According to the Asylum Act, asylum seekers located at the border or in detention centres have the right to be counselled and assisted by a representative from non-governmental Romanian or foreign organisations and to contact and receive assistance from an official of UNHCR at any stage of the asylum procedure.
During the state of alert most of the NGO representatives were present in the centres every day. Some of the NGOs also adopted one or two days of teleworking days per week.
Some of the NGOs shortened their schedule in the regional centre, but they were present everyday.
In practice, asylum seekers located at the border have difficulties in accessing NGO services and assistance. Access depends on whether the Border Police or IGI-DAI inform the NGOs of the presence of asylum seekers at the border-crossing check points. In relation to asylum seekers detained in detention centres, access to such services is not systematically ensured as NGOs, namely CNRR, do not have regular office hours in these centres.
In cases of asylum seekers accommodated outside the reception centres, access to NGOs is determined by the information, which was provided to them by the authorities and NGOs, if they exchanged contact details.
UNHCR Romania is contacted by the asylum seekers accommodated in one of the Regional Centres through their implementing partner JRS or directly via email, phone or walk-in interviews at its office.