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“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t have the same horizon”

Konrad Adenauer

AdaptJust- Accessible justice for people with disabilities


Partners: Public Ministry – Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice

Funding value: 6,450,203 lei (EEA Grants)

Implementation period: November 2021 – October 2023

Contact: CRJ


People with disabilities face less access to the justice system than people without disabilities when they need to report an injustice or a violation of their rights. The removal of legislative and technical barriers becomes a necessary action so that they can have access to adequate complaint and referral mechanisms before the judicial authorities. The current legal framework does not allow the procedural adaptations inherent in the administration of the judicial act, or the provision of access to free or accessible legal assistance and representation. At the same time, the staff in the justice system is not trained to understand the needs of people with disabilities, who become a vulnerable category in justice proceedings.

The project aims to facilitate access to justice for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems, contributing to the implementation of ECtHR rulings and jurisprudence and country-specific recommendations submitted by other Council of Europe bodies in this regard.

Changing the mindset of employees in institutions responsible for the welfare of institutionalized people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities is the biggest challenge of the project. In this sense, multidisciplinary training sessions were organized for magistrates, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, starting in May 2022, in 12 cities from 24 counties and in Bucharest. 300 people have participated in these trainings so far, and another 150 trained professionals will follow in 2023.

On the other hand, the project is looking for professionals who can identify, in their daily work, the violations of the human rights of people with mental disabilities. Through the training program “Pilot mechanisms for the defense of the rights of institutionalized disabled persons”, held in March 2022, 20 psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, social workers and self-representatives with disabilities were trained in this regard. During the training, the participants put themselves in the role of members of a monitoring team, beneficiaries of residential centers and their employees, experiencing the various situations that can arise during monitoring visits. At the end, they drew up a report in which they listed the conclusions of the visit. After the training, all 20 trainees were contracted for ad hoc monitoring and litigation.


“The project is important because it trains specialists in the field of law, psychiatry and social assistance in respecting and applying the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and/or psychosocial disabilities institutionalized or at risk of being institutionalized,” Georgiana Pascu, the project coordinator, emphasized the importance of the project.


The project’s next challenge is to ensure that essential steps are taken towards the completion of the National Action Plan for the Prevention of Maltreatment in Psychiatric Hospitals and Residential Centres, an extremely important tool in the fight for the rights of people in mental health institutions. A first step taken in this regard was the participation of PP representatives, in December 2022, in a debate organized in the Parliament, with the support of the Commission for Human Rights in the Senate and the Government of Romania. The event brought together 45 participants, including 10 managers of the largest psychiatric hospitals. At the end of the meeting, all stakeholders reached a consensus to have a working committee to prepare the National Action Plan, which will be submitted by the Government of Romania to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment within the Council Europe.


To support all these project initiatives, an awareness campaign on social networks regarding the rights of people with mental disabilities residing in state-owned mental health centers, had a deep echo in Romanian society. The message promoted by the campaign reached more than 70,000 people, during the campaign the initiators received feedback from many people with disabilities who currently live in residential centers, such as “I want to leave the center, I don’t want to be held against my will in the social assistance system, I appeal to the authorities to help me. I’d rather be homeless than in a residential facility’ or ‘I don’t feel well. I don’t like this one. I want to apply to get out. I was brought here. It was summer. I didn’t know I was coming here. I found work and I want treatment, but not here.”

Partnership for the equality of LGBTI persons: implementation of ECtHR jurisprudence on sexual orientation and gender identity

Promoter: Accept Association

Partners: Public Ministry – Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice

Funding value: 4,641,734 lei (EEA Grants)

Implementation period: December 2021 – November 2023


The project aims to contribute to speeding up the resolution of cases involving hate crimes directed against LGBTI people and monitoring the number of cases that end with the conviction of the guilty persons.

Important steps to ensure equal access to the justice system for persons belonging to sexual minorities were achieved within the project, by organizing two training of trainers (ToT) programs on the topic of investigating hate crimes against LGBTI persons. 8 Romanian participants took part in the ToT – psychologists, human rights experts and prosecutors.

By December 2022, more than 180 Romanian police officers and prosecutors have also been trained in the investigation of hate crimes, thus ensuring that the rights of LGBTI people are respected. Sessions will continue in 2023 as the project aims at least at training
440 magistrates and policemen.

The project also directly reaches LGBTI people, victims of rights violations, through a comprehensive assistance program. More than 100 people have already benefited from legal counseling services, psychological counseling, transition guidance for trans people and assistance through community mobilization.

On the other hand, the project takes important steps towards the implementation of ECtHR decisions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in Romania, by organizing meetings of the Working Group on the implementation of ECtHR decisions. The group was created within the project and brings together representatives of institutions with an important role in the implementation of these decisions, such as: the Institution of the People’s Advocate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Directorate for the Administration of Databases under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Ministry of Justice, the Superior Council of Magistrates, the National Institute of Magistrates, the National Council for Combating Discrimination.

As next steps, the initiators plan to launch an online system for reporting LGBTI rights violations and publish a handbook for investigating hate crimes. Also, the project will run a public campaign, which will inform over 500,000 people about the situation of LGBTI people in Romania.

Step by step I grow worthy!


Partners: Moreno Huset AS from Norway, Dolj County Police Inspectorate and Craiova Juvenile Detention Center

Amount of funding: 9,149,408 lei (EEA Grants)

Implementation period: January 2022 – December 2023


The project aims to ensure the respect of the rights of children from Dolj county who go through violent events, offering them support to overcome trauma. Abuse, domestic violence, bullying, crime are phenomena that affect the lives of children all over the world. In Romania, every hour, two children are victims of violence, and the number of reported cases of abuse increases annually. It thus becomes a necessity for Romanian professionals from the judicial and child protection systems to be better trained in working with this category.

Between April and June 2022, 10 Romanian psychologists participated in a training for trainers (ToT) in working and communication techniques with children and young people with limited opportunities and emotional vulnerability, according to a working method used in Norway. The Romanian trainers as well as the representatives of the Norwegian organization Moreno Husset AS (project partner) familiarized the participants with unique techniques for working with minors who have suffered trauma. The presentation included elements of psychodrama (role play, soliloquy, empty chair, socio-psychological atom), the ESPERE method and playback theater elements, useful tools for the staff involved in hearing the victims.

“It was a very interesting experience to work together with specialists from such different areas of expertise, sharing knowledge to develop new structures for the future, in order to help children with emotional difficulties in a new way”, he emphasizes the importance of training , one of the instructors.

“In my daily work, I encounter trauma with its different faces. Sometimes she is shown as she is, domineering, fearsome, fangs bared, and the confrontation is face-to-face, with all the weapons at their disposal. At other times it camouflages, hides, insinuates itself appearing shy and fragile, but its effects and the force with which it acts are equally difficult to manage. To fight these fights I need strong, effective and different weapons, I need to be strong and stable, to have people with me who have fought such fights and with their experience to enrich my arsenal of techniques. This is what I got by participating in this training: authenticity, information, tools, the strength that an involved, wise, informed, empathetic and strong group gives you”, declares one of the training participants.

Next, the trained psychologists will train 70 professionals from the judicial and child protection systems in techniques for dealing with children in vulnerable situations, so that the rights of children involved in judicial investigations are respected and protected. In addition, a counseling center for victims will be established, and appropriate spaces for judicial investigations intended for minors will be set up within the Police Inspectorate of Dolj County and in the Craiova Juvenile Detention Center.

Following this ToT, the trained psychologists in turn trained 70 professionals from the justice and child protection systems in techniques for dealing with children in vulnerable situations, so that the rights of children involved in judicial inquiries are respected and protected. In addition, a counseling center for victims will be established, while appropriate spaces for judicial investigations intended for minors will be set up within the Police Inspectorate of Dolj County and in the Craiova Juvenile Detention Center.

IMPACT JUST – Improving Current Mechanisms and Policies regarding the Conditions and Treatment of Persons Deprived of Liberty

Promoter: Om Bun Association

Partners: Iași Maximum Security Penitentiary

Funding value: 827,855 Euros (EEA Grants)

Implementation period: January 2022 – January 2024


Social media: Impact Just PN5005


The project is aiming to contribute to the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the judicial system, to the improvement of institutional processes and to the efficiency of the implementation of the standards of the Council of Europe regarding Human Rights at the level of the Iaşi Penitentiary, with a multiplier effect at the level of penitentiary institutions in Romania. Over the course of two years, the project aims to ensure that the rights of inmates in the Iași Penitentiary are respected, including their right to work.

In the first 7 months of 2022, 120 people deprived of their liberty received counseling and benefited from mediation, in order to find a job after serving their sentence. The initiators have in mind, first of all, the improvement of the procedure for implementing the right to work, by informing prisoners about employment opportunities and by facilitating their integration into the labor market. In this sense, the persons deprived of liberty in the Iași Penitentiary are initiated in the process of professional self-evaluation and in that of looking for a job. The project’s experts provide them with information on how to draw up a Curriculum Vitae and a letter of intent, on the elements that must be followed in an individual employment contract, but also on how they can find out about vacant jobs at the county level , national and European.

“Each meeting with people deprived of their liberty in the Maximum Security Penitentiary Iași shows us how important it is to be informed and advised on the labor market. Increasingly eager to change their social status, they showed interest in learning about the labor market and wanting to specialize in a field, such as a plumber, carpenter, cook’s helper or barber. There were also cases where prisoners sought advice on starting an independent activity, such as farming or setting up a business. For example, one of them says that when he gets out of prison and when the legal situation allows him, he wants to establish his own company”, explained the representatives of the project promoter.

Preparing prisoners for a new life after release also involves their professional qualification. 52 people deprived of liberty from the penitentiary are included, in this sense, included in a qualification program carried out during the year 2023, after which they will become plumbers, carpenters, cooks’ helpers or hairdressers with proper documents. Those of them who, after obtaining the diploma, will remain incarcerated for a while, until serving their sentence, have the chance to practice their new job right in the penitentiary, either at the carpentry workshop, or at the food block, as a cook’s helper, or as plumbers or hairdressers, providing services of this type within the penitentiary.

VioGen – RoJust – strategic action for the effective implementation of Council of Europe human rights standards

Promoter: National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men (ANES)

Partners: Transcena Association, Anais Association, FILIA Center and GRADO Association

Funding period: 3,621,824 (EEA Grants)

Implementation period: December 2021 – September 2023



The “VioGen – RoJust” project is a strategic action in order to effectively implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the standards of the Council of Europe on human rights and aims at better protection measures against domestic violence, ensuring an adequate intervention, but also improving the legislative framework regarding the protection and non-discrimination of victims.

The project aims to have impact at national level and to generate innovative measures that can be replicated at national level, promoting essential changes to ensure the effective application and implementation of Council of Europe human rights standards.

Through its specific activities, the project will generate long-term positive effects, which can systematically contribute to increasing the degree of understanding of the profile of the victim of domestic and gender violence, his needs, and ways of addressing them, in order to avoid any forms of discrimination and increasing trust in the justice system, as a corollary of respecting women’s rights as an essential part of fundamental human rights.

Several professional training programs for 200 magistrates (judges and prosecutors), 820 lawyers and 828 employees of public order institutions (gendarmes, police) regarding the implementation of international documents on human rights ratified by Romania are included in the project.

Mechanisms will also be created to protect the rights of vulnerable people, especially victims of domestic and gender violence, but measures to combat gender discrimination will also be developed. In this sense, the project includes the creation of an online platform, as a resource for informing public opinion, with a segment dedicated to professionals in the field (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police), with a component dedicated to reporting abuses in the judicial system (police, prosecutors, courts court) and ensuring the advice/guidance of vulnerable people regarding the defense of their rights and the ways of reporting to the competent authorities;

The messages of national information and awareness campaigns on the respect of human rights will reach both the general public and professionals in the judicial field and in the field of preventing and combating domestic violence and gender-based violence. The messages sent will refer to respecting the rights of the victims, avoiding situations in which the victim can be assaulted again and non-discrimination.

Launched by the Transcena Association in September 2022, the information campaign “When I understand, I can choose – we don’t continue gender-based violence” are aimed at high school students, proposing to make them aware of discriminatory behaviors and gender-based violence.

The campaign’s messages reached high school students aged between 15 and 19, through face-to-face and online debate sessions, in 80 high schools in the counties of Giurgiu, Botoșani, Călărași, Maramureș, Brașov, Constanța, Bacău, Prahova and from the Municipality of Bucharest.

The themes of the campaign were drawn from the proposals of a group of 130 young people who responded to an online questionnaire. Among other things, young people were also asked what message related to gender-based violence they want to convey to adults. “Listen young people! We are not children. We are expected to choose our career for life, so we have the mental capacity to think and decide how we want the world to be” was one of the answers given by the young people.

The central virtual space of the campaign is a newly created web platform, accessible at: Young people can find here resources on national and international legislation in the field and studies and research on gender-based discrimination and violence, articles on how to recognize gender-based discrimination and violence, what avenues exist to oppose or resolve a situation, information on the history of the struggle for women’s rights and how relationships have developed over time, how they have changed history and how they have built society.

The YouTube account of the Transcena Association contains six video clips made on the themes covered by the campaign, films with scenarios made by students from high schools in Giurgiu and Bucharest and played by some of them.

The project also includes the development of a Study on ECtHR jurisprudence relevant for judicial professionals and examples of good practice.