Provision of information on reception

Romania

Country Report: Provision of information on reception Last updated: 30/04/21

Author

Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Asylum seekers are informed of their rights and obligations pursuant to Article 17(1)(f) of the Asylum Act. IGI-DAI shall provide written information to asylum seekers in a language they understand or are reasonably supposed to understand, within a maximum of 15 days from the submission of the asylum application.[1] The information shall be provided by the official responsible for receiving the asylum application, according to a template established by order of the General Director of IGI.[2] Where necessary to ensure an adequate understanding of the information by the applicant, it may also be presented orally during the preliminary interview.[3] Competent officers are also required to inform asylum seekers on how to contact NGOs and UNHCR and how to obtain legal assistance and representation.[4] The General Director of IGI appoints the official responsible for ensuring the conditions to carry out the above activities.[5]

The house rules of the reception centres prescribe that, when accommodated in reception centres, asylum seekers also receive information on the rights, obligations, prohibitions and disciplinary sanctions applicable during their stay in the centre. In this regard information is handed to asylum seekers in the form of an information sheet in a language that he or she understands or is reasonably supposed to understand and in which he or she can clearly communicate. Where appropriate, for an adequate understanding of the applicant, information may also be provided orally using the services of an interpreter apt to ensure appropriate communication.[6] The applicant has to sign an acknowledgment of receipt of the information leaflets.

According to the JRS representative, the information prescribed by the law is in practice more a presentation of the rights and obligations. The asylum seekers do not receive detailed information about their rights and obligations. It was noted that only in very few interview transcripts the asylum seeker declared that he or she is not aware of the rights and obligations.

In practice, asylum seekers are expected to contact the NGOs in the Regional Centres in order to get more detailed information on reception conditions, house rules and their rights and obligations.

Bucharest: the integration officer or the officer at the checkpoint of the regional centre explains the Regulation of Internal Order (ROI), when needed, without an interpreter or maybe with the help of AIDRom’s cultural mediator, as reported by JRS. The director of Stolnicu Regional Centre reported that asylum seekers are informed in writing (in English) by the officer at the checkpoint. It has been reported that leaflets regarding the ROI, rights and obligations were distributed in the past but are no longer distributed. JRS drafted leaflets with ROI, which are displayed in the centre. According to the director of the Regional Centre, the information is provided at the time of accommodation in the centre by the officers at the access control point, with the help of an IOM Arabic interpreter who is present in the centre from 08:00 to 14:00, or by a person from the community. Written information is provided.

 

Giurgiu: Asylum seekers receive information about ROI upon arrival in the centre. The NGOs organise information sessions with asylum seekers after their arrival at the centre and offer information during individual counselling sessions.

Galaţi: The ROI is explained in an easily comprehensible manner at the moment of accommodation in the centre, with the assistance of an interpreter, where possible, or of a person from the community who speaks English. The information is provided every time it is requested. There is also written information in the rooms and in the hallway in different languages.

Şomcuta Mare: Asylum seekers are provided general information on the ROI and the projects implemented by NGOs in the Regional Centre, upon submission of the asylum application. In general, IGI-DAI provides information to asylum seekers only upon arrival in the centre, while NGO representatives cover the details and additional information on the procedure, rights and obligations.

Timișoara: Information on the ROI is provided in written at the registration of the asylum application. There are leaflets in several languages. ROI is explained by the NGOs during information sessions, with the help of interpreters paid by AIDRom. AIDRom organises information sessions on ROI twice a week, with the help of the cultural mediator who speaks Arabic. The sessions are focusing on ROI, co-living and hygiene rules, public health, fire prevention. The JRS representative also offers information during individual counselling sessions. The NGOs are organising a joint information session for the new arrivals, where they describe the activities and services of each NGO and also explain ROI and the asylum procedure.

Rădăuţi: Asylum seekers receive leaflets when their asylum application is registered. NGO representatives inform them orally during counselling sessions. Posters with ROI are displayed in several languages on the doors were asylum seekers are accommodated. 1-2 information session were held over the year.

UNHCR developed information leaflets on COVID-19 in several languages, which were distributed in all regional centres.

Information on the rights, obligations, prohibitions and disciplinary sanctions applicable during the stay in the Regional Centre shall be displayed in each accommodation room in an international language.[7] However, according to the stakeholders interviewed by the author, this is not respected in practice, although in Şomcuta Mare the main provisions of the ROI are incorporated in a poster in the form of infographics. In Timișoara, posters on the rights and obligations prepared by CNRR and AIDrom, and billboards with excerpts from the ROI and the Asylum Act, are displayed in the building where the asylum seekers are accommodated.

 

 

 

[1]        Article 17(1)(f) Asylum Act; Article 2(1) Asylum Decree.

[2]        Article 2(1) Asylum Decree.

[3]        Article 2(1^1) Asylum Decree.

[4]        Article 2(2) Asylum Decree.

[5]        Article 2(3) Asylum Decree.

[6]        Article 5(1) and (2) ROI.

[7]        Article 5(3) ROI.

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