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Proper implementation of the ECtHR judgment in C. v. Romania requires robust anti-harassment policies

Last year, in C. v. Romania, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) condemned Romania in a case of sexual harassment at work for failing to protect the personal integrity of the applicant, a female cleaner in a railway station, and to take steps to avoid secondary victimisation due to serious flaws in the criminal proceedings on the harassment charges, which had been dismissed in 2020.

The case of C. v. Romania represents a general and systematic problem in Romania when it comes to human rights violations in the context of harassment, including sexual harassment, in the world of work. This case is monitored by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe – the body that oversees the implementation of ECtHR judgments – through the enhanced procedure.

On December 10, 2023, A.L.E.G., with the support of 19 other NGOs, non-governmental federations and trade unions, sent a new communication to the Committee of Ministers, stressing the need for the Romanian authorities to adopt a set of measures to ensure that such cases of harassment do not recur – structural measures, such as improving anti-harassment laws and policies, and implementing them to the highest standards of protection against harassment, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work (C190).

Since the last communication sent by the A.L.E.G. to the Committee of Ministers in March 2023, the Romanian Government has submitted an Action Plan for the implementation of the judgment. However, the Action Plan does not include any objectives, referring only to the dissemination of the ECHR judgment to the relevant authorities for the purpose of its inclusion in training programmes.

A.L.E.G. and supporting organisations have asked the Committee of Ministers to:

        request the Romanian authorities to update the Action Plan with specific general measures aimed at improving legislation and public policies on harassment in the world of work and strengthening their implementation, in line with C190, so that violations such as those in Ms C.’s case are not repeated. It is essential that current efforts to ratify C190 do not stop at the act of ratification, but include a comprehensive plan to bring laws, public policies and institutional practices on the elimination of workplace harassment into line with the standards of C190 and ILO Recommendation No. 206;

        ask the Government of Romania to continue to include civil society in consultations and deliberations on Romania’s ratification of C190 and harmonisation of laws, public policies and institutional practices on the elimination of harassment in the workplace,

        to schedule the case of C. v. Romania for consideration on the Committee’s agenda for one of its summer/autumn meetings in 2024.

The communication sent to the Committee of Ministers can be accessed here.

The submission was endoresed by: Asociația ACCEPT; Asociația A.R.T. Fusion; Asociația Centrul pentru Inovare Publică; Asociația Cetățeni Activi pentru Relații Etice – C.A.R.E.; Asociația Centrul Cultural Arab din Sibiu; Asociația Front/Feminism Romania; Asociația Her Time Ro; Asociația Iele-Sânziene; Asociația Moașelor Independente; Asociația Novapolis – Centrul de Analize și Inițiative pentru Dezvoltare; Asociația Quantic; Blocul Național Sindical – Organizația de Femei; Centrul FILIA; CeRe: Centrul de Resurse pentru participare publică; Coaliția pentru Drepturile Migranților și Refugiaților (CDMiR, 23 member NGOs); Confederația Națională Sindicală CARTEL ALFA; Federația Organizațiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Servicii Sociale- FONSS (44 member NGOs); Fundaţia Consiliul Naţional Român pentru Refugiaţi; Rețeaua Națională Antisărăcie – Includere Socială (RENASIS).


This submission is part of the Employers for Respect campaign initiated by A.L.E.G. The gaps in the legal framework on harassment in the world of work and poor enforcement are documented in this policy brief published by A.L.E.G. in 2021 and in the thematic policy brief on harassment of migrant workers published by A.L.E.G. in 2023.