Romanian NGO calls for the Council of Europe’s “immediate action” in the Caracal murder case

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Necuvinte Association, a Romanian NGO fighting against domestic violence, violation of fundamental human rights and abuses against women and children, has called on the Council of Europe to take immediate action to prevent the loss of human lives due to the deficiencies of the emergency response system and institutionalised sexism in Romania.

The letter is addressed to Jean-Yves Le Drian, Council of Europe – Committee of Ministers, to Liliane Maury Pasquier, Council of Europe – Parliamentary Assembly and to Dunja Mijatović, Council Europe – Commissioner for Human Rights.

Romania was shocked by the case from Caracal, Olt county that came to the public attention on Friday, July 26 – the kidnapping, raping and killing of two teenagers. This tragic case has highlighted the systemic failures of the Romanian state to protect the live of its citizens. Romania has blatantly violated art. 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Pursuant to the jurisprudence of the European Court, states are under the positive obligation to take appropriate steps to safeguard the lives of persons under its jurisdiction. Thus, one of the most relevant means of protecting the lives of human beings is the emergency services provided, chiefly policing. Over the past years, the Romanian authorities have failed terribly at locating and intervening in urgent cases. The main issues have been the failure of the authorities to locate the victims, the failure and great delay in intervening, and the sexist attitude of police officers against female victims.

Necuvinte Association kindly requests the urgent appointment of a Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly and a qualified Opinion of the Commissioner for Human Rights. This is greatly needed in order to document the shortcomings of the current legal provisions and practices in effect in Romania and to provide top advice on overcoming this tragic state of affairs. In essence, we need your help to prevent the death of others,” reads the NGO letter.

Necuvinte Association says the general picture of sexual assault and domestic violence in Romania is concerning.

“Every year, there are around 40.000 complains registered at the police regarding domestic violence and many other related to human trafficking, disappearance, sexual assault – the majority of them having victims women and children. Although, the justice system is sensitive to the crimes against children, when we are dealing with teenagers and women, both the police and the prosecutors remain sexist. From an average of 40.000 cases, only 2% get to court and get convicted,” the NGO argued.

The association also reports that Romania’s total spending on combating domestic violence and gender represents 9.6% of GDP (6.4% gender-based violence and 3.2% domestic violence), while at EU level it stands at 2.5 % of GDP (1.7% gender violence and 0.7% domestic violence).

Read more about the NGO’s call here.

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