Place of detention


Country Report: Place of detention Last updated: 30/04/21


Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Place of detention

According to the law, asylum seekers may be detained in specially designed closed spaces within the Regional Centres, as well as in public custody centres. Asylum seekers are only detained in prisons if they are convicted of a criminal act or if they are sentenced to imprisonment.

  • Specially designed closed spaces in Regional Centres

All Regional Centres except Giurgiu contain specially designed closed spaces. In Bucharest, 96 places are established at the IGI-DAI Tudor Gociu. Rădăuţi has 10 places in closed spaces, Galaţi has 30, Timișoara has 15 and Şomcuta Mare has 15 places located in a closed space in the basement of the building.

  • Detention (“public custody”) centres

There are two Accommodation Centres for Aliens Taken into Public Custody (Centrul de Cazare a StrăinilorluaţiînCustodiePublică) in Romania with the following capacity:

Capacity of detention centres: 2020
Detention centre Capacity
Otopeni 114
Arad 160
Total 274

Capacity in Arad may be extended to 206 places but only for limited periods.

Capacity in Otopeni can be extended to 132 places.

In 2020, Arad centre reached the maximum capacity of 206 places. Detainees were placed in the common rooms or extra mattresses were placed in the rooms on the floor. According to the director of Arad this situation lasted around 3 days, because detainees were transferred to Otopeni.

Asylum seekers placed in public custody centres shall be detained, as far as possible, separately from other categories of foreigners.[1] In practice, this not the case according to the directors of the Arad and Otopeni centres and JRS representative in Otopeni. The director of Arad stated that they try to take this into account, however, in reality it really depends on the availability of places and in practical terms the separation of asylum seekers from the other migrants would be only for a few days, as the asylum procedure in their case is swift and practically it would burdensome.

Persons who are convicted of crimes are also to be accommodated in separate rooms from other categories of foreigners. The undesirable foreigners and those who are convicted of crimes are accommodated separately from the others, according to the Directors of Otopeni and Arad.

According to the directors of public custody centres and JRS families are detained separately.


  • Transit zones

In 2020 there were 16 airport transit zones, with a total capacity of 99 places.[2]

  Capacity airport transit zones:2020
  Airport Refusal of entry Asylum seekers
  “Henri Coandă” Bucharest 4 4
  Băneasa Bucharest 2 4
  Baia Mare 0 0
  Suceava 1 2
  Iași 2 2
  Bacău 3 3
  Craiova 4 4
„Delta Dunării” Tulcea 0 0
Timișoara 2 12
Arad 2 4
Oradea 4 4
Cluj-Napoca 4 4
Satu Mare 4 4
Târgu Mureș 2 2
Sibiu 3 3
„Mihail Kogălniceanu” Constanța 4 6
TOTAL 41 58

                                    Source: Border Police, 3 March 2021.


[1]        Article 19^16(1) Asylum Act.

[2]        Information provided by the Border Police, 3 March 2021.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation