Romanian Institute for Human Rights
One of the tasks of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights is to inform “the public bodies, non-governmental organizations and citizens, particularly by disseminating the international documents, practices and procedures in the field of human rights…” (Art. 3 paragraph b in Law No. 9/1991).
One important way RIHR fulfils this duty is organizing events in the form of conferences, seminars, symposia, colloquia, roundtables where acknowledged specialists in the field of human rights, both from inside and outside the Institute, from Romania and from abroad, are invited to participate as moderators and lecturers, with a view to present and debate together with the participants in the event on various topics related to human rights.
The participants to such events are representatives of those socio-professional categories who by virtue of their position and/or profession come to contact with various members of the civil society, and in the relationships established with the latter human rights standards and principles should take precedence. These persons include: representatives of the legal profession – judges, lawyers, prosecutors; representatives of the police, gendarmes, penitentiary staff; representatives of the staff in educational units – pre-school educators, primary school teachers, pre-university and university teachers; representatives of the written and audio-visual press; physicians, biologists, chemists, physicists, etc. Last but not less important, the participants also include, almost without exception, pupils and students as well as representatives of NGOs whose activity and interests are related to human rights.
Unrepeatable events devoted to themes or moments related to human rights
On the National Culture Day, January 15, 2019 took place the award ceremony of the winners of the essay competition "Why I Like ...", initiated by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Corint Editorial Group and the Bucharest Municipality Museum-Palace Sutu. The three partners have joined their efforts in this project in an educational mission, thus materializing an important aspect of education as enshrined in Article 29 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, namely "educating the child in a spirit of respect to his / her parents, to his / her language, to his / her identity and cultural values, to the national values of the country in which he / she lives, to the country of origin, and to different civilizations from his / her own.
The contest consisted in writing creative essays on historical and cultural Romanian figures and was addressed to children aged between 12 and 16 years. The award ceremony was not accidentally chosen, but aimed to commemorate some of Romania's cultural emblematic personalities as a national contribution to European culture, especially in the context of our country's takeover of the presidency of the European Council.
The works of the children also aimed at presenting personalities from different fields and - surprisingly but graciously - presented not only well-known figures, but also some mistakenly forgotten or part of the local or regional cultural heritage (in the contest, the participants were from 5 counties: Bucharest-Ilfov, Cluj, Hunedoara, Prahova and Vrancea): Queen Mary, King Ferdinand I, Mircea Eliade, Badea Cârţan, Nicolae Păulescu, Ana Aslan, Emil Racovită, Ecaterina Teodoroiu, Ioan Buteanu, Petre Liciu , Marin Sorescu, Henri Coandă, etc.
The 10 prizes consisted of book packages offered by the Corinth Editorial Group, by Flori Mihalache, PR Director, present at the festivity. The winners also benefited from a free-guided tour of the exhibitions hosted by the Bucharest Municipality Museum - Şuţu Palace.
On the occasion of the International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, an occasion to reflect on the tragic consequences that extremist manifestations had on the values of human solidarity, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the "Virgil Madgearu" Economic College in Ploiesti in collaboration with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and Adolescenţa Foundation organizedan educational program dedicated to marking this day, with the theme "Remembrance of the Holocaust".
The event which was attended by students of the 10th grade of the college as well as by teachers aimed to raise awareness on the events that took place during the Holocaust, so that the young generation could learn from past lessons and act against discrimination, defending democratic values in their community. The theme chosen this year by the United Nations on the occasion of the Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day was "Remembrance of the Holocaust: Demand and defend human rights." It marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Students presented in various forms - videos, posters, articles, life stories, about the historical background of the Holocaust horrors, the understanding of its significance and the recurrence of extremist manifestations.
The main objective of the event was to raise young people's awareness of the effects of the Holocaust and of the dangers of radical extremist and totalitarian regimes that lead to serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms nowadays. Promoting diversity, respect for the other, human dignity, equal opportunities are the fundamental principles for the development of a democratic society in which such painful events on humanity should never be repeated.
On January 28, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in partnership with Nicolae Kretzulescu Commercial School in Bucharest, organized a session of presentations and debates on the commemoration of Holocaust victims and the fight against hate, xenophobia, racism and neo-Nazism in the context of contemporary society. This year's UN-designated theme was "Demand and defend your rights."
The presentation by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights focused on an interdisciplinary research that addressed the subject in terms of historical, sociological, psychological approaches having as main objectives training, education and awareness of the Holocaust. After a review of the events that generated the Holocaust and of the history of the Jews' persecution, were presented to the target group some personalities who saved human lives during this horrific period of humanity.
The action also materialized in debates that focused on the role of the young generation in a world marked by profound transformations and new waves of violence. The young generation has the responsibility to respect and promote the values of humanity, fundamental rights and freedoms, to further transmit the ideals and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Useful links: Andreea Oana Şcoala Superioară Comercială Kretzulescu postare
On the Day of Nonviolence in School, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Apostol Arsache Secondary School in Vedea, Giurgiu County, organized for V-VIII grades a poster contest with messages to promote a culture of tolerance.
Students were invited to propose their own solutions to combat violence in the school environment as being directly interested and responsible for creating a space of collaboration, tolerance and understanding, favorable to learning and to acquiring social attitudes.
Pupils from primary grade classes participated in activities by creating posters. By their graphical format with powerful visual impact and friendly contents, the images have advocated for promoting attitudes of mutual understanding and respect, by fostering trust and friendship, and by reducing verbal and physical violence behaviors.
Students from secondary grade classes have created messages that will be displayed in classes and within the school, presentations of the causes of violence, or billboards with rules to be observed in the school environment, to prevent conflicts.
The four gymnasium classes, coordinated by Prof. Sorin Meclea, had different approaches to the phenomenon of school violence, the common denominator being the confidence that, through collaboration and joint efforts,violence could be stopped and prevented.
Archive January-June 2018
In the framework of an extended collaboration among structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that is the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, the General Inspectorate for Immigration, and the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Border Police, which entailed the creation and the implementation of the “Common Plan of Action for the prevention of corruption in the context of illegal immigration” that includes dedicated activities and events, a new working and debate meeting took place on 14 September. The opportunity was that the heads of the territorial structures of the General Inspectorate for Immigration had been convened at the Cultural Centre of the MIA.
Beside Mr. Robert Neacşu from the Prevention Department of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, who made a briefing of the common activities that had taken place in the framework of the adopted Plan of Action, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights was invited to participate in the meeting. The Institute’s representative made a presentation devoted to the promotion and the protection of human rights by the police forces, with applicability in the hot field of immigration. The topics discussed included: the role of law enforcement officials in the protection of human rights, according to the international and regional documents with increased relevance for the members of the police forces; and the rights of migrants, with emphasis on the need for adaptability of the measures taken in special cases or when vulnerable persons/categories were involved: migrants who are victims of crimes, refugees or asylum seekers, children or persons with special needs.
The “Common Plan of Action for the prevention of corruption in the context of illegal migration” adopted by the three involved structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – The Anticorruption General Directorate, The General Inspectorate for Immigration (IGI), and The General Inspectorate – provides for the year 2018 several actions in partnership with other institutions that have the required competence and experience to approach from various points of view the illegal immigration issue and the prevention of corruption. One of the institutions invited in the framework of this inter-institutional collaboration was the Romanian Institute for Human Rights. While the first stage of this collaboration consisted in a meeting between specialists of RIHR and IGI was organised, the second stage consisted of a debate that took place at the headquarters of the Border Police and dealt with such topics as non-discrimination, the achievement of a profiling that shouldn’t be based on a “protected characteristic feature” (sex, race, skin colour, ethnic or social origin, language, religion, beliefs, political opinions, belongingness to a minority, social status, birth, disability, age, relationship with minorities, etc.).
5 October - World Teachers’ Day
On occasion of the World Teachers’ Day, on Friday 5 October 2018, Economic College “Virgil Madgearu” in Ploieşti hosted and educational programme devoted to the celebration of this day on “Role of education in contemporary society”, organized by Economic College “Virgil Madgearu” in collaboration with the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and Foundation “Adolescenţa”. The programme was followed by a jazz show performed by “Paul Constantionescu” Philharmonic Orchestra in Ploieşti.
During the programme, attended by students from several classes and teachers as well, a PowerPoint presentation pointed out the significance of the World Teachers’ Day. This year, on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the World Teachers’ Day theme is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”, precisely to emphasize on the major role teachers and educators play to improve the lives of children and youngsters and to reaffirm the commitment to improve the quality of the educational process at world level. Increasing substantially the number of qualified teachers, including international cooperation for training abroad, particularly teachers coming from the least developed countries, is also one of the sustainable development goals in Agenda 2030.
Teams made up of two or more students made their contributions with reports, essays, PowerPoint presentations, all about education and school in general. The topics included: school in the eyes of students, the role of education in contemporary society, school yesterday and today.
The students’ artistic talent could also be seen in several posters they had achieved presenting images and drawings dealing with the same theme of the right to education.
Speaking about education, Plato, the great philosopher of Ancient Greece said: “Education is the most precious gift a man can be given”. Indeed, it is the key to professional success, to the individual’s integration in a given social context, while it provides optimal conditions for the individual to express his or her personality.
The purpose of the event was to enrich the students’ general knowledge with information on the significance and the importance of 5 October, the World Teachers’ Day, by means of practical activities designed to form communication and technical abilities.
Technical High School “Carol I” hosted an event devoted to gender equality, in the framework of a project cofinanced through the Erasmus Programme + (No. 2017-1-FR01-KA219-037270). In the workshops, the meetings, the debates, the activities performed by the students throughout the project – which started in 2017 – the participants aimed to raise awareness, empower and mobilize students to discourage discriminatory behaviour towards women.
At the meeting of 16 October, which took place in Bucharest, the participating students, coming from 5 countries (Bulgaria, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania), approached several aspects of discrimination against women – violence and sexual abuses, physical violence, discrimination within the society, the community and the family, discrimination at the workplace or with employment, stereotypes, etc. – by means of interactive presentations that illustrated actual situations yet symptomatic for the European area.
The organisers invited the collaborators of the Romanian team to participate in the event, as well as representatives of the institutions that had helped the project: the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, the French Institute, the School Inspectorate, Proedus, etc.
See here (fr) more details about the Erasmus Project.
On Friday 19 October 2018 the Director of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights was the guest of Secondary School “George Poboran” of Slatina. The youngster who had been awarded prizes at the national contests on human rights shared the educational projects they were involved with whose common objectives are democracy, tolerance and volunteering.
Mr. Adrian Bulgaru, Director of RIHR, told the children about the importance of human rights education, of education in general and of the respect for values. He also reminded the children that several days later the world was going to celebrate the United Nations Day, while pointing out the importance of the United Nations Charter and showing the purpose and the principles and which the United Nations mission and activities are based.
Details and images (ro)
Every year the United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October to mark the entry into force of the United Nations Charter, the treaty under which the United Nations Organization was established. The events organized on this day in the 193 Member States are devoted to the promotion of the United Nations objectives and achievements.
On the occasion, on Wednesday 24 October, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR), in collaboration with Foundation “Adolescenţa” and students at “Spiru Haret” College in Ploieşti organized at the headquarters of the College Documentation and Information Centre a workshop on “Human Rights in the United Nations system” to mark the United Nations Day.
In the opening a PowerPoint document was presented which pointed out the significance of the United Nations Day, the purpose and the tasks of the Organization, the principles on which it is based, its organizational structure as well as the powers of each body in the United Nations system.
The participants could also watch media presentations that pointed out the main events that had taken place in 2018 at the level of the United Nations General Assembly down to its 73rd session of 24 September 2018, devoted to the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
Conference “Access to education and participation of persons with disabilities”, organized between 26-27 October in Bucharest by the Romanian National Disability Council, Association “RENINCO” and the Romanian Group for Inclusive Education, was an opportunity for debates on three fundamental issues: legislation, monitoring and implementation of adequate practices in the classroom.
The Conference brought together specialists from the academic and the research environments, public institutions having powers in the field, members of the teaching staff in the pre-university educational system and non-governmental organizations and the participants adopted a manifesto.
The RIHR representative had a brief contribution showing with concrete examples – taken from the Institute’s experience in its collaboration with the important actors in the educational system – the barriers which at present can hinder the achievement of an inclusive education for persons with disabilities. Emphasis was also laid on the importance of correct information about the rights of this vulnerable category and also the importance of training the teaching staff (schoolmasters, teachers, school counsellors), but students and parents as well.
See more details here.
A first evaluation of the material received from the participating teachers throughout the country was achieved at the Teachers’ Training Centre in Cluj, the partner of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights and the Ministry of National Education in the organization and running of the “National Contest of didactic creativity in the field of auxiliary material devoted to education for human rights, democracy and a culture of peace”.
It is also worth mentioning that TTC in Cluj has arranged an exhibiting area where the material coming from Bucharest, Caraş-Severin, Maramureş, Brăila, Cluj can be viewed between 29 October – 22 November.
Evaluation and awarding will take place in November, at the headquarters of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights in Bucharest.
See more details. ro
See the Contest Rules. ro
9 November, the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism
As every year, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights joins the campaign combating fascism and anti-Semitism, an initiative of the international community to create a common front against violence and ideologies inspired by hatred and xenophobia.
RIHR, in partnership with National College “Spiru Haret”, organized the “Human Rights in Action” event in the framework of Project “Another kind of school”. Students of classes X-XI presented in various forms – videos, posters, articles, life stories – the theme of recurrence of extremism. Since 9 November, 1938, the symbolic date of the beginning of the darkest event in recent history – the Holocaust, fascism and anti-Semitism have not disappeared. They continue to manifest themselves in new forms, and the fight against extremism nowadays is not a radical act, but a necessity. For the video and posters of the presentation, RIHR enjoyed, as every year, the support of UNITED for Intercultural Action – the European network of NGOs fighting against nationalism and neo-fascism, and promoting migrant, refugee and minority rights, whose work is supported by 560 NGOs around the world.
The event, organized and run at “Mihai Viteazul” Secondary School in Pucioasa, included a series of actions aimed at sensitizing and educating young people in the spirit of tolerance.
A poster contest called “It’s Time for Tolerance” was organized in the school where students, both in primary and secondary educational cycles, were able to define the concept of “tolerance” as they perceive it, in their view. In the 80 works they achieved, the children expressed through imagination and colour the concept of “tolerance” as a defining value of the human personality as well as interpreted in the broad sense, by the ability to accept, understand and relate to the people around regardless of nationality, skin colour, ethnicity, language, religion, culture, etc. On the same day, the eight winning works were awarded by the Institute with books from “Corint” and “Epica” publishing houses based on the partnership concluded with them, which aims to promote love for reading and respect for values.
Also on this occasion, the winners of the “Democracy and Tolerance” Contest, edition 2018, were awarded by the Dâmboviţa County School Inspectorate, through the person of Prof. Sorin Ion, School Inspector General, and Prof. Cristina Stroe, Deputy School Inspector General.
Next was a suggestive debate entitled "Tolerance and Human Rights", a true dialogue that took place between the students participating in the National Contest "Democracy and Tolerance" over the years, together with their teachers, Georgiana Vintilă, Florina Diaconu and Gabriela Diaconescu, students from the Student Council, representatives of the teachers and the parents and RIHR representatives. The children were curious to find out what their most important rights were, from the point of view of the director of the Institute, Mr. Adrian Bulgaru, but also the most serious cases of violation of children’s rights the latter knew about. And because they found total openness, it was decided that the dialogue should be continued with the local authorities at Pucioasa City Hall.
More details here (ro). Winning posters can be viewed here.
On 19 November, on occasion of the Universal Children’s Day, celebrated on 20 November every year, and the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, marked on 19 November, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in partnership with Secondary School “Radu Stanian” in Ploieşti and Association “Adolescenţa”, organized an educational programme in the form of a workshop on “I am a child, I have rights”, with the participation of the 5th grade students of Secondary School “Radu Stanian” in Ploieşti. The programme also included a PowerPoint presentation of the significance of these days, which pointed out that children’s rights had been acknowledged as far back as the end of the First World War, through the adoption of the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924.
Concerns about recognizing and watching how children's rights are respected have continued in the decades to come. In 1959, the UN adopted the "Declaration of the Rights of the Child" and 30 years later, in 1989, the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" was adopted - the first international document to recognize all the legal rights that children should enjoy worldwide.
Further on, the event took the form of an interactive workshop, with questions and answers about the way children understood the various rights stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The event also included a drawing contest where the children were required to illustrate one or several rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The jury made up of the representative of RIHR and the representative of the school offered diplomas to the winners for the most suggestive drawings.
The purpose of this event was to make children understand their rights as they are stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also the responsibilities deriving from each right so that every child could go to school, be safe from danger, and make the most of its potential.
On Monday 2018, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights hosted the debate "A life without violence is the right of every woman". The event was organized in partnership with the Women's Association of Romania - Together (AFRI) on the occasion of the International Day for Combating Violence Against Women and the 16 days campaign of activism for the rights of women (also called the orange days) beginning on November 25 and ending on December 10 on the International Human Rights Day.
Given the reality of the Romanian society and following the recent legislative changes, the RIHR proposed through this debate to identify new ways and means of communication between the institute and the actors involved in the fight against violence in general and against domestic violence in particular. Through the working group set up and expanded over last year, the consequences of domestic violence against family and society, as well as the barriers faced by the actors involved in combating violence against women, have been analyzed.
The representatives of NGOs have highlighted the barriers they face in their daily work, according to the specificity of each organization, the gaps in the implementation of the legislation and presented examples of concrete cases and good practices. Issues related to the victims' lack of trust in the judiciary, the fact that representatives of the authorities often do not give credibility to the victims, but also the phenomenon oft the stereotyped image of women in advertising materials which continue to be broadcasted were discussed. One major challenge remains the lack of data on the number of complaints and court decisions relating to discrimination against women. Better monitoring of situations in cases of violation of the protection order by the aggressor is needed. Police representatives spoke of the challenges they face in their work on victim protection, the insufficient staff pressure, and suggested that judges should also be invited to attend the upcoming meetings to illustrate ways of resolving cases of domestic violence. Like every year, the RIHR joined the International Orange Days campaign "Let's Say No to Violence Against Women #sayNO_UNiTEin partnership with the gymnasium school 113, Spiru Haret National College and the Women's Association of Romania. The findings of the working group will be extensively exposed in future RIHR publications.
In the framework of the events organized to celebrate Romania’s centenary, the city of Negru Vodă, Constanţa County, organized a festival of national identity, seen as part of the European cultural mosaic, all the more so that the Dobrogea region is, in its turn, a multiethnic and multicultural landscape.
The festival was conceived as two celebration days when the entire local community (the Constanţa County School Inspectorate; the Mayor’s Office in Negru Vodă; the Police; the Border Police; the Negru Vodă Culture House; parents) participated in the organization and performance of the festive moments, under the coordination of Ms Natalia Palas, Director of the “Negru Vodă” Theoretic High School, which manages pre-school, primary school, secondary school and high school education at city level.
Thus, the children presented the customs, the traditional costumes and local cuisine of eight Romanian provinces and also created posters with the representative symbols and information about the latter. At the same time, the children created a time capsule, with messages from this important Centenary to the future. The messages were gathered and placed in a glass box kept in the high school.
The next day, more than 500 persons participated in a show organized by the community’s pupils (from kindergarten to high school level), a show where the songs, the dances and the poetry recitations were the main elements, since the city has several folk ensembles organized into three age groups, with participation in international festivals.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights, in its capacity as a guest, had a representative who presented a material about the national identity and the European one. The symbols, the art, the common history were depicted as genuine identity cards by which we introduce ourselves to foreigners as a European people.
Of these, the popular costume – the topic of the presentation – was shown to be perhaps the oldest and most beautiful document – material and spiritual –, that synthetically encoded “our identification data” and represented us in the large community of peoples of united Europe.
December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Nazarcea Group - a success story
Each year, on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3, is celebrated. By marking this day, the international community aims to promote a better understanding of the many problems faced by people with disabilities in order to support their dignity and rights. The theme chosen for this year is "Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality" and focuses on inclusion in consensus with the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030. The ambitious plan of "not to leave anyone behind" requires channelling all existing human and financial resources to achieve a world of peace and prosperity where every person's dignity is respected.
Because more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, achieving sustainable development depends a lot on how we are able to transform and manage urban space. In the context of achieving Objective 11 of Agenda 2030, "Sustainable cities and communities - make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable", full and equal participation of persons with disabilities is needed to achieve the real development of the cities of the future in all spheres of society, and so is creating a friendly and accessible environment.
On the occasion of the International Day of People with Disabilities, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights responded to the invitation to visit the Nazarcea Group, thus having the opportunity to directly know the courage, skills, professional commitment and modesty of the disabled employees. It is certainly an example of success in the independent life and autonomy of persons with disabilities, an example that we hope will be followed at national level in the future.
"We hope that by understanding things from within, we will have better support and promotion in the future. A future in which everybody can have his/her place under the sun", said Nazarcea Group director. This was also the goal of RIHR representatives: to inform the public and especially the authorities and all stakeholders who might be involved in replicating this good practice.
Starting from the idea that every employed person with disabilities is an added value to the society and community he/she is part of, Nazarcea Group, the largest authorized protected entity in the country, develops and promotes services in the field of socio-professional insertion and integration into work of persons with disabilities. Besides the 70 jobs occupied by people with disabilities, the structure also functions as a platform that provides specialized training, education and training for the free labour market. Once they train and improve their skills, employees are encouraged to pursue a career in the chosen field by applying for a new job and, if they choose to continue working there, to share their knowledge and professional experience with newcomers.
The RIHR representatives wanted to make best use of the visit to come to know and promote the skills, talent and participation of persons with disabilities in the life of society. Visiting the bakeries, tailoring, printing, decorative ceramics, laundry, ironing and car wash workshops, they met special people who worked with dedication in the chosen field. In the ceramic workshop they produce and paint ceramic and ceramic objects of unique or small series, but the products can also be made to order. The first page of the Catalogue opens with the logo "Chances for new destinies" and each product bears the mark of sensitivity, talent, love and attention for the details with which it has been manufactured. The same can be said of all workshops offering impeccable products or services.
Nazarcea Group's activity is an outstanding model of community empowerment through the diversification of educational and social services and calls for reflection on changing mentalities and attitudes that still put barriers to the affirmation and development of persons with disabilities. Other details (ro)
Note: An Info Point is on the left of the Car Wash workshop, where all the details about Nazarcea Group can be found. From there visitors are guided to the desired workshop where they can meet wonderful people and can either buy the desired products or benefit from the services they offer professionally.