/
8. ORGAN TRANSPLANTS
As early as 2014, ECLER members have campaigned with national authorities, the European Commission and the diplomatic structures in Romania for coherent regulation of transplantation and organ procurement.
Further details here: http://www.ecler.org/en/advocacy-organ-transplants/
7. LEGAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
ECLER is a member of the National Movement for the Promotion of Legal Education in Schools, initiated by the Ministry of Justice, the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Ministry of Education, at the request of several NGOs in Romania.
6. SUPPORT FOR A REPRESENTATIVE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE SUPERIOR COUNCIL OF MAGISTRACY
ECLER – along with APADOR-CH, Funky Citizens, Independent Journalism Center – IJC Expert Forum (EFOR) FDSC Center for Innovation, Public Assistance Centre for NGOs – CENTRAS, Ask Participation Group Standalone for Participatory Democracy – GADP ActiveWatch, Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE), Pro-Democracy Association, Centre for Advanced Research in Management and Applied Ethics, Maliția Spirituală, Center for Media, APDD – Agenda 21, Code4Romania, Human Catalyst, Greenpeace Romania – supports the candidacy of Codru Vrabie for the Romanian Superior Council of Magistracy as a representative of civil society.
5. OPEN LETTER – RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
ECLER, along with other 17 NGOs calls on the Romanian representatives to act in accordance with the values that underlie the transatlantic community, of which Romania is part, and take a stand against the alarming developments from these days in Turkey, to take necessary steps, which are within the democratic mandate that they have from the Romanian people, to reaffirm the need for respect, in these difficult days, the human rights, judicial independence, and the rule of law in Turkey.
Further details here: http://www.petitieonline.com/scrisoare_deschisa_pentru_respectarea_drepturilor_omului_in_turci [RO]
4. OPEN LETTER – THE COUNCIL OF MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
ECLER, along with other 12 NGOs, criticized impediments encountered by former president of CMICDPD, and asked the Senate and the Government to intervene to implement expeditiously the law, to stop crimes from orphanages and ensure for people with disabilities in Romania a dignified treatment, according to the values assumed by Romania on the protection of fundamental human rights.
3. INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE – NATIONAL COALITION FOR INTEGRATION OF REFUGEES
ECLER, along with other 22 NGOs, calls on Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș, to release the activity of the Interministerial Committee – National Coalition for Integration of Refugees, to communicate the name of the person responsible for coordinating this Committee and the composition of the Technical Secretariat.
2. PLACEMENT AND RECRUITMENT AGENCIES
ECLER has launched and coordinates the Working Group for amending the Law 151/2000 on the protection of Romanian citizens working abroad. This bill is outweighed by the social realities of Romania and must be amended according to actual needs.
Following the meeting of 31 March 2016, the Working Group concluded:
- to amend, urgently, the national legislation on protection of Romanian citizens working abroad in accordance with the international standards established by the International Labour Organization, particularly the Convention no. 181, Article 7, by eliminating any fees or costs charged directly or indirectly for the recruitment of job seekers;
- accreditation, on a national level, of recruitment agencies that place job seekers to work abroad and a more detailed legislation of their rights and obligations;
- to create a database of Romanians who left the country to work abroad and for it to be accessible to all actors that could contribute to a better protection of Romanians beyond the national borders (Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice etc.);
- to create national programs to inform Romanians that are interested in a job abroad about their rights and challenges they could face, as well as about the institutions, agencies and NGOs, which they could contact when their rights are violated;
- to encourage victims of human trafficking for labor exploitation, at repatriation, to address the competent authorities to sanction such practices and the creation of tailored services for such victims, which currently do not exist in Romania.
1. JUDICIAL POLICE SUBORDINATED ONLY TO THE DIOCT PROSECUTOR
Since 2012, ECLER members have advocated beside the national authorities, the European Commission, and diplomatic structures in Romania to be created a specialized office for the judicial police in DIOCT, following the model from DNA.
This measure is being implemented in accordance with amendments made by the Emergency Ordinance 6/2016 on measures to enforce the mandates of technical supervision in criminal proceedings.