Detention of vulnerable applicants


Country Report: Detention of vulnerable applicants Last updated: 31/05/22


Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Specially designed closed spaces

Asylum detention, i.e. placement in specially designed closed spaces, cannot be ordered against unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, except for cases where the unaccompanied child cannot prove his or her age and, due to serious doubts thereon, IGI-DAI requests an age assessment.[1]

Detention (“public custody”) centres

The Public Custody Centres Regulation explicitly provides that children cannot be detained in these centres, unless they are accompanied by at least one of the parents or their legal representative, who are taken into public custody.[2]

According to the amended Aliens Act, in case the foreigner declares that he or she is a minor and cannot prove his or her age, if there are serious doubts about his minority, he or she will be considered an adult.[3] In this situation, IGI requests an age assessment, with his or her prior consent.[4] As a consequence the child will be treated as an adult and placed in detention pending the age assessment, until his or her age is confirmed.

CNRR reported that in 2021, there were no accompanied children detained in Arad or Otopeni.[5]

According to the Director of Otopeni, a pregnant woman and families without children were detained in 2021. Nevertheless, the medical doctor reported two single parent families (a father and his 17 year old son and another father with a daughther and son both under 14 years of age) being detained in 2021. According to the Ombudman’s report, no prenatal tests were done since the woman was detained and she was not taken to a specialist consultant, since she was transferred from Arad, where pregnancy medical investigations had been perfomed.

In 2021, in Arad, 11 accompanied children were detained in general for a period of up to 30 days, with no minor being detained for more than 60 days, according to the director. The youngest children detained were 4-5 years old. The majority of these children were accompanied by both parents.

According to the Director of the Public Custody Centre of Arad, a total of 3 single parent families (mothers accompanied by their children) were detained in Arad in 2021. 40-50 single women were also detained in Arad during the year.

According to IGI-DAI, 12 minors accompanied by both or one of the parents were detained in 2021.[6]

Romanian law does not prohibit detention of other vulnerable asylum seekers. IGI-DAI noted that detention of persons with special needs such as victims of torture or trafficking has not been applied in public custody.[7]

The JRS representative in Bucharest reported that there were no vulnerable persons with medical and psychological issues detained in Otopenei centre in 2021. According to the medical doctor of Otopeni there were two migrants with psychological issues, who were also granted tolerated staus due to their condition. Another two migrants suffering from diabetes were also released.

According to the JRS representative in Timisoara, there was an elderly man who was released from detention. She also reported several persons were suffering from depression. The director of Arad stated that 2 persons may have been released due to a medical condition.




[1] Article 19^5 Asylum Act, in conjunction with Article 42(2) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 29 Public Custody Centres Regulation.

[3] Article 131^1(1) Aliens Act, as amended by Act 247/2018 of 6 November 2018.

[4] Article 131^1(2) Aliens Act, as amended by Act 247/2018 of 6 November 2018.

[5] Information provided by CNRR, 15 February 2022.

[6] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 10 March 2022.

[7] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 14 February 2018.

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