This report was written by Clarisa Bencomo, researcher with the Childrens Rights Division, based on research conducted by Clarisa Bencomo and Romaniţa Iordache, consultant in the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. It was reviewed by Michael Bochenek, deputy director of the Childrens Rights Division; Joseph Amon, director of the HIV/AIDS Program; Holly Cartner, director of the Europe and Central Asia Division; Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor; and Ian Gorvin, consultant to the Program Office of Human Rights Watch. Tanya Cox, EU advocacy coordinator, Veronika Szente-Goldston, advocacy director in the Europe and Central Asia Division, and Rebecca Schleifer, researcher in the HIV/AIDS Program provided valuable advice during the writing of the report. Production assistance was provided by Ranee Adipat, Fitzroy Hepkins, Andrea Holley, and Elizabeth Siegel. This report was translated into Romanian by Romaniţa Iordache.
A number of experts and nongovernmental organizations in Romania assisted with this research. Human Rights Watch gratefully acknowledges staff members of the Asociaţia Speranţa pentru Ocrotirea Bolnavilor cu SIDS, Foundation for the Development of People, Foundazione Bambini in Emergenza, Health Aid Romania, Hope for Health, the Lizuca Association, Pro Sanatatea 2000, the Romanian-American Childrens Center, Romanian Angel Appeal, the Romanian Association against AIDS (ARAS), Save the Children Romania, the National Union of Organizations of Persons Affected by AIDS (UNOPA), World Vision, and Youth for Youth.
We also thank medical staff of the Victor Babeş Institute for Infectious Diseases, the Bacău Hospital Infectious Diseases Unit, the Matei Balş Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Constanţa Municipal Hospital, the Singureni Hospital of Infectious Diseases, and the Giurgiu day clinic of the Hospital of Infectious Diseases.
State Counselor to the President Bogdan Chiriţoiu, State Counselor to the Prime Minister Ioan Roman, the president and staff of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, and staff of the National Authority for Persons with Handicap, the under-secretary of state and staff of the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, and the staff of the Constanţa and Ilfov General Directorates for Child Protection were generous with their time in responding to our questions about government policies and practices.
We also thank Eduard Petrescu of UNAIDS and Paula Bulancea and Tania Goldner of UNICEF.
This report would not have been possible without the assistance of the many Romanian children and youth living with HIV who, along with their parents and foster parents, shared their experiences and dreams with us.
Human Rights Watch thanks the following donors for their generous support to the work of the Childrens Rights Division: the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation; the Bloomberg Foundation; the Connemara Fund; the Countess Moira Charitable Foundation; the Independence Foundation; the Link Foundation; and the Oak Foundation.