Children who come into contact with the legal system are entitled to protection, according to various international and national legislation. Justice system workers who deal with children must be appropriately trained and qualified, and special juvenile courts should be set up to ensure children’s needs are met.
Romania adopted new juvenile justice amendments into the penal code in 2006, providing for the use of separate juvenile courts; however it did not rule that the professionals involved must have undertaken special training.
Violations of children’s rights often occur in police stations, while the children are being investigated. During the trial and sentencing stage, children in conflict with the law are often not kept separate from adult offenders. Trials of children and adults are held in the same venues, which can distress children. Courts still choose punitive rather than educational sentences, despite the recommendations of the Penal Code.
Crimes committed by children over the age of criminal responsibility were generally against property, primarily theft and robbery, followed by crimes against the person, and physical violence.