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Baroness Emma Nicholson defends Romania on child protection

Joi, 11 mai 2006, 0:00

The former European Parliament rapporteur for Romania believes a recent report claiming major abuses among institutionalized children in Romania contains major errors despite that Romania still needs much to do to reach satisfactory progress in this regard.

Baroness Emma Nicholson told the Romanian public radio station Romania Radio Actualitati that the report published by US-based group Mental Disabilities Rights International on Wednesday included a number of major and important errors.

But she said that children with disabilities in Romanian institutions were not yet fully included in the process of reform Romania goes through in its effort to join the EU in 2007.

The MDRI report refers to several cases of abuses, including one in the Eastern city of Braila. But Nicholson said that ward was closed more than 12 months ago and all the children there were transferred to better locations. She wondered what were the reasons to bring this case back to light.
She said the MDRI document was published in a key period as the European Commission is due to publish its report on the preparation of Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU next week. She said it was an attempt to change the European policy and expressed concern that such false information was published now.

She urged Romania to send a team of experts to inspect each of the locations named in the report and provide a complete report on the situation there to all interested parties.

Emma Nicholson said she believed the MDRI document will have no impact on the May 16 EC report on Romania’s EU accession efforts.

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