1. The Committee considered the fourth periodic report
of Romania (CCPR/C/95/Add.7) at its 1766th, 1767th and 1768th meetings
(CCPR/C/SR.1766-1768), on 20 and 21 July 1999, and adopted the following
concluding observations at its 1777th meeting (CCPR/C/SR.1777) held
on 27 July 1999.
2. The Committee welcomes the State party's efforts to
respond in a comprehensive manner to the issues raised by the Committee
on the basis of its fourth periodic report (CCPR/C/95/Add.7). It also
appreciates the presence of a substantial delegation from Bucharest,
and the detailed information provided in response to questions by members
of the Committee.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee commends the State party for progress
made in bringing the Romanian legal order into harmony with its obligations
under the Covenant, and for the establishment of institutions which
contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights, e.g. the
People's Advocate (Ombudsman) and the Department for the Protection
of National Minorities. It especially welcomes the establishment, within
that Department, of a National Office for Roma, to initiate, support
and coordinate actions to improve respect for the rights of the Roma.
4. The Committee notes with satisfaction changes that
have been made to improve the administration of justice and to strengthen
the independence of the judiciary, in particular the irremovability
of judges. The Committee also notes that during recent years the Romanian
courts have made frequent reference to international legal provisions,
in particular those of the Covenant.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
5. A matter of grave concern to the Committee is the situation
of street children and abandoned children, an exceedingly serious problem
which remains unresolved in Romania (art. 24).
The State party should take all necessary measures to comply with
article 24 of the Covenant, by protecting and rehabilitating these
children, by guaranteeing them a name, and by ensuring that all
births are duly registered in Romania.
6. The Committee expresses its concern about continuing
discrimination against the Roma (arts. 26 and 27).
The State party should pursue further measures, both legislatively
and in practice, to ensure the rights of the Roma, in the public
and private sector, particularly with respect to access to education
and support for the Roma language.
7. While the Committee appreciates steps taken by the
State party to promote gender equality, it remains concerned about discrimination
against women, particularly the lack of women in decision-making positions
and in politics (arts. 3 and 26).
The State party should take prompt action in order to combat discrimination
against women, and, in particular, to ensure greater representation
of women in politics and government, and more senior positions in
the public and private sectors.
8. The Committee also expresses its serious concern about
domestic violence against women, a problem which cannot be resolved
exclusively by penal sanctions (arts. 3, 7 and 9).
The State party should take appropriate action, in legislation and
in practice, to provide women with access to protective measures
before the courts, in order to prevent renewed violence by potential
9. The Committee is concerned at the lack of a clear legal
framework, defining and limiting the role of the security forces and
providing for effective civilian control over them.
The State party should promptly provide for such limitations and
control by legislation and appropriate regulations.
10. The Committee is deeply concerned about threats
to the independence of the judiciary through interference by the executive,
and the powers exercised by the Ministry of Justice in regard to judicial
matters, including the appeal process, and its powers of inspection
of the courts (art. 14).
The Committee urges the State party to establish a clear demarcation
between the competence of the executive and judicial bodies.
11. The Committee is concerned at the extent of pre-trial
detention; the broad prerogatives of the Public Ministry to allow the
withdrawal of procedural safeguards in situations of deprivation of
liberty; and the possibility of extending the 30-day period of detention
without suitable limits or judicial control (art. 9).
12. The Committee is disturbed at continued incidents
involving the use of firearms by the police, especially in cases of
petty offences committed by minors (arts. 6, 7 and 9).
The use of firearms by the police should be closely regulated in
order to prevent violations of the right to life and personal security.
13. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of legislation
invalidating statements of accused persons obtained in violation of
article 7 of the Covenant.
The State party should adopt appropriate legislation that places
the burden on the State to prove that statements made by accused
persons in a criminal case have been given of their own free will,
and that statements obtained in violation of article 7 of the Covenant
are excluded from the evidence.
14. The Committee is concerned about the conditions in
prisons, including continued overcrowding (art. 10).
The State party should take measures to improve conditions in prisons,
particularly overcrowding, within the shortest practicable time-frame.
15. The Committee is concerned that freedom of expression
and of the press are unduly limited by article 31 (4) of the Romanian
Constitution and by the application of the law on defamation (art. 19).
Article 238 of the Penal Code should be abrogated, and articles
205 and 206 appropriately modified. Article 31 (4) of the Constitution
should be interpreted in the light of article 19 of the Covenant.
16. The Committee is concerned about restrictions on the
right to privacy, in particular in regard to homosexual relations between
consenting adults, which are penalized by article 200, paragraph 1,
of the Penal Code (art. 17).
The State party should take timely action to ensure that this provision
is amended so as to conform with the Covenant.
17. The Committee is concerned that the State party
has not provided for the right to conscientious objection without discrimination
(arts. 18 and 26).
The State party should amend its legislation to provide for conscientious
objection, in a manner that is consistent with articles 18 and 26
of the Covenant.
D. Dissemination of information about the Covenant (art. 2)
18. The Committee sets the date for the submission of
Romania's fifth periodic report as ... It urges the State party to make
available to the public the text of the State party's fourth periodic
report and these concluding observations. It requests that the next
periodic report be widely disseminated among the public, including non-governmental
organizations operating in Romania.