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Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopts bill to prevent child separations

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The Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopted a draft bill to prevent the separation of children from their families on Wednesday despite the far-right party AUR falsely claiming the bill included provisions legalizing child abduction, according to Euractiv.

The draft law stipulates that a child is considered at risk of separation from the family if faced with a precarious economic situation, is at risk of monetary poverty or extreme poverty, severe illness of a family member, domestic violence or abuse and risky behaviours.

“The activity to prevent the separation of the child from the family is based on the promotion of the principle of the child’s best interest and the respect of the child’s rights,” the draft law states.

Also, even if the family that takes care of the child’s upbringing and care does not face any such situations, he or she will be considered at risk of separation in case of delinquent behaviour, repeated fleeing from the family home, alcohol and drug use, suicide attempts and dropping out of school.

The public social assistance service must support the family that has one or more hospitalised children, has one or more school-aged children who have not been enrolled in the form of education or who do not attend the courses of a form of compulsory education, has one or more children with special educational requirements.

The draft law also provides for establishing the National Child’s Observatory, a module within an IT system developed and administered by the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption.

The proposed legislation sparked a surge in conspiracy theories, amplified by the AUR party, which falsely claimed the bill included provisions for legalising the abduction of children in Romania.

During the debates on Wednesday, criticism came from the side of the far-right party AUR, members of which had displayed several placards with the messages: “We help the family, we don’t steal the children”, “Stop the national robbery”.

At the same time, protesters summoned by AUR clashed with police and reportedly shoved several members of parliament during Wednesday morning’s protest before the parliament building.

The police also opened a criminal investigation after a collaborator of the AUR party attempted to enter the parliament building “carrying items that appeared to be ammunition”.