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Caritas Alba Iulia The situation of the children in Romania Izabella EISLER Teréz KOSZTÁNDI Caritas Alba Iulia The situation of the children in Romania Izabella EISLER Teréz KOSZTÁNDI

Romania ● General information ● in the latest 20 years tried to establish a Romania ● General information ● in the latest 20 years tried to establish a ● functional democracy ● NATO membership in 2004 ● Caritas Alba Iulia ● member of the EU on January 1, 2007 ● ● during the 2000 s, enjoyed one of the ● highest economic growth rates in Europe ("the Tiger of Eastern Europe“) ● the late-2000 s recession, becoming the ● largest debitor to the IMF in 2010

Romania ● General information 237. 500 Km 2 Population (2002): 21. 500. 000 People Romania ● General information 237. 500 Km 2 Population (2002): 21. 500. 000 People density: 93, 78 /km² Urban population: 55, 20% Rural population: 44, 80% Active population: Caritas Alba Iulia Area: 10. 000 Religions: ● 86, 7% Orthodox Nationalities: ● 5, 6% Catholics ● 89, 5% Romanians ● 3, 7% Protestants ● 7, 1% Hungarian ● 1, 5% Pentecostal ● 1, 8% Romany ● 2, 5% Other

Romania ● General information ● Gross income (GDP, 2009) : -7, 5% ● Average Romania ● General information ● Gross income (GDP, 2009) : -7, 5% ● Average pension: 158 Euro ● Average wage (net): 325 Euro ● Unemployment: 7, 1% (2009), 9%-10% (2010) Caritas Alba Iulia ● Active population abroad: 25% (approx. 2, 5 million) ● Employees / retirees : 1/1, 2 (0, 83) ● 50% of the average wage goes on food, 23% for accommodation, 4, 5% for health

The Romanian children ● number of children under 18 years(2008): 4. 014. 960 ● The Romanian children ● number of children under 18 years(2008): 4. 014. 960 ● ● 27 September 1990 signed The Convention on the ● Rights of the Child ● after 20 years, even if there were a lot of changes ● and improvements regarding the general condition of the children, we still face a lot of problems Caritas Alba Iulia ● practicing a „blind eye” policy concerning the ● problems of the children We chose three most important rights of the children and, by using them as a frame, analyzed the Romanian children`s general situation: 1. The child`s right to be raised up in social security 2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services 3. The child`s right to education

1. The child`s right to be raised up in social security . . . 1. The child`s right to be raised up in social security . . . and the Romanian social assistance system for children 1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children 1. 2. Children in the care of the state 1. 3. Social protection of the children with disabilities Caritas Alba Iulia 1. 4. Abused and neglected children in Romania

1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children The Ministry of Labor Family and 1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children The Ministry of Labor Family and Social Protection helps the families by providing them subsidies: A. Universal subsidies for every family (preventing poverty) ● Child allocation for 3. 971. 110 children, of which (1 st semester, 2010): ● 401. 918 children under 2 years age (47 € /month), 3. 522. 433 children between 2 -18 year (11 € /month), 46. 759 disabled children. ● Newborn child allocation: 99. 978 children (54 + 35 € /each) ● ● Subsidies for parents to stay at home with their child under age of 2 or 3: ● 205. 227 parents (141 € or 85% of their salary) Caritas Alba Iulia B. Subsidies for families with lower incomes (attenuate poverty) ● Social aid for families without any incomes, for example: ● family formed by 2 persons average aid 40 €/monthly. . . family formed by 6 persons or more average aid 55 €/monthly ● Complementary and mono parental child allocation (if the family’s income ● does not reach 111 €/month/person): 812. 072 families with 1. 426. 000 children (12 or 16 €/month and 16 or 21 €/month)

1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children B. Subsidies for families with lower 1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children B. Subsidies for families with lower incomes (attenuate poverty) ● Social aid for families without any incomes: ● Average value of the aid received monthly Number of the families helped Number of the persons helped 1 person 26 € 87. 333 2 members 40 € 47. 062 94. 124 3 members 47 € 35. 713 107. 139 4 members 53 € 31. 795 127. 180 5 members Caritas Alba Iulia Families formed by 60 € 16. 571 82. 855 6 members or more 55 € 13. 771 82. 626 45 € in average for family 232. 245 581. 000 TOTAL

1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children The following groups are the most 1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children The following groups are the most vulnerable to poverty: ● children between 0 -15 years (24, 7%), ● ● rural population (29, 9%), ● ● freelancers (including agriculturists) with 39, 9% ● and unemployed individuals with 37, 9%, ● houses with two adults and three or more children (40%), ● ● also, the Romany ethnic individuals are confronted with a ● higher than average risk of poverty. ● highest risk of poverty: children aged between 0 -14 and youngsters aged ● between 15 -24 Caritas Alba Iulia ● the poverty rate of children and youngsters was 1, 7 -1, 8 higher than the poverty ● rate of those over 25 years old (2008) ● between years 2000 -2007, poverty rate evolution in Romania has been a sinusoidal ● one, but with an increased trend between years 2003 -2006, reaching its maximum for the whole period in 2006 (18, 6%) ● 23% of Romania’s population lived in relative poverty (2008) ● ● there are over 350. 000 poor children in Romania today ! ●

1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children Causes of poverty (can be explained 1. 1. Enabling families to raise their children Causes of poverty (can be explained by social and personal factors): Social factors: Personal factors: ● high unemployment rates ● ● very low and insufficient incomes ● ● low unemployment compensations ● ● low retiring pensions ● ● high living costs ● ● low education level ● ● low professional training ● ● undeveloped and aptitudes, abilities ● ● the poverty “heritage” ● ● drug and/or alcohol abuse ● Caritas Alba Iulia Unemployment and increased rate of poverty are in direct correspondence with low levels of education, unemployment rate reaching 50, 5% for those with primary studies only and dropping to 4, 29% for those with highest level of education (university degree) Possible resolutions ● 2010 - European year against poverty and social exclusion, bring to the public’s ● attention the importance of actions taken for the struggle against poverty ● The UN committee for children’s rights recommended in 2009 that Romania ● needs to intensify the support programs designated to needy children (. . . )

1. 2. Children in the care of the state National Agency of Protection of 1. 2. Children in the care of the state National Agency of Protection of the Family and Child`s Rights priority: prevent the separation of children from their families and to reduce the number of the children who are living in residential institutes: A. Prevention (1 st semester, 2010): ● active cases for child abandonment prevention: 44. 271 (compared to 5. 457 ● cases in 2009’s 1 st semester) ● number of the children, beneficiaries of day care centers: 16. 729 ● ● number of the children, beneficiaries of other services (counseling, support ● services for parents, family planning, pre-natal monitoring): 27. 542 B. Special protection system (active cases for the 1 st semester in 2010): 1. Family type services, out of which 67. 924 (less with 2162 then in 2009) 42. 909 Professional foster caregiver 20. 391 Extended family 18. 644 Caritas Alba Iulia TOTAL, out of which Other person 3. 874 2. Alternative protection, with guardian 2. 049 3. Residential services, out of which 22. 966 Public or private placement centers 21. 739 Public or private emergency centers 768 Public or private mother-baby centers 459

1. 2. Children in the care of the state Problems: ● the social reintegration 1. 2. Children in the care of the state Problems: ● the social reintegration after reach 18 is problematic, usually they are just ● „dropped out” from the system ● there still are institutions with non adequate conditions ● ● the special protection system is fully occupied ● ● national adoptions are rare, Romany children are discriminated, ● no possibility for international adoptions ● „migration orphans” - UNICEF estimated, that 350. 000 children have been left ● by at least one parent (approx. 2, 5 million Romanians are working abroad) ● the government reports 900 street children (152 living with their families on the ● street, 253 without their families, 495 working on the street, returning home daily) Caritas Alba Iulia ● „invisible children”- children left at the hospitals, not included in the system, ● disabled children hided on adults section of hospitals or hospitalized children under age of 2 „growing up” in hospitals Possible resolutions: ● to promote the family type care institutions ● ● to increase the effort of prevention ● ● to deal with the problematic situation yet not included in the system ● ● the system`s extension ● ● to insure the quality of the system`s services ●

1. 3. Social protection of the children with disabilities Most of the disabled children 1. 3. Social protection of the children with disabilities Most of the disabled children live with their families, for those with sever degrees one adult receives payment in order to be the child caregiver. Caritas Alba Iulia Number of the disabled children for the 1 st semester in 2010: By degrees of deficiencies Severe Marked Medium Minor TOTAL Number of the disabled children 30. 308 13. 070 18. 294 539 62. 211 In 2007, at the end of the first trimester, 11. 016 children with disabilities received protection in public or private institutions.

1. 3. Social protection of the children with disabilities Problems: ● „social invisibility”, disabled 1. 3. Social protection of the children with disabilities Problems: ● „social invisibility”, disabled children`s community life being extremely reduced ● ● disabled children are discriminated, stigmatized; they can't enjoy their rights ● because there are only a few services that support disabled children families, access to information, education, recuperation, one of the major need being the accessibility of the community support services for them (for ex. only 28% of the Romanian children with disabilities obtain some education) ● late identification and intervention of the disability ● ● incorrect evaluation of the degrees of disability, wrong orientation of the cases ● Caritas Alba Iulia Possible resolutions: ● to elaborate a national policy to remediate their situation ● ● to elaborate programs for early identification and intervention of disabled ● children, to elaborate a correct system to evaluate their degrees of disability, and develop a whole institutional system for their social reintegration ● to promote their inclusion in the community ● ● to train their caregivers (parents and professionals) ●

1. 4. Abused and neglected children in Romania The National Authority for Child Protection 1. 4. Abused and neglected children in Romania The National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption, World Health Organization and World Bank regarding the number of abuse cases carried out showed the following (study with national relevance, 2000): ● physical abuse: 18, 4% of parents, state that they abuse their children, ● compared to 24, 2% of children, 47, 2% of the parents declare that they use beating as an educational means, compared to 84% of the children who were questioned Caritas Alba Iulia ● psychological abuse: 25, 6% of the parents admit that they expose their children ● to various forms of psychological abuse and 63, 8% to verbal aggression ● sexual abuse: the parents, representing 0, 1%, a percentage that rises up to ● 9, 1% among the questioned children, admitted one case; increasing the number of the sexual abuses : 379 (1998), 618 (1999), 619 (rape, sexual crimes, incest, offenses against minors in 2002 among the 295 children victims of physical abuse, beating, beating causing death, attempt to murder, murder and 1170 cases of family abandonment); prostitution and child traffic: the number of children trafficked from Romania to other EU states has increased (780 cases were reported in all of Romania in 2009) ● economical abuse: National Institute of Statistics estimation for 2004: there ● were 70. 000 children who were forced to work, (mostly in the rural areas), did the housekeeping activities or Romany children forced to beg in the cities

1. 4. Abused and neglected children in Romania Possible resolutions: Caritas Alba Iulia ● 1. 4. Abused and neglected children in Romania Possible resolutions: Caritas Alba Iulia ● to elaborate a national policy to prevent abuse and neglect ● ● to elaborate national programs for monitoring the situation ● ● to change the masses mentality about the problem, to help the professionals ● to understand the importance of early identification and intervention to include re-victimization ● to develop an institutional system for their counseling, support and reintegration ●

2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services. . . and the 2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services. . . and the Medical Care System in Romania for children ● the birthrate is 10, 4% in 2008, higher than it was in 2007 when was 10% ● (2008: 222. 700 children were born, 8000 more than in 2007) ● the death rate is 11, 8%, higher than registered in 2007 when was 11, 7% ● (2008: 253. 200 deaths were registered, with 1. 200 more than in 2007) Caritas Alba Iulia ● the infantile death rate is decreasing, but still the highest in the EU: from ● 26, 9‰ in 1990 and to 8, 2‰ in June 2010. In comparison with other European countries: Hungary (5, 1), Poland (5, 6), Czech (2, 9) Slovenia (2, 4). In the Western Europe the overage value is 4‰, in the Northern Europe is 5‰ and in Eastern Europe is 10‰. The mortality rate in the population segment 0 - 19 years is high, but continuously descending tendency (2000 -2005), due to a more facile access to medical services ● the most common reasons in infantile decease continue to be the prenatal ● respiratory infections and congenital malformations. Most frequent reasons at 1 to 4 year children are house accidents (40%), an indicator to limited access to quality healthcare and substandard parental abilities

2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Problems: ● The emergent 2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Problems: ● The emergent needs of children in Romania ● shows that the negative trends in general health state for this generation of children are considered to be the following (FDSC study): - physical activities are replaced by virtual environment (TV, computer): 75, 56% Caritas Alba Iulia - drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse in rising: 65, 33% - obesity tendency caused by unhealthy nutrition 45, 78 % - mental and emotional fragility 43, 11% - ● At the same time children in Romania are dealing with the malnutrition issue ● and anemia that are indicators of inappropriate feeding habits and low level of breastfeeding. Only 16% of babies are breastfed until six months according to a recommendation of the World Health Organization, and the average breastfeeding period is only 3, 9 months, almost half of the recommended WHO.

2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Other health related problems: 2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Other health related problems: ● 17% of parents don’t know the purpose of vaccination, only 50% have ● information over a correct hygiene for their children and 41% of the parents give their children to drink water coming from uncertain quality recourses (UNICEF) ● only 17% of the parents read to their under 1 year children ● ● 30% of the babies learn to watch TV, most of them because the mother ● watches TV while breastfeeding Caritas Alba Iulia ● there is also a concern over drug consumption amongst adolescents, especially tobacco, but also psychoactive drugs in general and for small children in particular ● the high number of pregnancies amongst teenagers and abortion at adolescent ● years in Romania ● although Romania has a relatively small number of cases of HIV infestations, it ● is unfortunately the European with the highest number of infected children

2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Reasons that have lead 2. The child`s right to life, health and medical services Reasons that have lead to the situation: ● poverty, lack of material support, financial problems ● ● lack of information ● ● pollution ● ● an more and more sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy nutritional styles ● ● reasons that are a matter of the general healthcare system ● Caritas Alba Iulia medical services Possible resolutions: ● improvement of sanitary conditions and quality of the services offered ● in medical units (ambulatory clinics and hospitals) especially in socially endangered areas ● giving also a better attention to prenatal and postnatal services ●

3. The child`s right to education. . . and the Educational System in Romania 3. The child`s right to education. . . and the Educational System in Romania ● 53, 5% of the teenagers have very low ● reading, writing and elementary mathematical abilities Caritas Alba Iulia ● in 2008 a number of 436. 404 children ● between 3 and 17 years weren’t enrolled in any form of education what so ever according to the National Statistics Institute ● the number of children that don’t go to ● school is raising significantly starting at the age of 13 (24. 186 children) and reaches a maximum at around the age of 16 -17 (138. 234 children), showing and ascending trend of school dropping starting this age ● the school dropout rate has grown ● three times, from 0, 6% in 2000/2001 to 1, 9% in 2007/2008

3. The child`s right to education Causes for school dropout: ● Into account the 3. The child`s right to education Causes for school dropout: ● Into account the children’s family: ● material difficulties, educational model offered by parents and more important the model offered by brothers, family disorganization (this attracts material difficulties at first), involvement in legally obscure activities, inclusion in the work market, low confidence in education, circulatory migration and reintegration issues, ethnicity ● Community causes: ● Caritas Alba Iulia early marriage norm, a newborn, lack of security in the area, a norm of not pursuing the formal education after the 8 th grade ● School reasons: ● uninvolvement, absence of a coherent orientation and counseling programs, continuous repeat, inadequate integration in school groups, the quality of student-teacher interaction and so on

3. The child`s right to education The UN committee for Children’s Rights does the 3. The child`s right to education The UN committee for Children’s Rights does the following statements: ● the number of children enrolled in the primary grades has dropped, whilst the number of ● students that are dropping school has significantly risen in the last two years ● although education is free and mandatory, it hides a series of indirect costs (as school supplies, ● . . . , renovation of classrooms) ● despite the measures taken, Romany children still present a low rate of enrolment in pre- and ● primary school and lots of them still have a lower school presence rate and can be enrolled, even though they suffer from no disability, in special schools because the family cannot support the costs ● despite some efforts done, children with disabilities are still forced to handle discrimination in ● access to mass schooling services; special schools don’t accept children with severe disabilities. Caritas Alba Iulia ● a small number of HIV/AIDS infected children have access to a form of education, but most of ● they have a hard time due to segregation ● the quality of educational services is different from a community to another, there are real ● discrepancies between rural and urban environment and inadequate infrastructure ● kinder garden infrastructure is not enough to answer to peoples’ needs, and preschool activities ● for Romany children are mainly organized by NGOs ● insufficient theoretical classes and professional training addressed to children that leave the ● child protective services ● a lot of children with disabilities from special institutions aren’t being offered solutions for ● community inclusion (automatic transfer to adult residential institutions)

3. The child`s right to education The consequences of not going to school (Foundation 3. The child`s right to education The consequences of not going to school (Foundation for an Open society): ● 76% for the youngsters that only completed the primary cycle of education ● need 24 months in order to find a job whilst only 6, 6% of the highly educated youngster need the same time ● 25, 5% of the unemployed only graduated 8 grades ● ● 43% of those who never went to school work as day laborers ● Possible resolutions: ● making school more attractive to children ● Caritas Alba Iulia ● making the employees from the educational ● system more responsible for their actions ● monitoring the educational system’s state ● in order to prevent crises ● implication of the ONGs through ● school after school programs

Caritas Alba Iulia Thank You! izabella. eisler@caritas-ab. ro terez. kosztandi@caritas-ab. ro Caritas Alba Iulia Thank You! izabella. [email protected] ro terez. [email protected] ro