Adequate support during the interview
Pursuant to Article 5^1(4) of the Asylum Act, in cases where vulnerable persons with special needs are identified, specialised staff of IGI-DAI carry out assessments to identify specific needs and decide on appropriate steps to ensure the rights and guarantees provided by the law during the asylum procedure.
Romanian law provides an important safeguard in respect of procedural guarantees for vulnerable persons: in the administrative phase of the asylum procedure, documents drafted before the identification of special needs will be amended and/or supplemented only where it is necessary to adequately examine the asylum application.
The law also foresees a specific monitoring obligation throughout the entire asylum procedure in line with Article 22(1) of the recast Reception Conditions Directive.
The interview of vulnerable asylum seekers shall be carried out by case officers specialised in this respect, taking into account the special situation of these persons.
The director of the Regional Centre Timișoara mentioned that they read the psychological report drafted by ICAR Foundation and prepare accordingly for the interview, in the sense that they are more careful during the interview, better prepared and the interpreter is carefully chosen. However, the report of ICAR Foundation has no legal power; it is only the opinion of a psychologist. The decision issued by IGI-DAI mentions that a psychological report was attached to the case file.
The legal counsellor in Giurgiu stated that the case officers handle each case with diligence. For instance, if the asylum seeker is not feeling well, they will stop the interview. In another case, an LGBTI asylum seeker was assisted at the interview by a psychologist.
In Rădăuţi vulnerable asylum seekers, chiefly unaccompanied minors, are treated the same way as the adults, no special attention is given to these cases during the interviews. It was reported by JRS representative that only in one case the legal representative asked guiding questions during the interview. It was also reported that in one case after the interview the legal representative suggested the necessity of an age assessment of the unaccompanied minor.
Şomcuta Mare: the JRS representative did not observe a special attention given to vulnerable persons.
Bucharest: the same was also reported by the JRS representative. The interviews with unaccompanied minors are quite hard; the case officer had no patience; he was insisting in receiving a certain answer from the minor, but the minor was not able to provide the answer. After a short break the interview continued well.
Galaţi: it was reported that special attention is given to vulnerable persons-questions, breaks are adapted to the special situation of the asylum seeker.
Exemption from special procedures
According to Article 75(2) of the Asylum Act, applicants in need of special procedural guarantees or with Special Reception Needs may be subjected to the Accelerated Procedure or the Border Procedure only if they represent a threat to national security or public order, due to their activity or membership to a certain group. In practice, according to IGI-DAI, unaccompanied children or persons in need of special procedural guarantees are not channelled to the accelerated procedure or the border procedure.
In 2020, IGI-DAI Şomcuta Mare processed the asylum application of a single parent, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter, under the accelerated procedure, even though they are considered vulnerable persons under the Asylum Act, rejecting the asylum application as manifestly unfounded. During the interview she was not asked about the reasons why she fled her country of origin together with her daughter. They concluded that she is an economic migrant, even though the applicant did not mention anything related to this. The asylum application was wrongfully assessed in an accelerated procedure, as the applicants were vulnerable persons and according to the Asylum Act vulnerable persons may only be subjected to an accelerated procedure if they represent a threat to national security or public order, due to their activity or membership to a certain group. The decision of IGI-DAI does not mention the applicants as being vulnerable persons. Their appeal was rejected by the regional court.
In Rădăuţi, it was reported that an asylum seeker who was identified as vulnerable by the psychologist of IGI-DAI was assessed under the accelerated procedure.
 Article 5^1(5) Asylum Act.
 Article 5^1(6) Asylum Act. IGI-DAI monitors the situation of applicants with special needs upon reception and, together with the competent authorities, will ensure that assistance is given throughout the entire asylum procedure.
 Article 46 Asylum Act.
 Articles 75(2) and 84 Asylum Act.
 Information provided by IGI-DAI, 14 February 2018.
 IGI-DAI, Decision no 419955/h/HIA.