Romania's legislation on forced sterilisation

Legislation about (forced) sterilisation

In Romania, Law nr.178/2018 on amending and supplementing Law 202/2002 on equal opportunities and treatment includes forced sterilisation as gender-based violence.

The 2018 Law introduces the concept of gender-based violence in the Romani legal framework. Within the text, the definition of gender-based violence includes forced abortion and forced sterilisation.

Forced abortion and forced sterilisation are criminalised in article 201§2 of the Romanian Criminal Code. There is no specific incrimination for forced sterilisation, but any surgery performed without the consent of a woman and resulting in the impossibility to reproduce naturally is considered a bodily injury. Forced sterilisation falls under articles 439 and 440 of the Criminal Code, which incriminates crimes against humanity and war crimes under specific circumstances.

In its submission to the CEDAW Committee, E-Romania Association reported the discrimination suffered by Roma and the forced sterilisation speech concerning Roma women at the Romani political level.

In July 2017, during the 1506th meeting of the CEDAW Committee, while considering the report of Romania, a State representative of Romania stated that “there were no regulations or public debate on the sterilisation of Roma women”. She added that the National Agency for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men was “firmly against the practice.”