Romania is keen to share its experience and lessons learned to promote the realization of child rights at regional and global level
Romania has made significant progress in the past 30 years. A European Union Member State with an upper-middle-income economy (expected to become a High-Income Country by 2025 according to World Bank data), the country has developed solid good practices and expertise in the areas of child rights monitoring, education, health and child protection.
Romania is very keen to share them with other countries. This is matched by a growing interest from various states to exchange experience. UNICEF, together with line ministries identify, document and validate good practices (including through evaluations) and, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are promoting and sharing these good practices with other countries. At the same time, many counterparts at the national and sub-national levels seek to learn from other countries and to become part of regional or global initiatives.
The UNICEF-led models such as the Minimum Package of Integrated Community-based Services for children and families and the Quality Inclusive Education programme are among the good practices identified in Romania. Other areas of common interest and documented good practices where UNICEF acts as a key player include parenting, deinstitutionalization, promotion of safe behaviors among adolescents, role models for improving the education expectations and aspirations for children from vulnerable groups. In the context of EU neighborhood and enlargement process, Romania’s experience as a country that prioritized child issues during EU accession has also been documented and made available for other interested countries in the Western Balkans. Also, Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union held in the first six months of 2019 is a source of good practices. During this process, the Ministry of Labor and Social Justice through the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Minister for European Affairs, and UNICEF in Romania cooperated to promote children’s right to participation as a priority at EU level.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as its Agency for International Development (RoAID) prioritized the Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocation for child rights and a more active role of Romania in promoting child rights at international level. This includes joint funding mechanism that could allow countries that want to benefit of the Romanian know-how to access funding from RoAID to cover the costs of technical assistance provided by Romanian experts. Requests for engaging in horizontal cooperation exchanges with Romania should be addressed to Eduard Petrescu, Programme Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Potential areas where Romania can share expertise and technical assistance
The Minimum Package of Services (MPS) provides integrated access to healthcare, social protection and education. These can prevent, at a fraction of the cost, many of the issues affecting the most vulnerable children and their families: separation, lack of minimum welfare payments, violence, early pregnancies, illness, school dropout or absenteeism.
Our programme aims to ensure that all children start school at the right age, stay in school and learn to their maximum potential, to be prepared for life and employment. To achieve this, we developed a school-family-community partnership for child participation and support. We have been implementing this program since 2014, in 51 schools in the county of Bacau.
To find the most strategic pathway to system reform, the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption together with World Bank and UNICEF have undertaken a thorough analysis of the public childcare system in Romania. The results showed that these institutions need to be closed-down and formulate a clear solution: alternative services.
Since 2010, together with authorities and NGOs, we have developed parenting for all age groups. These good practices part of UNICEF’s projects Come to School Campaign (Hai la Școală!) and Quality Inclusive Education Package in Romania have been shared with six EU states and Israel in a European conference organized with HoltIs and the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi.
Child Rights Strategy
Romania with UNICEF technical assistance has developed already two generations of Child Rights Strategy. The latest covers the period 2014 – 2020 and it is the key intersectoral policy guiding document for the realization of child rights and allocation of resources from national budget and external resources.