Romania – Breakthrough simplifications of procedures for child registration

 The Romanian government has just issued an Emergency Ordinance meant to simplify bureaucratic procedures. One of the measures should have a positive impact on Roma communities and in particular on the issue of lack of Identification Documents (IDs).
Previously, procedures required the registration of the child within 15 days after birth and at least one of the parents needed to present an ID. Within one year of the birth, registration was still possible with the agreement of local authorities. The procedure would further complicate after the one-year deadline as it would have to go through the judicial system.
The new procedures extend the registration to up to 30 days after birth and the registration is possible only on the basis of a written declaration – eliminating thus the need for the mother’s ID. Furthermore, beyond the 30-days deadline, registration is still possible with additional administrative procedures, however the case does not have to go through the judicial system anymore under any circumstances.
According to Romanian media, there are around 3000 cases of children whose birth was recorded in maternity wards but who were never registered, the main cause being the lack of IDs of parents.
Within the ROMACT Programme, the lack of IDs is a recurrent problem – presented often as a priority by Community Action Groups in Romania.
The Emergency Ordinance also comes as part of the “Governmental Integrated Package for Fighting Poverty”, a set of measures to which the ROMACT experts also contribute within the framework of the “Memorandum of Understanding for the purposes of  Cooperation in the field of Improvement of the Roma Situation at Local Level through the ROMACT Joint Programme” signed between the Romanian Government and the Council of Europe.

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