Viesparilor Street , nr. 19, 2nd floor, 2nd district, Bucharest, Romania +4 021 312 62 10 +4 031 405 02 75 office@cnrr.ro National Romanian Council for Refugees

Who we are and what we do

The Romanian National Council for Refugees is a non-governmental organization founded in 1998, having been granted public utility status in 2003.  CNRR’s mission is to promote and defend through all legal means human rights in general, and migrants, refugees and asylum seekers’ rights particularly.

 

Through our activity, we assure /provide:

•    access to specialized legal counseling for registered asylum seekers from the regional centers for procedures and accomodation under the General Inspectorate for Immigration - Directorate for Asylum and Integration (in Bucharest, Giurgiu, Galati, Timisoara, Maramures and Radauti) as well as for asylum seekers located outside the reception centers, including transit areas or border crossing points.

•    assistance in elaborating procedural documents (complaints, appeals, recourses) for asylum seekers
•    specialized assistance for vulnerable categories (separated children, women, elderly etc.)
•    legal assistance in courts for cases with potential to create legal precedents
•    specialization for  lawyers and legal counselors involved in the asylum procedure with the purpose of improving the quality of the assistance provided to asylum seekers.
•    Specialization of interprets with the purpose of improving the quality of the linguistic assistance
•    country of origin research and information regarding the specific and actualized situation of the states of provenience of asylum seekers (for judges, lawyers, legal counselors, adminitrative authorities) to support decision making within refugee status determination procedure.
•    training courses for future practitioners in the field of legal and social assistance through specialized clinics
•    lobby and advocacy with the purpose of facilitating access of persons with international protection to social benefits and services, labour market, obtaining Romanian citizenship, family reunification and reunion and other rights, according to the law.
•    counseling, legal assistance and interpretation for migrants who are subject of a return decision
•    counseling and specific assistance for migrants located in public custody centers under the General Inspectorate for Immigration.
•    Improving the implementation and monitoring operations of forced return operations
•    organizing seminars, round tables and debates with actors involved in asylum and migration.
•    Cross border cooperation – involving authorities and civil society active in migration and asylum field, through bilateral/multilateral activities with Romanian neighbors.

The Romanian National Council for Refugees is an ECRE – The European Council for Refugees and Exiles since 2000. Between 2001 – 2009, CNRR was represented in the executive committee of ECRE.

CNRR is also a part of the European network of trainers as to what concerns country of origin information, founded by ACCORD with UNHCR Geneve’s support.

 

Resources

CNRR has over fifteen years of experience in developing projects concerning migrants` assistance, being one of UNHCR’s constant partners in implementing projects on refugee assistance in Romania. Moreover, CNRR has constantly implemented projects financed by the European Refugee Fund, being the only organization providing specialized legal assistance to asylum seekers, as to what concerns going through all the stages of the procedure.

 As a result, it disposes of staff with adequate training, who actually participated in the successful implementation of the s projects, with considerable experience for specific counselling and assistance of persons in need of international protection.

CNRR provides an appropriate context for active volunteering, always considering the importance of forming future practitioners.  We organized Social and Legal Clinics where students from the Faculty of Law, Social Work and Sociology, Psychology, Theology, Journalism and Political Science participated and we organized summer schools on beneficiaries of international protection’s integration. In the future, volunteers trained by CNRR will be included in similar activities.

Currently CNRR coordinates a network of 20 lawyers and it is the national coordinator of the European Legal Network on Asylum, ELENA, in Romania, a forum of legal practitioners who aim to promote the highest human rights standards for the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and other persons in need of international protection in their daily individual counselling and advocacy work. The ELENA network extends across most European states and involves some 500 lawyers and legal counsellors.
Our role is to provide answers to the questions addressed on the group of ECRE members related to the Romanian practices and legislation, being able to address at the same time, questions of interest for the Romanian lawyers, on European practice and jurisprudence.

What we do - Activities

• Offer Specialized legal counseling for registered asylum seekers in all Reception Centers – General Inspectorate for Immigration (Bucharest, Galati, Timisoara, Maramures si Radauti) and for those living in other locations, including tranzit areas and at the border crossing points.

• Offer specialized assistance for vulnerable groups: unaccompanied children, single women, elderly persons etc.

• Write procedural documents for asylum seekers

• Provide legal assistance in court for cases that have a high chance to create a new positive judicial practice

• Provide training and guidance for lawyers and legal counselors with the aim of improving the quality of specialized assistance for asylum seekers

• Provide training and guidance for translators to improve the quality of specialized translations

• Research and provide country of origin information in the refugee status determination procedure for judges, lawyers, legal counselors and other administrative bodies

• Provide training sessions for future legal and social experts in the field of migration

• Advocate to facilitate the access to social services and benefits, labor, citizenship and long term residence, family reunification / reunion and other rights for beneficiaries of international protection

• Provide counselling, legal assistance and translations services for migrants that received a return decision

• Provide counseling and specialized assistance for migrants that are taken in public custody

• Organize roundtables, seminars and debates for stakeholders in the field of migration, integration and asylum

• Are engaged in transnational cooperation – strengthen the cooperation between public authorities and civil society within multiple partnerships in Central and South-East Europe.

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