Freedom of movement

Romania

Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 31/05/22

Author

Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

According to the Asylum Act, asylum seekers are not allowed to leave their place of residence without authorisation from IGI-DAI.[1] The request to leave the residence has to include the address, the full name of the person with whom the applicant will be staying and the period of time and reasons for his or her request to leave.[2] Authorisation is issued following an individual, objective and impartial assessment. In case IGI-DAI refuses to grant authorisation, its decision shall be motivated.[3]

The provision of material conditions is subject to the applicant’s actual residence in the assigned centre. This is monitored by IGI-DAIthrough its database. If an applicant leaves the Regional Centre without permission and does not return in 72 hours, IGI-DAI may apply Reduction or Withdrawal of Reception Conditions.

Applicants may also be transferred to different reception facilities for reasons of capacity. In practice, asylum seekers are transferred most often from Timișoara to other Regional Centres. This occurs due to the fact that, most of the asylum seekers arrive from Serbia and the Regional Centre of Timișoara has a limited capacity. Asylum seekers cannot appeal against the transfer decision. According to the Director of the Regional Centre of Timișoara, in 2021, transfers were carried out once or twice per week. When transferred the integration officer informs them orally about the transfer, in addition to written communication in English. According to the JRS representative, asylum seekers are not informed beforehand about the transfers. IGI-DAI officers jointly with the special police forces/gendarms wake them up on the morning of the transfer. It was reported by the JRS representative that special police forces behaved aggressively towards asylum seekers, yelled at them; the transfer was described as violent. The JRS representative in Bucharest added that they were forced to get in the bus, pushed. The legal counselor in Radauti also stated that asylum seekers had complained that gendarms had been shouting at them.

According to the AIDRom representative, asylum seekers are informed on the spot by the integration officer and AIDrom representative. When the transfer is conducted, special police forces / riot police / rapid intervention police forces attend. According to AIDRom, they only attend to supervise the transfer process. An information note, written in Romanian and English, is given to the asylum seekers on the day of the transfer. In general, transfers are conducted once a week. AIDRom assists to the transfer procedure and provides them with packages.

As for the transfer packages it was reported by the JRS representatives that some asylum seekers were transferred who were not provided with food or water. According to the JRS representative in Timisoara, at the end of the first stage of the implementation of the A.C.A.S.A project, for almost a month, there were no more transfer packages. This was also confirmed by the JRS representative in Giurgiu, who stated that in the summer of 2021 asylum seekers transferred from Timisoara did not even have bottles of water and the weather was hot. The JRS representative in Bucharest also mentioned the lack of transfer packages, whilst the director of Timisoara centre mentioned that all the asylum seekers transferred to other centres received this package.

According to IGI-DAI, in 2021, 166 decisions assigning a specific residence,[4] reception centres, for the asylum seekers, were taken, in line with article 19^4 of the Asylum Act, compared to decisions 26 decisions taken in 2020.[5]

Permission to leave the regional centre were accepted in 2021 in all 6 centres.

Since last year, when the number of asylum seekers increased significantly, Timisoara became a hotspot for migrants and asylum seekers, who wanted to continue their journey towards Western Europe. Asylum seekers and migrants were sleeping in abonded houses. Several times the local police was gathering them and if they had temporary identity documentes they were send back to the regional centres were they were assigned to, as for the other persons with no DTI they were handed over to the Border Police.[6] Logs reported that around 8000 persons who are not accommodated in the regional centres benefitted from humanitarian assistance in 2021 from the organisation, 634 persons received medical assistance. The organisation also provided psihiatric support, outreach during the night, sleeping bags, clothes, hot showers and accommodation in a hostel for a month.

 

[1] Article 19(g) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 7 Asylum Decree.

[3] Article 19(g) Asylum Act.

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

[5] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.

[6] Tion Timisoara, available in Romanian at: https://bit.ly/3LNNe2S Adevarul, available in Romanian at: https://bit.ly/3xld8Hg, BalkanInsight: available in English at: https://bit.ly/3xmrXJT.

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