CLR’s appeal to Romanian authorities: the misuse of controls negatively impacts institutionalized persons with disabilities and older persons. CLR does not want to be associated with the political scandal

CLR does not want to be associated with any political scandal on the issue of persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities. Over the years, we have drawn attention to all governments, regardless of their political ideology, to the fact that the rights of persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities are not respected. The reasons why we called for the resignation of the Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity were mentioned in the public letter and were exclusively related to the assessment of good intentions, without any political connotation.

A week after the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) raids in the three social care homes in Ilfov County, we understand the need for control and urgent intervention, but we would like to draw attention to the following aspects:

Since Sunday we have been witnessing a “witch hunt” getting out of control: 5-6 state control institutions overcrowding at the door of a single social service provider, searching and asking for papers, residents abandoned in various places, persons with disabilities scared by the dozens of persons who cross their threshold, inspectors searching through their belongings and questioning them, employees and residents “barricaded” in social care homes.

It is not clear to us even to this day – WHO is coordinating this control and what training do they have? What are the objectives? An evaluation of such a complex system requires a strategy and trained staff. Residents with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, including the elderly, need respect, training and emotional support.

In every field there are more or less trained employees. Treating all public or private social service providers as bad faith is fundamentally wrong. In 20 years of CLR experience we have also worked and interacted with professional, fully engaged, non-governmental organizations, social service providers who sometimes used their own money to ensure that deinstitutionalized persons were included in the community. As far as the public area is concerned, 2 weeks ago, the management of the County Directorate of Social Work (DGASPC) Neamt took it seriously – CLR notification of deinstitutionalization and contracting social services in the community for a young man at our colleagues from UnLoc. In less than 5 days after our request was sent, the young man was in the community at our colleagues in Timisoara, and last week they even reported that they had completed the transfer of documents. So, there are persons who have character and show professionalism and institutions that carry out their work efficiently.

Access to justice and to means of petitioning is completely lacking – at least 50 000 persons confined in these social care homes cannot complain, cannot report a violation of a right and when they do – they face communication barriers in police stations, prosecutor’s offices and courts. Judges, prosecutors and police officers have no training in communicating with persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities and no specialised staff.

Previous articles on the same matter:

DIICOT Press release – about the situation in Ilfov County [RO Version]

Human rights reports & media investigations

CLR urges the Labour Minister, Mr. Marius Constantin Budăi, to resign

CLR declines attendance to the meeting with the Minister of Labour, Mr. Marius Constantin Budăi

The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) knows the legislation and the social assistance standards for institutionalized persons with disabilities, better then competent authorities

Summaries on CLR’s Reports in Ilfov County:

Sfântul Gabriel Monitoring Report

Armonia Monitoring Report

Casa Cora Monitoring Report