Child rights and child protection
Child protection came under heavy scrutiny after the collapse of communism and during the EU pre-accession period, because of the sheer numbers of children in giant state orphanages, suffering from neglect and abuse. International pressure led Romanian authorities to close mammoth foster care institutions and tighten the rules on adoption. Although children are still Romania’s most vulnerable group, the state has developed solutions that have become a catalyst for change in the region: the maternal assistant network, a direct phone line for children’s rights protection, cross-sector pilot work in preventive services, networks of NGOs and public authorities monitoring their rights and providing social services and direct aid. As of March 2017, Romania is one of the 12 pathfinding countries of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children worldwide.
Even before 1990, the institutionalisation of children, instruments to mitigate the appalling situation of homeless children and the social protection system itself were poorly developed, with dreadful minimal conditions in foster homes, in hospitals and elsewhere. International organisations were involved from the shaky early days of Romanian democracy in changing the state of affairs and developing a healthy system of child protection. With genuine domestic support as well, Romania managed to fundamentally turn the de-institutionalisation system into a success model, developing networks of maternal assistants, modern foster care facilities and improving its adoption procedures (still ongoing). As children unfortunately still face deprivation and abuse all over the world, such mechanisms and processes that have brought results in Romania can be adapted to other national contexts to ease the plight of others.
You are welcome to explore key players in this field, both institutions and individuals, with decades of solid experience. Be it in terms of pure transfer of expertise, academic contributions, consultations and tailored support for the NGO sector or at state level, this locator identifies the experts that best match your needs.