THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR COMBATING DISCRIMINATION
The National Council for Combating Discrimination is a specialized body of central public administration, with juridical personality, qualified to investigate, to ascertain and to sanction the contraventions provided by the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 regarding the prevention and sanction of all forms of discrimination.
The National Council for Combating Discrimination was founded as an
organism with European vocation, meant to fight against all forms of
discrimination. In the exercise of its functions, the Council independently
carries out its activity, without any restriction or influence coming from
other public institution or authorities. Through his specific function, and his
competence aria the Council is the first institution of this kind in Central
The legislative framework
The Romanian legislative framework on non-discrimination provides the principle of equality among all citizens without discrimination on account of race, nationality, ethnical origin, language, religion, gender, belief, political orientation, fortune or social origin, as well as sanctioning the discrimination deeds.
The Romanian Constitution statues that the international agreements on
the fundamental human rights that
Substantive provisions on human rights protection, in general, as well as the equality of chances are parts of some special internal normative acts (examples: Law no 215/2000 on the local public administration, Law no. 202/2000 regarding the equality of chances between women and men).
The internal legislation on non-discrimination provides the establishment of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, an independent body created to implement the legislative provisions.
The Council has continued to apply the Parliament for the approval by law of the Government Ordinance no 77/2003 for ammending and completing the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 On Preventing and Punishing All Forms of Discrimination.
Each of the two chambers of the Parliament of Romania debated upon The Council has continued to apply the Parliament for the approval by law of the Government Ordinance no 77/2003 for ammending and completing the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 On Preventing and Punishing All Forms of Discrimination.
The above mentioned normative act, whose purpose is to fully transpose the communitarian acquis provisions in the field of non-discrimination. So, the Law no. 27/2004 regarding the approval of the Government Ordinance no. 77/2003 for ammending and completing the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 On Preventing and Punishing All Forms of Discrimination was adopted in February (published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 216 from 2004-03-11).
Likewise, in order to ensure the continuity of
The main functions
The functions of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 1 and 2 from the Government Ordinance no. 1194/2001, modified by the Government Ordinance no. 1514, are:
· Proposes the establishment, under the law, of certain actions or special measures for the protection of the disadvantaged persons and categories that are either in a position of inequality as compared to the majority of the citizens due to their social origin or a handicap, or are confronted with attitudes of rejection and marginalization, when not benefiting from the equality of chances;
· Proposes the Government draft legal regulations in the field;
· Endorses the draft legal regulations regarding the exercise of rights and freedoms, in conditions of equality and non-discrimination;
· Co-operates with public authorities with prerogatives in the field with a view to the approximation of the domestic legislation with international regulations on non-discrimination;
· Co-operates with public authorities, legal and natural entities in order to prevent, sanction and eliminate all forms of discrimination;
· Watches the application and observance of the legal provisions on preventing, sanctioning and eliminating all forms of discrimination by public authorities, legal and natural entities;
· Receives petitions and complains regarding violations of the legal provisions concerning the principle of equality and non-discrimination from natural entities, NGO’s with activities in the field of the protection of human rights, other legal entities, public institutions; analyses the respective petitions and complains, adopts the appropriate measures and answers within the term provided under the law;
· Co-operates with NGO’s with activities in the field of human rights protection;
· Elaborates studies and researches on the observance of the principle of equality and non-discrimination that shall be submitted to the Government and made public;
· Issues publications in this domain;
· Ascertains and sanctions the contraventions provided under the Government’s Decision no 137/2000;
· Co-operates with similar foreign NGO’s active in the field of the protection of human rights, as well as with international organizations in the field.
· Carries on any other functions settled by the Government or by the Parliament, through normative acts, regarding the prevention, the sanctioning and the elimination of all forms of discrimination.
The National Council for Combating Discrimination, aiming at the implementation of the principle of equality among citizens and preventing, as well as combating the discrimination deeds, has in view the achievement of its goals, structured on five primary actions, as follows:
1. Preventing Discrimination
2. Sanctioning the discrimination deeds
4. Monitoring discrimination deeds
5. Specialized assistance for discriminated persons
The Discrimination criteria covered by the Romanian legislation
· Social status
· Sexual orientation
· Chronicle non-contagious disease
· HIV/SIDA infection
· Disfavored category
Through direct discrimination we understand” any difference, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, social status, belief, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, chronicle non-contagious disease, HIV/AIDS infection or belonging to a disfavored category aiming to or resulting in restriction or prevention of the equal recognition, use or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social and cultural fields or in any other fields of public life”
Through indirect discrimination we understand apparently neutral provisions, criteria or practices which would put persons at a particular disadvantage based on race, nationality, ethnic belonging, language, religion, social status, beliefs, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, chronic non-infectious disease, HIV infection or belonging to a disfavored category compared with other persons are considered discriminatory, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.”
The Law sanctions as discrimination deeds, harassment and victimization
Harassment means: „Any conduct based on race, nationality, ethnic belonging, language, religion, social status, beliefs, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap or belonging to a disfavored category, refugee or asylant status or any other criterion which create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. “
Victimization means „ any adverse treatment as a reaction to a complaint on the violation of the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination.”
Ways of resolving petitions
- Direct way – contravention sanctioning
- Indirect way – mediation between different communities
The Steering Board of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, exercising its deliberative role, analyses the petitions and complains received, and adopts by decisions, the appropriate measures, after the investigations carried by the specialized personal of the Council (the Inspection Team). The decision adopted, the Steering Board decides over the fine which is to be paid by the person or by the legal entity, for perpetrating a discrimination deed.
The sanctions applied for perpetrating the discrimination deeds can be appealed under the procedure provided by the common law on legal domain of offences.
For all discrimination cases, the victims are entitled to claim damages, proportionally with the prejudice, as well as to the reestablishment of the situation prior to the discrimination or due to the annulment of the situation created by discrimination, in accordance with common law. Upon request, the court can order that the competent authorities withdraw the license of legal entities that significantly prejudice the society by means of a discriminatory action or although have caused a minor prejudice repeatedly violate the provisions of the Government Decision no 137/2000. Human rights non-governmental organizations can appear in court as parties in cases involving discriminations pertaining to their field of activity and which prejudice a community or a group of persons.
The National Council for Combating Discrimination
Phone/Fax: +40 21 312 65 78/ 312 65 79/ 312 65 85