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Juvenile Justice from A to Z

A child friendly brochure was created among AWAY project, entitled „Juvenile Justice from A to Z”. The content correspond to the level of child and youth understanding and it is adapted to the local legislation from Romania.

The thematic approaches the juvenile justice field, with a focus on diversion and it presents, the roles of different specialists and the youth rights, as suspects, victims or witnesses. 

We invite you to discover the electronic version of the Romanian brochure on here: Juvenile justice from A to Z.

Alternative Ways to Address Youth

– online professional training –

Over the past 20 years, the juvenile justice system has undergone significant changes, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Of course, these changes have affected the implementation of alternative measures, diversion, victim-aggressor mediation and other restorative techniques in most CEE countries.

Children need special treatment. Unlike adults, they are much more vulnerable being in the process of physical, emotional, but especially behavioural development. The best interests of the child must also be applied in the justice system taking into account their development needs in order to have young people integrated into society, future active citizens. 

The Project Alternative Ways to Address Youth (AWAY) aims to ensure that professionals from different multidisciplinary fields become more aware and better trained about diversion methods for suspected / investigated children benefiting from the procedural safeguards of EU Directives 2016/800, 2012/13 , 2012/29.

The AWAY project team has developed an on-line course for child protection and justice professionals on alternative division methods and court procedures for children. The course does not only provide alternative diversion methods but also the tools with which they can be handled by professionals in future work.

The participants have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of alternative methods of solving the criminal process (diversion) and its use, the psychology of young people in conflict with the law and juvenile justice, but also how to communicate with young people.


The online course is available by accessing the link on the Childhub platform.


The Project Alternative Ways to Address Youth (AWAY) aims at raising public awareness of alternative diversion methods of solving the criminal trial and process and to ensure that professionals from different multidisciplinary fields become more aware and better trained about diversion methods for suspected /investigated children who benefits from the procedural guarantees of EU Directives 2016/800, 2012/13, 2012/29. AWAY is supported by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme and is active in five countries across Europe: Bulgaria through the involvement of the Judicial System Development Programme (PDSJ), Croatia through Brave Phone Croatia, Romania through Terre des Hommes-Switzerland , Belgium, through Defence for Children International (DCI) and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO), Hungary, under the coordination of the Terre des hommes Regional Office for Central and Southeast Europe (Applicant) and the Global Network for Public Interest Law – PILNET.

How to deal with the criminally responsible juveniles

Children in conflict with the law are still children and need protection and support for reintegration and rehabilitation. This is the vision of the European Project AWAY (1) implemented in Romania by the Foundation Terre des hommes.  

Within the project a survey has been carried out analysing both the institutional structure and the legislation that regulates the juvenile justice system as well as the practices identified in the system. The study, conducted by Prof.Dr. Durnescu and Corina Popa present a critical perspective on the juvenile justice system in Romania, with a special focus on diversion measures.

The authors took into consideration the European Union and UN standards and studied the extent to which Romanian legislation, institutions and practices comply with these standards.

The most important principles pursued in the field of juvenile justice are similar to all the principles applicable to the field of child protection and the most important of them is that in all state interventions, the best interests of the child will be observed. Starting from this, rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles in conflict with the law are measures that respond to the best interests of the child.

The juvenile who has reached the age of 16 is criminally liable. In the case of the juvenile who is criminally liable, it is possible to take a custodial or non-custodial educational measure. When choosing the educational measure, account is taken of the degree of social danger of the deed, the physical condition, the intellectual and moral development, his/her behaviour, the conditions in which the child has been raised and in which it has lived and any other elements capable of characterising the underage child.

In the case of juvenile criminally liable juveniles, the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Criminal Code shall apply.

Once the minor arrives in front of the prosecutor, the prosecutor has a number of options depending on the nature of the deed, the manner of its commission, the degree of danger. He/she may abandon the prosecution, this being the first alternative measure to indictment, the first diversion measure, or the case is sent to court, and custodial or non-custodial educational measures are proposed. From this perspective, Romanian legislation is more progressive than others, because it no longer provides for the measure of detention.

The educational measures applicable to the criminally responsible uderage children are non-custodial measures (such as civic apprenticeship, supervision, weekend confinement, daily assistance. Such measures may be accompanied by obligations – not to attend certain places, not to meet certain persons, to follow a certain program) or custodial measures (admission to an educational centre or detention centre).

The educational activities focus on re-educating the minor (as a preventive measure) by appropriate means and his/her reintegration into the family and society. The results of these measures cannot be achieved without family support and therefore one of the recommendations of the survey ” Alternative Diversion Methods for the Juveniles in Romania” is that the link with the family should be one of the priorities of the specialists involved in the reintegration process of minors in conflict with the law.

In the case of the criminally responsible juveniles, the institutions involved are: the police, the prosecutor’s office, the courts of law (in Romania there is one Tribunal for Minors and Families in Brasov), 41 probation services on the national level, 2 educational centres (Buziaş and Târgu Ocna – with around 180 places each) and 2 detention centres (Craiova and Tichileşti – with about 150 places each).

It is important to know that juveniles have procedural guarantees and enjoy a special regime – they have free legal assistance, sessions are not public, participation of a representative of DGASPC at sessions is mandatory, they benefit from the halving of punishment limits and from the non-registration criminal record.

An integrated mechanism of communication and cooperation between all institutions working with juveniles in conflict with the law must be created. A holistic approach that puts the family at the core of attention as a social system should be the dominant theoretical model for these institutions, while the rights of the child and the superior interest of children should remain the basic principles of juvenile justice.

(1)The Project AWAY„Alternative Ways to Address Youth” seeks to increase public awareness of alternative diversion methods when it comes to dealing with the criminal trial and process and to increase the level of information on the procedural safeguards of EU Directives 2016/800, 2012/13, 2012/29 applicable to minors in conflict with the law.


AWAY is coordinated by the Regional Office for Central and South-Eastern Europe of the Terre des hommes Foundation and implemented by organisations in Europe that are focused on juvenile justice. The project is supported by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme and is active in five countries across Europe: Bulgaria, through the involvement of the Judicial System Development Program (PDSJ), Croatia through Brave Phone Croatia, Romania through Terre des Hommes-Switzerland , Belgium, through Defence for Children International (DCI) and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO), Hungary, under the coordination of the Terre des hommes Regional Office for Central and Southeast Europe (Applicant) and the Global Network for Public Interest Law – PILNET.

Alternative Ways to Address Youth (AWAY) (2017-2018)

AWAY project aims to raise awareness on diversion, a restorative method in juvenile justice. There are available services and opportunities for diversion, but current measures are not appropriate or effective. Evidence based research, capacity buildings, different information campaigns take place in Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Belgium between 2017-2018.

The project is launched by the Regional Office for Central and South Eastern Europe of Terre des hommes and implemented by juvenile justice organisations throughout Europe. It is supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union and is currently implemented in 5 countries:

  1. Bulgaria, under the coordination of Program for the Development of the Judicial System (PDJS)
  2. Croatia, under the coordination of Brave Phone Croatia
  3. Romania, under the coordination of Terre des hommes Foundation
  4. Belgium, under the coordination of Defence for Children International (DCI) and the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO)
  5. Hungary, under the coordination of Terre des hommes Regional Office for C/SEE (project lead) and The Global Network for Public Interest Law – PILNET

The project aims at ensuring that multidisciplinary professionals are more aware and better equipped on diversion for arrested / suspected children who benefit from the procedural guarantees they are entitled to as per EU directives 2016/800, 2012/13, 2012/29.

To reach this objective we aim to:

  • Build regional empirical evidence base on diversion in the juvenile justice systems;
  • Develop and deliver self-directed e-learning course;

Please read the full communication letter here

The project AWAY is being co-funded by the European Union

Finance and Compliance Manager

Terre des hommes is looking for a proactive and dynamic professional to join its team in Bucharest, Romania. The successful candidate speaks English and Romanian fluently, holds a relevant degree in accounting or finance and has well-honed experience in small to medium grants management. The working language is English. Line Management: Country Representative

Duty Station: Bucharest, with 10% travel to Bacau and Craiova. Working time: 8 hours/day

Starting date: May 2017

We offer an initially 1,5 years labor contract, with a possibility of extension (replacement during maternity leave)

Main tasks

  • Directs and organises the administrative and financial “service” of the delegation and bases (general accounting, administrative and budget management) in close collaboration with the Country Representative, and Senior Team Members.
  • S/he is the direct interface between the delegation and the headquarters and/or field sponsors as regards to financial reporting. In his/her capacity, the Coordinator reports to the Country Representative and provides multi-base, multi-sponsor and/or multi-partner supervision and follow-up for the projects.
  • S/he is responsible for the implementation of the strategy and the development and managerial coordination of the administrative teams under his/her responsibility.
  • S/he is able to make independent decisions and actions in his/her field of activity. Die folgende übersicht gibt die halbwertszeiten für die vier zerfallsreihen an?
  • S/he supports and validates the quality of the work done by the teams as regards the Tdh mandate and commitments and international standard

Knowledge, Attitude and Experience Required

 –        A BA/S or equivalent in accounting or finance required; advanced degree preferred. –        At least 3+ years of progressive financial management experience, including supervisory experience.

–        At least 2 years’ experience in grants management. Knowledge of Swiss and EU donor regulations a strong asset.

–        Demonstrated experience and skills with budget preparation and analysis, financial forecast, financial reporting preparation and presentation.

–        Strong accounting skills and experience, including management of the general ledger, journal entries, payroll, payables and balance sheet.

–        Strong organizational skills and a proactive attitude.

–        Prior experience of sub-grantee management required.

–        Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs – Advanced Excel required.

–        Effective communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.

–        Strong oral and written English and Romanian required.

–        Ability to work effectively with a diverse team and with beneficiaries with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

–        Prior experience in NGOs, especially with children, an asset. Protection attitude a strong requirement.

Please send your CV and Letter of Intent (both in English) to vacancy@tdh. ro, no latter than 28th of April 2017, with the Subject line “Finance & Compliance Manager”.  

Individuals identifying themselves as Roma are encouraged to apply. Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. Only successful candidates will be contacted.  

Background on Terre des hommes

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is the leading Swiss child relief agency. The Foundation has been helping children in need for over 50 years, defending their rights regardless of their race, creed or political affiliation. In over 35 countries, Tdh protects children against exploitation and violence, improves children’s and their mother’s health and provides emergency psychological and material support in humanitarian crises.  

In Romania Terre des hommes (Tdh Ro) has been active since 1992. For the past few years, the delegation has been working on three main intervention areas: (1) Strengthening child protection and juvenile justice systems, (2) Protection of children affected by migration/trafficking, and (3) Social inclusion of minorities. Every year thousands of children and their families benefit from projects implemented either at a national or regional level. The current team is composed of 18 staff consisting of a delegate, a finance/HR/Admin team, a programmes team and a knowledge management team.

Ramona Surlea, winner of the title “Social Worker of the Year to combat discrimination against minorities”

DSC_0429On the evening of March 21, 2017, Ramona Surlea stepped on the stage of Romanian Athenaeum to receive the title of “Social Worker of the Year to combat discrimination against minorities”, awarded at the National Gala of Excellence in Social Assistance.

With a great deal of joy and emotions, Ramona has sent a strong message about the importance of giving trust and empowering people  who belong to minorities, so that they will be inspired to become positive examples for their entire communities.

Congratulations, Ramona! You are an example to us and we are proud to be your colleagues!

“Let us be proud of European values” – Joint letter of more than 160 NGOs to EU leaders concerning migration issue

In the face of migration crisis, European leaders are at a crossroads and can still chose the path to walk on. However, their responses and reactions haven’t been well aligned with true EU values that all EU member states have adhered to.

Rather than seek to protect people fleeing brutal wars, persecution, human rights violations, instability and extreme poverty, EU institutions have become preoccupied with stopping people reaching Europe and trying to quickly expel those who do. Only last week, European Commission recommended locking up child migrants while they or their parents wait to see if they have been granted asylum. Not only is forcibly detaining children never in the child’s best interests, it is in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – a set of laws protecting children that every EU nation has signed up to.

EU member states and institutions can either let fear erode the fundamental values they so often preach about yet practice less and less, or they can truly embody the principles the EU was founded on almost 60 years ago.

Over 160 NGOs (including Terre des hommes) demanded European leaders take the second option today (8 March) and called on European governments’ to take inspiration from citizens across Europe welcoming refugees and migrants into their communities and donating money, time and resources to help them.

Click here and read their joint letter in English.

60 children to benefit from Alternative Education Club in Ferentari, due to grant extension offered by Canton Geneva

The Alternative Education Club is a project implemented by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities in the ghetto area of Ferentari, Bucharest. In its 7th year already, the project works on diverting the attention of Roma and non-Roma children/youth from a life of crime and drug consumption by keeping them focused on the positive implications of continuous learning.

Ever since 2012, Policy Center combines non-formal education (i.e. football, street dance, drama, music) with remedial education (development of basic skills in reading, writing, math) and manages to keep children away from drugs and associated risks (prostitution, human trafficking, HIV and hepatitis), the more since, from its empirical observations in the field, some worrying trends can be identified on this matter:

– 1 in 2 children has a member of the family or an acquaintance addicted to drugs;

– all the children are constantly exposed to used syringes on the streets of the ghetto;

– all the children interact on a daily basis with a drug addict (encounters on the streets or in the buildings they live in);

– drug use can start as early as 8 years old, but the most common period is between 12 and 16 which overlaps with teenage years and it is usually connected to school drop-out;

– direct proportionality between spending time on the streets of the ghetto and drug use;

– in the case of girls, drug abuse is connected to prostitution (drug consumption is an accelerator in becoming a prostitute due to the high costs of the drug addiction; their high degree of vulnerability as sex workers is maintained by the drug lords who provide drugs to sustain the dependency).

To combat these risks, 2015, Canton Geneva decided to support the project implementation and awarded a total grant of 111363 CHF  to Policy Center, which were invested in a year-long program of activities, all throughout 2016, for 50 children and youth, age 10 to 16, from schools no. 136 and 147, close to the ghetto area in Ferentari. Terre des hommes Romania mediated the grant allocation and ensured the monitoring and evaluation of the project activities.

At the end of 2016, after a very positive review of the project results, Canton Geneva offered a grant extension in value of 100200 CHF which will now be used by Policy Centre for Roma to deliver non-formal and remedial education for 60 children (Roma and non-Roma) from schools no. 136 and 147 and to raise awareness about the risks of drug addiction among parents and teachers.

“Talking to the outside world about the risk of becoming a drug addict is psychologically demanding for the Roma and non-Roma children in Ferentari. Following our 2015-2016 experience, we concluded that is essential to continue the work with two psychologists in Schools no 136 and 147 and to prepare the children for this intense experience”, argued Raluca Negulescu, deputy director and project manager at Policy Centre for Roma.

Terre des hommes Romania will proudly support and closely monitor the implementation of this project in 2017 and wishes a lot of success to the project team in their endeavours! For more details about the project, please go to: