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Combating Violence Against Children – A Priority for Romania

BUCHAREST, 2 March 2017. Today, Romania launched the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, Mr. Pavel Năstase, Minister of National Education, Ms. Ana Birchall, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, State Secretary Adrian Marius Dobre, Ministry of Labour and Social Justice, and Ms. Gabriela Coman, President of the National Authority for the Protection of Child Rights and Adoption, all re-affirmed the Romanian Government’s commitment to promote and protect child rights, including by supporting the fight against violence. 

© Radu Sandovici

I strongly believe that we need to change this mentality according to which ‘When your parent hits you, it’s for your own good!’. I, for one, have received and wish to pass on a positive discipline, or what experts would call appreciative parenting methods, both directly, with my own children, and indirectly, through the public policies I will be promoting as Prime Minister. This is why I have joined in the efforts to combat violence against children”, believes Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu. 

Romania is one of the 12 countries worldwide who took on the role of pathfinder country in the fight against violence, committed to providing comprehensive, co-ordinated and multi-sectoral services for preventing and responding to violence.

Violence against children continues to be a nearly invisible but widespread phenomenon in Romania. According to the latest statistics, there are more than 15,000 reported cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation. While extreme violence against children is unacceptable (e.g. beatings, sexual abuse, rape), there is a high tolerance of several forms of “mild” violence, such as slapping, yelling, humiliation etc. The number of registered cases increased by 14 percent over the last two years, likely due to increased awareness among the general public. 

Among Romania’s efforts to fight against violence, UNICEF in Romania in partnership with the Government of Romania have launched a nationwide and community-level information and awareness-raising campaign on violence against children in today’s society. The campaign is scheduled to run throughout 2017 and includes two videos, billboards/banners, an online campaign and a PR component. The campaign is intended to alert children and adults who witness public acts of violence to the fact that “It’s not normal to find violence normal, violence against children is unacceptable”.

“Romania has made significant progress in combating violence against children, including by ratifying the Istanbul Convention, and is one of the first countries to have joined this global partnership. Together with central and local authorities, NGOs and the media, UNICEF in Romania will support the harmonization of laws and public policies to prevent and combat any form of violence, we will increase awareness regarding the consequences of violence against children, through public campaigns and interventions at community level, and we will work together with parents to advocate for positive parenting methods”, said Ms. Sandie Blanchet, UNICEF Representative in Romania. “When we protect children from violence, we support their development and growth, and in doing so, we support the society as a whole, including its economy”, added Sandie Blanchet. 

The launching of the Global Partnership brought together representatives of the Romanian Government and Parliament, of the diplomatic corps, of UNICEF in Romania, the civil society, as well as the media. They all expressed their commitment to end abuse, exploitation and all forms of violence against children.
“Romania’s participation in this global campaign is an opportunity to change, once and for all, the society’s approach to violence against children. We congratulate the Government of Romania for this initiative and we are confident that they understand the need for adequate funding to diversify services for children. As always in the past 27 years, child protection organizations will bring their contribution to the endeavour to shape mentalities”, said Ms. Daniela Buzducea, Honorary President of the Federation of Child Protection NGOs (FONPC). 

About the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children Against Children launched in July 2016, brings together governments, foundations, the UN, civil society, the academia, the private sector and young people in driving action toward achieving the new global target to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children (Sustainable  Development Goal (SDG) 16.2). Romania is one of the 12 pathfinder countries of this Global Partnership, committed to fighting against violence and to providing comprehensive, co-ordinated and multi-sectoral services for preventing and responding to violence. Pathfinder countries are prepared to strengthen the national legislation to protect children against all forms of violence and exploitation, bring all sectors together in a movement to end violence, and provide children with a meaningful role at the heart of that movement. These countries will also support global efforts to address violence against children by exchanging relevant expertise and carrying out advocacy actions. 



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