United Nations


International Covenant on Civil and Political R ights

Distr.: General

31 October 2017

Original: English

Human Rights Committee

1 21st session

Summary record of the 3429th meeting

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Thursday, 26 October 2017, at 10 a.m.

Chair:Ms. Waterval (Rapporteur)


Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant (continued)

Fifth periodic report of Romania (continued)

In the absence of Mr. Iwasawa, Ms. Waterval (Rapporteur) took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant(continued)

Fifth periodic report of Romania (continued) (CCPR/C/ROU/5; CCPR/C/ROU/QPR/5)

At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Romania took places at the Committee table.

Mr. Verman (Romania), resuming his delegation’s replies to the questions raised at the previous meeting, said that the 2014-2020 National Health Strategy included measures to improve the prevention, monitoring and management of HIV/AIDS. A total of 22,520 cases of HIV/AIDS had been diagnosed in Romania since 1985; the majority of those cases were more than 20 years old. Since the start of 2017, 171 cases of HIV and 132 cases of AIDS had been diagnosed.

Ms. Stoian (Romania) said that the infant mortality rate had fallen from 17.3 to 8.5 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2002 and 2014. The mortality rate among children between 1 and 4 years of age and the maternal mortality ratio had also decreased significantly over that period. Measures taken to further reduce infant mortality included the establishment of a three-tier regionalized system of neonatal care and the provision of training for childcare professionals. Neonatal intensive care units were funded directly from the budget of the Ministry of Health. Six regional centres for prenatal genetic testing had also been set up.

The 2014-2020 National Health Strategy contained a chapter on reproductive health, which set out measures to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions; those measures included monitoring the distribution of free contraception and increasing the coverage of family planning services. Steps had also been taken to increase access to maternal health services. Some types of contraception, such as intrauterine devices, were still provided free of charge under the national family planning programme; however, oral contraceptives were no longer provided because the companies that supplied those contraceptives had not complied with certain new procedures that had been introduced by the National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices.

A multi-year health education plan, covering sexual health education, had been drawn up in 2016 by the Ministry of Health, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Public consultations had shown that some parents’ associations and religious groups were against the introduction of sexual health education.

Ms. Preda (Romania) said that health education was not only offered as an optional subject but also incorporated into compulsory subjects, such as biology and physical education, and promoted through extracurricular activities and awareness-raising.

Ms. Stoian (Romania) said that a working group had been set up to develop guidelines for midwives, with a view to reducing the adolescent birth rate. A national reproductive health study had recently been conducted and would be published shortly; the findings would be used to develop new health programmes. The number of illegal abortions had fallen from 1,181 in 1990 to 9 in 2015.

Pregnant women were a priority under the national programme for the prevention of HIV infection. All pregnant women were tested for HIV; those who were HIV-positive received counselling, had access to the necessary treatment and were required to undergo a caesarean section in a level three hospital facility, in order to ensure that all appropriate measures were taken during and after the birth. The national register of HIV-positive mothers and HIV-exposed newborns was used to monitor the mother-to-child transmission rate, which had fallen to below 2 per cent.

With regard to access to health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, a meeting between representatives of the Ministry of Health and the LGBTI community would take place shortly and a report on the issue would be published in March 2018.

Mr. Verman (Romania), confirming that the average life expectancy of the Roma population was lower than the national average, said that a community health system had been developed to improve access to health for Roma people and poor communities. The number of community nurses had risen from 149 in 2002 to 1,528 in 2017, while the number of Roma mediators had increased from 48 to 484 over the same period.

Mr. Asztalos (Romania) said that some doctors refused to perform abortions on religious grounds. In such cases, hospitals were required to ensure that another doctor was available to carry out the procedure.

Mr. Shany said that he would like to know whether the Romanian Institute for Human Rights was still operational. Noting that there had been a gap of five years between the first and second action plans on domestic violence, he asked why there had been such a long gap; whether preparations for a third plan were under way; and what steps were being taken to tackle the problem of underreporting of domestic violence. In the light of reports that only very grave domestic violence offences could be investigated ex officio by the police, that cases involving less serious offences were closed if the complaint was withdrawn and that victims were pressured to withdraw their complaint during mediation proceedings, he asked whether those reports were accurate and if so, how they could be reconciled with the State party’s obligations under the Covenant. He also wondered what measures had been taken with regard to domestic violence in response to the latest concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/ROU/CO/7-8) and how the State party ensured that provisional protection orders were implemented promptly by police.

The Committee was concerned by the fact that the State party had not amended its legislation to include a clear definition of the offence of torture and would like to know what steps had been taken in response to the recommendations made by the Committee against Torture in its most recent concluding observations (CAT/C/ROU/CO/2) and by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in its report of June 2014 , with regard to conditions of detention.

Given that the data on human trafficking collected by the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons was not disaggregated by ethnic group, he wondered how the Agency was able to identify vulnerable groups and to protect potential victims. Drawing attention to the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report of the United States Department of State, he asked whether the Government agreed with the allegation that official complicity in human trafficking had not been adequately addressed and whether any public officials had been prosecuted for involvement in human trafficking since 2010.

With respect to victims of trafficking, he asked what measures had been taken in response to the most recent concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/ROU/CO/7-8); whether the reported increase in the number of child victims reflected a rise in trafficking or improvements in law enforcement; whether the responsibility for shelters fell to the local or central authorities; and how failings in that regard at the local level were addressed by the central authorities.

Lastly, he invited the delegation to comment on reports that Law No. 62/2011 on social dialogue had diluted trade union rights in various ways and to explain how workers’ trade union rights were protected in the event of a corporate takeover.

Ms. Kran, noting that amendments to asylum legislation had extended the grounds on which an asylum seeker could be detained, asked how those amendments were interpreted in practice; whether they had led to an increase in the use of detention; and how they were compatible with the State party’s obligations under article 9 of the Covenant. In view of reports that some asylum-seeking children had been registered as adults and placed in detention, she asked what steps had been taken to better protect asylum-seeking children, particularly in response to the latest concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/ROU/CO/5), as well as to combat discrimination against refugees and asylum seekers at the local level.

Noting that prison overcrowding remained a serious problem in the State party, she requested information on the efforts made since 2014 to improve prison infrastructure and conditions in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. It would be useful to know what programmes, if any, were in place to increase prisoners’ out-of-cell time and what financial and human resources would be allocated to enhancing prison medical care, which had been identified as inadequate in judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Information on the steps, if any, that had been taken to implement the concluding observations of the Committee against Torture on the second periodic report of Romania (CAT/C/ROU/CO/2), in which the State party had been called upon to renovate detention facilities and make more and better use of alternatives to incarceration, would also be appreciated.

European human rights mechanisms and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, among others, had repeatedly drawn attention to grave human rights problems in psychiatric hospitals and institutions for persons with disabilities in the State party. The delegation should explain what would be done to provide a comprehensive response to the many very serious concerns that had been raised and ensure that the right to humane treatment was respected at all times. It should also indicate what steps, if any, the State party had taken to implement the 2014 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Cāmpeanu v. Romania and elaborate on the mechanisms in place to protect persons with psychiatric illnesses from arbitrary deprivation of liberty. What measures were taken to ensure that psychiatric patients were fully informed of the treatment options available to them and of the fact that they could refuse treatment?

She would be interested to know about the procedures for providing patients with access to legal representation and judicial review, including of decisions on commitment to psychiatric institutions. She understood that a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Legal Resources had not been renewed and that, consequently, the Centre’s monitoring visits to institutions had effectively ceased in July 2017. She also understood that a new mechanism had been set up in that area. Information on the mandate and operations of the mechanism and on any plans to re-engage with the Centre would be helpful.

The delegation should describe, in detail, the State party’s deinstitutionalization strategy. In particular, it should respond to concerns about unclear budgeting and a lack of coordination mechanisms, and that a move towards protective housing units and day-care centres might preserve an institutional culture. Did the State party intend to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

In paragraph 163 of its report (CCPR/C/ROU/5), the State party mentioned that a judicial investigation had been launched into the alleged use of secret detention facilities. She would be grateful for information on the financial and human resources allocated to the investigation, the status of the investigation, the timeline for its completion and any plans to disseminate its findings.

She enquired about the definitions of “religious defamation” and “public offence to religious symbols” under Law No. 489/2006 and asked what acts were criminalized under that law, what distinction was drawn between religious defamation and religious opinion, and what measures were in place to protect the guarantees of freedom of expression contained in the Covenant. She also wished to know whether and how civil defamation laws would be reformed to prevent them from being used to censor journalists and how domestic legislation promoted free and independent media and the right to freedom of expression, as provided for in article 19 of the Covenant.

Mr. Muhumuza said that he had yet to hear from the delegation about the measures that were being or would be taken to eliminate administrative, financial, legal or other obstacles that prevented the Roma from regularizing their housing situation.

He would be grateful for details of any existing legal regimes, policies and practices that addressed the specific needs of domestic migrant workers. If there were none, the delegation should explain what was being done to plug gaps in the legal framework for the protection of such individuals. He wished to know whether steps were being taken to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), why the Convention had not already been ratified and what measures were being adopted in the interim to ensure compliance with international requirements regarding domestic migrant workers.

Ms. Seibert-Fohr said that she had received no response to her request for data on the enforcement of the prohibition of segregation on ethnic grounds in primary and secondary education. In that connection, it would be useful to know what measures were in place to monitor the implementation of the two framework orders on the prohibition of school segregation that had been adopted in 2016 and 2017.

Concerning the right to life, she asked how many investigations had been conducted against police officers pursuant to article 38 of Law No. 218/2002.

In paragraph 191 of its report, the State party indicated that, under the new Code of Criminal Procedure, the appeal for review was an extraordinary legal remedy, exercised only in exceptional circumstances for issues related to a lack of legality. She asked whether that applied to defendants and noted that the Covenant provided for an unconditional right to review.

She invited the delegation to comment on reports that defence lawyers experienced difficulty in participating in initial pretrial detention hearings owing to a lack of preparation time and that some county prosecutors required prior permission for visits by a lawyer.

She wished to know whether it was true that there had been parliamentary attempts to reverse judicial reforms introduced since 2012. If there had, the delegation should explain why. It should also describe the difficulties encountered during the October 2016 elections to the Superior Council of Magistracy and respond to allegations that some candidates had been openly supported by political parties.

She would welcome information on the measures in place to protect judges from media attacks and criticism from high-ranking public officials, and to prevent the politicization of the work of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to it.

It would be helpful to know what steps had been taken to ensure that children in rural communities, Roma children and children in care were properly registered and provided with identity documents, and to give effect to the right of every child to acquire a nationality in accordance with article 24 (3) of the Covenant. In that regard, there appeared to be no safeguards against statelessness for children born in the State party to stateless parents or to parents who could not transmit their nationality.

She enquired as to the outcome of initiatives aimed at street children and requested details of the mechanisms in place to identify and treat abused children and handle cases of violence, abuse and neglect; the measures taken to eradicate violence in the public childcare system, particularly towards children with disabilities; the efforts made to introduce a child-sensitive approach in cases of sexual exploitation of children and provide training in that regard to judges, prosecutors and forensic experts; and the steps that would be taken to combat forced begging and child labour in agriculture and construction.

She wished to know whether it was true that progress in reducing the number of children in public care had slowed in recent years, why Roma children were twice as likely as other children to be placed in childcare institutions and why so many children with disabilities, including some under 3 years of age, found themselves in public care. What was being done to tackle the ill-treatment of persons with disabilities in institutions? Was any monitoring conducted in that respect?

Lastly, she would appreciate information on the measures in place to promote the effectiveness and independence of parliamentary oversight of the Romanian Information Service and thereby protect the right to privacy enshrined in article 17 of the Covenant.

Ms. Jelić said that, on 31 August 2017, an anonymous vlogger had posted a video on YouTube in which he attempted to buy food in a supermarket in the Székely Land, an area of Romania with a Hungarian-majority population. The vlogger claimed to have been denied service because he had spoken in Romanian. The video had sparked nationalistic discourse and had prompted the National Council for Combating Discrimination to launch an ex officio investigation into the vlogger’s allegations. Information on the status of the investigation and on any other measures that had been taken in relation to the case would be welcome.

Under article 25 of Law No. 489/2006, local authorities were required to construct a public cemetery with specific burial plots for residents of all religions. According to reports, however, the Romanian Orthodox Church frequently hindered the burial of persons belonging to religious minorities. Against that backdrop, it would be interesting to hear what measures were being or would be implemented to guarantee non-discrimination with regard to burials in public cemeteries. The Committee had also received reports of attacks on religious minorities, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and delays in the restitution of property confiscated from Jewish people during the Second World War and under the ensuing Communist regime. How would Law No. 489/2006 be applied to prevent similar instances of discrimination against religious minorities, particularly Jewish Romanians, from occurring in future?

She would be grateful for information on the number of cases of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, the numbers of prosecutions and convictions under articles 381, 382 and 383 of the Criminal Code and the number of cases of multiple discrimination in which one of the grounds was religion or belief, including atheism.

Mr. de Frouville, noting that same-sex marriage was prohibited in the State party, asked whether civil partnerships between persons of the same sex and same-sex marriages contracted in other countries could be legally recognized. The Committee had been informed of a recent court case concerning a foreign national who had been denied a residence permit because he had contracted a same-sex marriage in another country. He asked whether the case had been resolved.

The legal provisions governing the civil status of persons who wished to change their gender identity were somewhat confusing. A court ruling was required, but the applicable criteria were unclear, and a legal medical certificate confirming the person’s sex change was also required. He enquired about the measures taken to ensure that objective criteria were applied. For instance, what provisions were invoked to authorize a sex change and how were they linked to the person’s civil status?

Mr. Muhumuza asked how the effectiveness of training courses for police and security officers was assessed. In particular, he enquired about procedures for monitoring compliance by law enforcement officers with the policies and practices recommended in their training courses.

Given the impediments to obtaining data from members of the Roma community on account of the fears associated with self-identification, he asked how reliable statistics were compiled. What steps were taken by the State party to build confidence among the Roma that self-identification would not place them in jeopardy?

The meeting was suspended at 11.35 a.m. and resumed at noon.

Ms. Brumar (Romania) said that the Romanian Institute for Human Rights had been created in 1991 primarily with a view to raising awareness of human rights among public institutions, NGOs and the general public. Citizens were familiarized with human rights issues by means of publications, translations of human rights case law and the presentation of a broad perspective of international human rights guarantees. The Institute currently focused on research and on monitoring institutional respect for human rights.

An extraordinary appeal in cassation was permissible only if other avenues of appeal had been exhausted. A comprehensive appeal on points of law could be lodged in other cases.

Persons were involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution only if concerns arose regarding their safety or health or the safety of others. Involuntary hospitalization and confinement were regulated by law to ensure proper safeguards. The physician who proposed or decided on such a measure was legally required to forward the proposal or decision to the hospital’s medical commission unit, which would review its validity. A domestic court would also assess its legality. The person’s state of health and the involuntary confinement measure were reviewed every 30 days and an appeal could be lodged with the court. A lawyer would be appointed, if necessary, to assist the appellant. The decision to discharge an involuntarily hospitalized person was also reviewed by a court.

Placement in care institutions was defined in domestic law as a protective measure for persons with disabilities in cases where the primary option of residence in the community was not feasible owing to their lack of functional aptitude and autonomy. Placement in a care institution was not a definitive measure, since a complex assessment was undertaken at least once a year to establish whether the person could be reintegrated into the community. A domestic court could also be requested to review the situation.

Mr. Moldovan (Romania) said that the first National Strategy for combating domestic violence had been adopted for the period 2005-2007 and the second for the period 2013-2017. There had been a gap between the two strategies because the National Agency for Family Protection had been abolished in 2010 and replaced by the National Agency for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in 2015. A new strategy on equal opportunities for women and men and on combating domestic violence was being developed for the period 2018-2021. The draft would take into consideration the concluding observations issued by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in July 2017 (CEDAW/C/ROU/CO/7-8). The National Agency organized awareness-raising campaigns on domestic violence with a view to receiving more complaints. During the period 2015-2016 it had launched the project known as “START — A quality life in safety” and established a free and anonymous hotline for victims of domestic violence. Victims, potential witnesses and persons requiring support and advice could call the Agency from within the country or from abroad. Some 2,400 calls had been received between December 2015 and December 2016.

A campaign involving 16 days of activism against gender-based violence had been held from 25 November to 10 December 2016. An event called “Rugby says no to violence against women” had been organized in collaboration with the Romanian Rugby Federation. During a rugby match with Uruguay, the two teams had displayed a banner containing that message.

Mr. Marian (Romania) said that the police attended training courses on the use of firearms every month and were required to pass a test every three months. If they failed to achieve the necessary score, they were rejected from the system. Whenever police officers used a firearm, they were required to produce a report as soon as possible and the incident was reported to the highest level of law enforcement. When a person was injured during an incident, the public prosecutor was immediately informed. Police officers’ ammunition was also checked after each operation. It was extremely important to use self-defence skills before resorting to firearms, which was not encouraged.

A task force had been established at the highest level to collect information about human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of minors. Every law enforcement institution was involved and all police officers were urged to obtain information about the phenomenon. Information was also obtained from foreign law enforcement bodies. International cooperation had proved effective and an entire group of traffickers had been arrested.

With regard to measures to prevent the torture and ill-treatment of arrested persons, the General Directorate of Bucharest Municipal Police had recorded two criminal cases of ill-treatment in 2016 and one in 2017. The cases had been referred to the competent prosecutors’ offices.

With regard to measures to prevent the torture and ill-treatment of convicted and remand detainees, training courses were organized for the personnel of detention facilities on the legislation applicable to the enforcement of sentences and to detention during criminal proceedings. A total of 36 training sessions, attended by 832 officers, had been held on relevant international human rights instruments, and four workshops had been held on the training of trainers. Two best practice guides and two booklets on human rights and the principle of non-discrimination had been published in the Romanian, Hungarian and Romani languages.

Vigorous action was currently being taken to build and modernize seven detention facilities. An additional 11 facilities would be built in 2018. More than €76 million had been allocated for the building and extension of facilities during the period ending in 2020.

Mr. Coşman (Romania) said that Romanian law prohibited the subjection of any person deprived of his or her liberty to torture or ill-treatment. The Criminal Code prescribed penalties for such offences, and prisons were required to inform the imprisonment supervision judge of all acts that might be conducive thereto, such as the application of means of restraint and the use of weapons. The National Administration of Penitentiaries had recorded no case in which the imprisonment supervision judge had not been informed of such situations. Prison medical staff were aware of the importance of investigating torture and ill-treatment and ensured strict compliance with the law. Responsibility for conducting examinations, laboratory tests and other forensic work on living persons and corpses in order to ascertain the details of offences lay with forensic medical institutions that operated outside the prison system. In December 2015, the National Administration of Penitentiaries had signed a collaboration protocol with the National Institute of Forensic Medicine on forensic expertise and the training of prison medical staff. Consultations were under way on a draft order from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice regarding the assurance of medical assistance for inmates.

The National Administration of Penitentiaries had proposed the construction of prison accommodation for 659 inmates in 2016. In practice, additional accommodation had been provided for 679 inmates. Additional accommodation had been proposed for 216 inmates in 2017, 663 in 2018, 1,075 in 2019 and 5,782 in 2020. The project included the first stage of construction of two new prisons, which would accommodate a total of 1,000 inmates. The second stage of construction would lead in 2021 to the accommodation of an additional 1,000 inmates. Two military units would be converted to accommodate 300 inmates in 2022, and two additional military units would be converted to accommodate 1,200 inmates in 2023.

A new law enacted on 19 October 2017 would provide prisoners with 6 days’ compensation for every 30 days spent in inappropriate conditions. On the day of its enactment, 529 inmates had been released. Sixteen additional inmates had been released between 20 and 22 October 2017. It was estimated that the situation of over 3,300 inmates would be reviewed by a release committee during the period from 23 to 27 October 2017 and that they were quite likely to be released. The National Administration of Penitentiaries was hoping for a significant decrease in the number of incarcerated persons. The total prison population should decline to approximately 22,000 by spring 2018, compared with 25,282 on 23 October 2017. Moreover, there should be no further overcrowding in prisons by late 2019 or early 2020. The Parliament was currently considering the possibility of pardoning several categories of inmates.

Prison officers applied strict surveillance and escort measures under the maximum security prison regime. The procedures for responding to incidents were laid down in three manuals. The Special Forces were used only as a last resort, since all prison staff were trained to resolve incidents through communication and negotiations. A file was produced after each incident to demonstrate that legal procedures had been complied with by the prison staff.

Ms. Brumar (Romania) said that surveillance of citizens under the provisions of national security legislation was subject to judicial control; every surveillance operation had to be authorized by a judge. With regard to the independence of the judiciary, she stressed that although two of the members of the Superior Council of Magistracy were elected by parliament, they were civil society representatives and not affiliated to any political party. The remaining members of the Council were elected by colleagues.

Ms. Virenfeld (Romania) said that article 3 of Law No. 62/2011 on social dialogue had been deemed unconstitutional by the Office of the Ombudsman. In February 2017, the matter had been brought before the Constitutional Court.

Mr. Bocşan (Romania) said that two police officers had been indicted in 2014 on charges of torture. With regard to the issue of secret detention centres and investigation techniques, an investigation had been launched into the matter in 2012 and was still ongoing. However, to date, no evidence had been found of the use of such centres or special investigation techniques.

Mr. Asztalos (Romania) said that the alleged report of a former police officer being involved in torture had been revealed to be a fabricated story and charges relating to incitement to discrimination had been brought against the video blogger involved. Nevertheless, recommendations had been made that companies recruiting for posts involving contact with the public should ensure that employees had reasonable knowledge of at least one of the country’s official languages.

Although religious defamation was prohibited under legislation passed in 2008, violations of those provisions did not carry any civil, administrative or criminal penalties. It was a challenge for the law enforcement services and the courts to balance freedom of expression with other rights and principles, including those relating to human dignity and non-discrimination. In order to do so, the Government complied with standards based on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. On a related note, he confirmed that cases had been reported of churches refusing to allow burial in their grounds for members of other faiths. That practice had been identified as direct religious discrimination and no new cases had been reported during the past decade. As far as reports of anti-Semitism were concerned, he would provide the Committee with statistical data on complaints lodged and the sanctions imposed.

Domestic legislation recognized the problem of multiple discrimination, usually involving age and gender or gender and ethnicity, and related difficulties concerning access to education or services. Marriage was recognized by law as a union between a man and a woman and no provisions existed regarding same-sex civil partnerships. He noted that a bill on civil partnerships was currently before parliament.

In the 2011 census, 641,000 persons had self-identified as Roma, compared with 431,000 in 2001. That increase reflected the growing confidence of national minorities. It was difficult to obtain data on ethnic minorities, as generally the collection of specific information on ethnicity was prohibited by law, with very few exceptions. Moreover, care should be taken to adequately protect the data of persons who declared themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority.

Ms. Conovici (Romania) said that religious defamation was a controversial issue in Romania and critical debate on that topic was not censored. Legislation prohibiting religious defamation was aimed at ensuring freedom of speech and preventing interreligious strife rather than stifling freedom of expression. On the issue of burials, the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs had examined the matter, encouraged the parties involved to seek solutions to the problem and recommended the opening of a new cemetery where persons of all creeds could be interred. The ongoing process of property restitution was very laborious. However, the number of claims processed, including those made by the Jewish community and those relating to the Roman Catholic Church, had increased significantly.

Ms. Brumar (Romania) said that two of the four cases of officials involved in human trafficking had been processed, while the remaining two were still pending investigation. In one of the two cases examined by the courts, the perpetrator — a former police officer — had received a prison sentence of just under 9 years. Only one case of trafficking of minors involving police officials had been registered and brought to court during the previous five years.

Ms. Preda (Romania) said that the Ministry of Education was focusing its efforts on addressing the problem of school segregation. Despite the progress made in that regard, data from 2015 indicated that just under 30 per cent of Roma children still attended segregated schools and the standard of teaching in those schools was lower than in other institutions. Measures introduced within the framework of national strategies, such as the strategy for the inclusion of Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority and the strategy to prevent early school leaving, and those introduced through the action plan for school desegregation, focused on tackling discrimination and improving access to and the quality of education. Further information could be provided in writing on the action plan for school desegregation, including on measures relating to legislative reform, training, data collection and best practices.

Domestic legislation on education provided for teaching in minority languages, such as Hungarian, at both primary and secondary level. Curricula and textbooks were prepared accordingly and, in the secondary sector, teaching time was divided equally between Romanian and the minority language in question. In order to comply with recommendations made by various international bodies, the Ministry of Education had introduced a new primary education curriculum for the period 2017-2017. The Ministry was developing a new learning framework and planned to introduce new textbooks in lower secondary schools. It was also investing in teacher training, with European Union support. Funding was made available to support teaching in minority languages and related activities.

Ms. Kran asked the State party to provide information on the use of alternative sentencing measures, in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice and other regulations, in order to alleviate overcrowding in prisons.

Ms. Seibert-Fohr said that it would be useful to obtain further information on forced labour, particularly in the light of reports of labour exploitation. She also asked the State party to provide data on the length of pretrial detention.

Ms. Brumar (Romania) said that widely used alternatives to detention included house arrest and criminal fines. Further information on alternative sentencing and on the length of pretrial detention would be provided in writing. She thanked the Committee for a productive dialogue and indicated that further information would be provided in writing within the following 48 hours.

The Chair thanked the State party for a constructive dialogue and indicated that the concluding observations would reflect both the positive developments noted and the concerns raised by the Committee.

The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.