Romania may have special Ombudsman for Children

The Romanian Government approved on Wednesday, October 11, the establishment of the Ombudsman for Children, which will be a distinct structure within the Ombudsman institution and will exclusively deal with the protection of the children’s rights.

The draft bill adopted by the Government amends the law on the organization and functioning of the Ombudsman institution, and “gives children the possibility to make complaints directly to the Ombudsman for Children,” reads a press release from the Government.

The new structure will be able to receive and solve the individual complaints made by children or their representatives against several public institutions. The Children’s Ombudsman will also be able to verify these institutions.

Moreover, the new structure will also carry out studies or assessments to determine the extent to which the central or local public administration authorities, as well as the Romanian specialists or individuals respect the children’s rights.

The draft bill stipulates the establishment of 18 posts within the new structure starting January 1, namely four new posts within the Ombudsman’s central office and one post for each territorial office. The employees will only be in charge of cases that address child rights issues.

A UNICEF report showed earlier this year that Romania has recorded some of the worst results for progress related to child welfare. The country ranked last, together with Bulgaria and Chile, for the progress on child welfare among industrialized countries.

Moreover, earlier this month, the European Court for Human Rights ruled that the Romanian authorities failed to take measures to protect a child abused both mentally and physically by his father. The court decided that Romania has to pay EUR 10,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

Irina Marica, [email protected]

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