Information by Country

Romania: Background

Romania still faces considerable economic hardships; average incomes are lower than those in most other countries in south-eastern Europe. Although the pace of reform is slow, the Romanian legislature has passed a package of laws inspired by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognizing children’s rights and creating a legal framework for child protection.

Issues facing children in Romania

  • The adjusted maternal mortality ratio of 49 per 100,000 live births is high. Abortion-related deaths account for a large proportion of these deaths; Romania’s abortion rate is five times higher than rates in western European countries. Abandonment of babies by their mothers is a problem.
  • Poverty and poor food fortification contribute to malnutrition.
  • Anaemia is a problem, affecting nearly half the population.
  • Women breastfeed their infants for an average of five months, and often not exclusively.
  • Although HIV/AIDS incidence is low, it is concentrated largely in children infected between 1986 and 1991. But the situation could change drastically over the next few years as those teenagers become sexually active, because the level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and about public health in general is poor.
  • More than 80,000 children live in institutions or substitute families, deprived of parental care.
  • The understaffed education system is in need of resources and modernization. Roma children face challenges in participating in education.



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