Romania has ratified the following documents:
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Romania:
  • Beijing +5: Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Beijing Platform for Action
  • Cairo Programme of Action
  • UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The documents listed above require Romania to protect and promote the following rights:

Right to development
Right to education
Right to equal protection of the law
Right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment
Right to highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Right to housing
Right to just and favorable work conditions
Right to liberty and security of the person
Right to life and survival
Right to marry and found a family
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of age
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability (i.e. HIV positive)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of marital status
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
Right to private and family life
Right to receive and impart information
Right to the benefits of scientific progress

Constitutional Protection of Rights

The Constitution of Romania can be viewed at http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/ro00000_.html

The Constitution of Romania is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights. It expressly refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to other treaties and covenants that Romania is a party to (art. 20).

The Constitution enables Romania to translate international agreements into domestic law, and obliges all branches of government to respect and ensure the rights it enunciates.

The Constitution provides for the protection of the following rights, among others. This empowers individuals in making reproductive health decisions, and helps create the economic and social conditions conducive to good sexual and reproductive health.

Right to education (art. 32)
Right to the equal protection of the laws (art.16)
Right to freedom of association (art. 37)
Right to freedom of expression (art. 30)
Right to freedom of movement (art. 25)
Right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (art. 22)
Right to health (art. 34)
Right to inherit (art. 42)
Right to just and favorable work conditions (art. 38)
Right to liberty and security (art.23)
Right to life (art. 22)
Right to medical care in public establishments (art. 33)
Right to marry and found a family (art. 44)
Right to own private property (art. 41)
Right to paid maternity leave. (art. 43)
Right to private and family life (art. 26)
Right to receive and impart information (art. 31)
Right to seek and obtain redress for violations of rights (art. 21)
Right to social security (art. 33)
Right to work (art. 38)

The Constitution includes other provisions that promote and protect rights relevant for good sexual and reproductive health.

The Constitution expressly refers to international law for the protection of human rights (art. 20):

  • constitutional provisions protecting rights must be interpreted according to international human rights law
  • international human rights law overrides domestic provisions in case of conflict between international law and domestic law
    What does that entail? Both of these provisions could be particularly useful for advocacy purposes. For additional information please contact the Human Rights Working Group.

In addition the Constitution specifically empowers and protects women in certain aspects of their lives that may impact their reproductive health:

  • right to consent freely to marriage (art. 44(1))
  • right to equality within marriage (art. 44(1))
  • right to equal pay for equal work (art. 38(4))
  • right to paid maternity leave (art. 43(2))

The Constitution requires Romania to provide special protection to children (art. 45).

The Constitution further describes the steps Romania must take to ensure the right to health and empower individuals in the enjoyment of their rights:

  • take measures to ensure public hygiene and physical and mental health (art. 33(2))
  • organize medical care and a social security system compensating for sickness and maternity amongst others (art. 33(3))
  • ensure adequate working conditions for women and the youth (art. 38(2))
  • provide an adequate standard of living (art. 43(1))

However, the Constitution allows restrictions to rights in certain cases.

The Constitution provides that public health may be a ground for proportionate restrictions to rights, if no other alternative is possible (art. 49(1)).

What do restrictions entail? By authorizing restrictions to rights, it is acknowledged that Romania may be confronted with situations that will entail an infringement on rights. In such situations, Romania may take measures to address a public health problem without violating its own constitution.

Restrictions are authorized under international law if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the restriction is provided for and carried out in accordance with the law
  2. the restriction is in the interest of a legitimate objective of general interest (e.g., the protection of public health)
  3. the restriction is strictly necessary in a democratic society to achieve the objective
  4. there are no less restrictive means available to reach the same objective
  5. the restriction is not drafted or imposed arbitrarily, i.e. in an unreasonable or otherwise discriminatory manner