The Romanian Academic Society (SAR) joined the Coalition for Migrant and Refugee Rights (CDMiR) in early December 2017.
What recommends us for this participation is both the general work carried out by RAS in the area of good governance and, more specifically, the experience gained through our participation in both the RESPECT Coalition and the Anti-Discrimination Coalition, as well as through activities carried out in projects, such as “Immigration Discrimination in the Domain Civil Rights”,”Without Racial Discrimination in the Election Campaign”,”ACCEPT PLURALISM”,”START for Integration of People with Disabilities into the Labor Market”,”Mobilizing Universities to Combat Discrimination” and through the initiatives of the Alliance for a Clean Romania.
Below you can read the Coalition’s manifesto and the list of member organizations:
There are currently around 100,000 foreigners in Romania, of whom around 60,000 come from outside the European Union. They include refugees and economic migrants, students and family members. The number is so small (less than 0.3% of the population) that providing public services to these categories does not raise resource related problems. But the access of these people to services and goods is hampered by the lack of information, as well as procedures and legislation that are out of touch to realities on the ground. We all want these people to be treated with dignity and become as productive as possible, in other words, integrated. But this can only happen if we give them unimpeded access to public services and institutions and treat them with less suspicion and more trust.
European directives in the field set minimum standards for certain procedures, but the conditions for access to public goods and services remain the decision of the Member States. Although national asylum and migration legislation has largely been aligned with the European directives, we consider that there are still many aspects to be improved both in terms of drafting and implementation. The aim is to encourage long-term foreigners in Romania to participate in its economic and social life, to have access to education and to know our values and culture.
Even though in 2015, less so in 2016, migration was present in political discourse, we note that the subject has faded from public attention once Romania held parliamentary elections and appointment of the new government. Moreover, older initiatives, such as the Coalition for the Integration of Refugees, convened in 2015 by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Solidarity and the Elderly, were forgotten, although the need did not disappear and Romania received in the meantime about 550 refugees from the accepted quota.
Furthermore, refugees and migrants face legal and structural difficulties, but also a insufficiently informed and sometimes hostile public opinion.
Under these circumstances, the member organizations of the Coalition aim to:
1. Improve the image of migrants and refugees in the public mindset through a unified communication strategy;
2. Correct some contradictory/ unfounded provisions in the principles of law/ social justice present in the legislation in force;
3. Improve legislative practices/ provisions affecting the fundamental rights of refugees and migrants.
The coalition consists of the founding organizations, as well as all the other organizations that adhere to this manifesto and are active in the field of migration and human rights:
The Center for Documentation and Research in the Field of Integration of Immigrants (CDCDI) within the Romanian Association for Health Promotion,
Center for Public Innovation, ARCA – Romanian Forum for Refugees and Migrants, Romanian National Council for Refugees,
Advocacy Academy of Timisoara,
The Center for Intercultural Research and Communication Iasi (CCCI),
The Romanian Association for the Promotion of Quality and Success Practices (ARPCPS),
The Philantropia Association Oradea,
The Human Solidarity Association Nova Piteşti,