General information on rights, obligations and the procedure
The Asylum Act provides that the asylum seeker has the right to be informed, at the time of submission of the asylum application or later, within 15 days from the filing of the application, in a language which he or she understands or is reasonably supposed to understand, regarding the procedure, his or her rights and obligations during the asylum procedure, the consequences of non-compliance with these obligations and the lack of cooperation with the competent authorities, as well as the consequences of an explicit or implicit withdrawal of the asylum application.
Competent officials are also obliged to inform asylum seekers about how they can contact non-governmental organisations and UNHCR, and how to obtain legal assistance and representation.
The information has to be provided in writing by the official responsible for receiving the asylum application, according to a template established by order of the Director-General of IGI.Where necessary for the proper understanding of the information, this may also be communicated orally at the preliminary interview.
In practice, the modalities of information in the different Regional Centres are as follows:
Timișoara: The director of the centre said that asylum seekers are informed about the house rules (ROI) upon their arrival in the centre by the officers at the access point of the regional centre. IGI-DAI has leaflets in 6-7 languages and posters with ROI are displayed in the building where they are accommodated in English, French and Arabic. The director of the centre stated that the day after the asylum seekers’ the arrival in centre, they are gathered in groups and the integration officer provides them general information on their rights and obligations without an interpreter. NGOs are also invited to participate at these meetings. In general, these group meetings were helpd everytime a new group arrived in the centre. As regards the information for the unaccompanied children this is done in the same way as for adults and there are no adapted leaflets. No information session were organized in 2022.
With regard to children, all stakeholders interviewed reported that they receive the same leaflets and information as adult asylum seekers.
CNRR also distributes leaflets on the asylum procedure, including rights and obligations. It also developed leaflets on the specially designed closed spaces of the centre (see Place of Detention).
Şomcuta Mare: information sessions on general information (when do they receive their temporary identity documents, financial aid and when are they able to leave) are held by the director of the regional centre when asylum seekers are transferred from Timișoara, with the help of an interpreter or the cultural facilitator of AIDRom. Subsequently, collective information meetings are held by the NGO representatives. According to the director unaccompanied children are counselled with more attention and information provision is adapted to their age.
Rădăuţi: no collective information sessions were held in 2020, 2021 or in 2022 according to a stakeholder. According to the director of the centre asylum seekers are informed in writing when they arrive at the centre. Subsequently, the information about asylum seekers’ rights and obligations and the procedure is provided by the NGOs individually. CNRR presents a video with all the relevant information. Group information sessions with an interpreter have been held when ROI was breached.
Galaţi: when transferred asylum seekers are accommodated in the centre there is no information privision, because they arrive very late. Group information sessions with the help of an interpreter are held 24-48h after their arrival in the centre. IGI-DAI provides on their rights, obligations, ROI, Dublin Procedure, services provided by each NGO. When the asylum claim is made directly at the centre information is provided in writing.
Bucharest: The director of Vasile Stolnicu centre reported that upon their arrival, asylum seekers receive written information in their language or in a language that it is reasonably believed they know on their rights and obligations and the asylum procedure. Unaccompanied minors were informed in the same way as the adults.
NGOs provide information through counselling sessions, posters and sometimes leaflets. However, due to the fact that the asylum seekers in most of the cases are not reading the leaflets, NGOs are focusing on individual or group counselling.
Giurgiu: According to the director of the centre, upon their arrival in the centre, asylum seekers received written information with their rights and obligations and information on the asylum procedure. Afterwards, they were counselled by the NGOs.
The majority of respondents pointed out that the written information they receive from IGI-DAI or NGOs is not very effective as most asylum seekers are illiterate or have difficulty reading through information which is lengthy, complex and, consequently, difficult to comprehend. Thus, asylum seekers prefer face-to-face counseling with an NGO representative in order to understand the steps of the asylum procedure. The information leaflets are not adapted to the asylum seekers’ level of education or knowledge. Usually, the leaflets reiterate the provisions of the Asylum Act.
In practice, respondents reported that there is no specifically tailored information provided to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. They are informed in the same way as adults, while they are also informed that they will have a legal representative. In general, unaccompanied children do not understand what this means. UNHCR also stated that there is a lack of accessible and adequate information materials for asylum-seeking children.
Information on the Dublin procedure
IGI-DAI has the obligation to inform the asylum seeker of the content of the common leaflet drawn up by the European Commission. The competent officer of IGI-DAI communicates the information contained in the common leaflet, drawn up according to Article 4(3) of the Dublin Regulation. If the applicant is an unaccompanied minor, the designated officer shall provide him or her, in a manner appropriate to his or her level of understanding, with the information contained in the special information leaflet drawn up by the European Commission, supplemented with additional specific information for Romania.
Bucharest: basic information is provided on the Dublin Procedure upon their arrival at the centre. A general leaflet is also provided at the same time according to the director.
Giurgiu: asylum seekers are informed in writing when they make the asylum application, and when the procedure is suspended, according to the director of the centre. If the asylum procedure is suspended due to a hit, they are notified in writing that the case has been suspended, whilst the Dublin procedure is carried out.
Şomcuta Mare: Asylum seekers are informed at the beginning of the asylum procedure about the Dublin procedure and what it entails, by NGOs. When the asylum procedure is suspended, information and a general leafltet is provided. Asylum seekers are informed about the Member State to which a request was sent.
Rădăuţi: Asylum seekers receive a common leaflet and oral information that the Dublin procedure has been triggered and information on the Member State to which a request has been sent. CNRR provides information on the Dublin procedure through a video. The same video is also played for minors.
Galaţi: General information is provided during collective information sessions. A common leaflet is provided when the asylum claim is made. When the asylum procedure is suspended, they receive written information, including on the Member State to which the request has been made.
In practice, asylum seekers in most of the Regional Centres are informed orally and in writing of the fact that the Dublin procedure has started, and they are handed the common leaflet. The information is provided with the help of an interpreter in all the centres.
In Timișoara, upon their arrival, when they are fingerprinted asylum seekers are informed verbally, because there have been no leaflets for quite some time, according to the director of the centre. If after checking the fingerprints in Eurodac, IGI-DAI finds a match with the data introduced by another Member State, the asylum seeker is informed orally that he or she is subject to the Dublin procedure. IGI-DAI mentions which country has been contacted. They are also informed by the NGOs and receive leaflets from CNRR. As regards the unaccompanied children IGI-DAI always takes the responsibility to assess their asylum claim, according to the director of the Regional Centre Timișoara.For minors there is no special information leaflet, the director said.
In Şomcuta Mare, asylum seekers are also informed orally of the beginning of the Dublin procedure and the State contacted. In Rădăuţi, during the preliminary interview IGI-DAI informs asylum seekers in writing that they are subject to the Dublin procedure, provides them the common leaflet, and specifies the Member State which has been contacted, with the assistance of an interpreter. In Giurgiu, they are also informed orally of the fact that a Dublin procedure has been initiated, while the authorities also mention the country contacted. In Galaţi, however, asylum seekers are informed orally and in writing about the time frame of the procedure, the possibility to appeal the decision and about the country what has been contacted.
If the applicant is an unaccompanied child, the appointed official shall apprise him or her, in a manner appropriate to his or her level of understanding, of the information contained in the special information brochure drawn up by the European Commission according to Article 4(3) of the Dublin Regulation, supplemented with additional specific information for Romania.The legal representative of the unaccompanied childconfirms by signature that the information has been provided.
Rădăuţi: The information is provided in the presence of the legal representative, because he has to sign the notification. The legal representative does not explain to the child what the procedure entails. The case officer explains some of the aspects of the procedure with the help of an interpreter. The legal representative is only present when this information is provided, without giving any other information. Subsequently, the unaccompanied minor turns to the legal counsellor for further information. At the preliminary interview, the unaccompanied children are informed about the fact that they will be transferred to the responsible Member State.
 Article 17(1)(f) Asylum Act.
 Article 2(2) Asylum Decree.
 Article 2(1) Asylum Decree.
 Article 118 Asylum Act.
 Article 118(1) Asylum Act.
 Article 118(2) Asylum Act.