Romania - Protecting human rights in institutions for people with mental disabilities

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Date: 18 September 2007

Place: Romania

Partners: Centre for Legal Resources Romanian Parliament  Purpose: To examine ways to improve the treatment of children and adults in Romania’s psychiatric and social care institutions.

Activities: The Romanian NGO, Centre for Legal Resources, and the Senate Human Rights Commission of the Romanian Parliament co-sponsored a meeting entitled 'Establishing a National Preventive Mechanism - a way of protecting human rights in institutions for people with mental disabilities', which took place in the Romanian Parliament. The event examined the findings of ten months’ monitoring of psychiatric and social care institutions by the Centre for Legal Resources and its related recommendations.In addition, the participants considered the possibility of Romania ratifying and implementing the OPCAT, for which purpose the APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer attended the event.

Outcome: This event set the stage for the first national meeting to examine possible implementation of the OPCAT in Romania. Most encouragingly, among the government and non-government representatives, as well as the heads of individual institutions, there appeared to be general agreement for the need for Romania to establish an independent monitoring mechanism. However, the next vital step will be to develop possible models and strategies to lobby the Romanian government to ratify the instrument.The Centre for Legal Resources and the Romanian Helsinki Committee are expected to take this process forward with further consultations and meetings. The APT will also participate in these future exchanges.        

Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer