Child running in Ferenetari neighhbourhood

How are Romania's children?

Romania has ratified (pledged to follow) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that Romania must respect the rights of the child and listen to what children have to say. Are the rights of the child respected in Romania?

3.7 million children

19.5 million people live in Romania. 3.7 million are children, and 924,000 of the children are under five years old.

Name and nationality

From the day you are born you have the right to have a name and to be registered as a citizen in your country. 179,000 children are born every year in Romania. Some children, especially poor children and children from minorities such as the Roma, are never registered. Therefore, there is no documented proof that they exist which affects their access to, for example, health care and education.

Teenagers do acrobatics in the park of the Ferentari neighbourhood in Bucharest, Romania. © Joanna Pelirocha/WCPF

Survive and grow

You have the right to life. Romania must do all it can to allow children to survive and develop. 1 of 90 children in Romania (2,000 every year) dies before the age of 5. The number of children who die under the age of 5 has decreased over the past years, but is still high compared to other countries in the EU.

Rebecca, 12, from Romania belongs to the Roma minority that is often discriminated against. Learn about the history of the Roma. © Kim Naylor/WCPF


You have the right to food, clean water, medical care and the right to privacy when consulting an adult about any health problem. Almost all children in Romania have water from improved water sources. 8 out of 10 children have access to adequate sanitation facilities.

A home, clothing, food and security

You have the right to a home, food, clothing, education, health care and security. Romania has the highest number of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU, especially those living in rural areas. Around half of all children under 18 in Romania are at risk of poverty.

WCP Child Rights Hero Valeriu Nicolae helps Dario, 12, with his homework. More about Valeriu © Kim Naylor/WCPF


You have the right to go to school. Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. 9 out of 10 children in Romania go to school. However, children who have not been registered at birth do not show up in the statistics.

Protection against violence

You have the right to protection against all forms of violence, including neglect, maltreatment and abuse. Only 60 countries have forbidden all forms of corporal punishment for children. Many still allow caning in schools. In 2004 Romania banned all forms of corporal punishment.

Hazardous child labour

You have the right to be protected against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous to your health or which prevents you from going to school. All work is prohibited for children under 12. Some children are forced into the worst forms of child labour, such as being child soldiers or used for commercial sexual exploitation.

Growing numbers of unaccompanied children in Romania, coupled with a demand for cheap unprotected labor, suggest that trafficking of children is escalating. There has also been a rise in numbers of children with disabilities being exploited for begging.

The young members of the Playhood theatre group in Bucharest speak out about their rights through drama. Meet the young actors and activists in Playhood © Playhood

Your voice must be heard

You have the right to say what you think about any issue that affects you. The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they make decisions, which must always be made in the best interest of the child!

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