The Romanian Senate opens its doors to the children
"Children's Senate", organized at the Palace of the Parliament on the occasion of the International Children's Day and 30 years of UNICEF activity in Romania - a first step for the involvement of children in decisions that affect their lives
BUCHAREST, June 5, 2021 - On the International Children's Day, the Romanian Senate opens its doors to the public, inviting children and parents to take part in an event promoting children's participation in the decisions that concern them and which also marks three decades of activity for the benefit of children carried out by UNICEF in Romania.
"Today we celebrate a special day, we celebrate children and childhood. Whether they live in a large city or in an isolated village with their family or caring adults, whether they have special abilities or not, regardless of their ethnicity, all children need to feel loved. They need to be loved, they need to be protected and supported to reach their potential. It's a creed I inherited from my parents. As a child I had the freedom to choose, I had a happy childhood, I was supported by my parents, I was able to choose my career, I was able to choose what I want to do in life and I always felt the support of my family. I would like all children to feel this", said the President of the Senate, Anca Dragu, in the opening of the event.
"Before I was part of the Children's Board supported by UNICEF, I was the child who did not know her rights and did nothing about it. I was afraid that my opinion might be wrong and that it would not be listened by those in my community. But here I am now, after more than a year since I was a member, actively promoting children's rights. I consider myself a child involved, much more organized and aware of the problems of children in our country, and every day I try to change something for the good of those like me", said Andrada, 16 years old, member of the Children's Board.
"There are not many areas that have remained unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with education probably suffering the most. Due to the transition to online education, the right to education of hundreds of thousands of students has been affected, which should worry each of us, and which also shows the acute need for sustainable investment in education," said Alex, 16, member of the Children's Board.
In the 30 years of UNICEF activity in Romania, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament have been strategic partners for UNICEF in promoting and respecting children's rights and promoting reforms for children, such as banning the institutionalization of children or adopting the amendments to the Social Assistance Law no. 292/2011 on the nationwide scale-up of the Minimum Package of Services. Romania has a legislative framework in line with European legislation and international conventions and has often been an example for countries in the region.
"Over the 30 years of UNICEF in Romania, together with our partners we have achieved significant results in terms of improving the situation of children, but we still have a long way to go regarding protection, education and health, especially in the case of the most vulnerable. Children are creative, but they also come up with practical and innovative ideas, so it is important in the coming years to consult them and encourage them to come up with proposals and recommendations for public policies and the legislative framework that impact their lives. This is an important element of the democratic system and critical for an inclusive and prosperous Romania and it can be done by setting up a joint Child Rights dedicated Committee in the Parliament”, said Pieter Bult, the Representative of UNICEF in Romania.
The organizers and their partners prepared many surprises for the children. Thus, in the area dedicated to embassies, visitors can discover games popular with children from many parts of the world: the Czech Republic, the Swiss Confederation, the Hellenic Republic, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Slovak Republic. Visitors can also learn at the UNICEF's tent about children's rights, their participation in decisions and the impact the organization has had globally and at national level.
Apart from the mentioned embassies, the partners of the event are the Margaret of Romania Royal Foundation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Bucharest City Hall, the Comic Opera, the Mask Theater, the Ţăndărică Theater, PROEDUS, the Bucharest Metropolitan Circus, the Red Cross, RO Vaccinare, the National Museum of Contemporary Art.At the event, which takes place in the space in front of the Senate building between 10:00 and 20:00, children will be able to participate accompanied by adults.
The "Children's Senate" is organized in accordance with the legal provisions to prevent and combat the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Thus, according to the point of view of the Department for Emergency Situations of the M.A.I., the children's legal representatives can participate in the event only if:
- are vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and for whom 10 days have elapsed since the completion of the vaccination schedule,
-or can show the negative result of a test PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 virus infection not older than 72 hours or the certified negative result of a rapid antigen test not older than 24 hours,
- or are in the period between the 15th and 90th day following the conformation of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, as evidenced by medical documents (positive RT-PCR tests at the date of diagnosis, hospital discharge ticket, or test proving the presence of IgG-type antibodies performed up to 14 days before the activity).
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.