Specialists learn how to apply restorative justice principles and practices in Romania


Restorative justice may bring understanding, reconciliation between parties, emotional healing and transformation. This approach to justice focuses on repairing the prejudice caused by a tort or a conflict, and healing of a trauma through active participation of the people involved or affected by what happened.   

In the period September – October 2023, professionals from various fields – lawyers, judges, mediators, police officers, social workers, psychologists, teachers, detention system staff – participated in a training programme on this theme, eager to know how to apply restorative justice principles and practices in their professional work. ”It is necessary to create resources, to train specialists and, step by step, to work so that restorative justice for children becomes a reality in Romania like in other European countries”, the trainers told us.

After attending an online training module (”Protection of child victims through restorative justice”), 26 trainees participated in two courses with regard to “Developing basic and advanced competences on restorative justice for children”. Out of them, 12 specialists attended the module ”Developing trainer competences for promoting restorative approaches”, thus improving their skills and knowledge in order to spread out restorative practice benefits and concepts.  

The training sessions were held by restorative justice and mediation trainers – Ema-Elza Șeclăman and Ioana Adina Marin, in the framework of the project “i-RESTORE 2.0: – ”Accessible Quality Restorative Justice processes for children in contact with the law in Europe”, project coordinated by Terre des hommes Foundation in Romania and co-funded by the European Union (EU).

The participants understood that restorative justice practices are efficient and beneficial particularly in cases involving children and youth (as victims, offenders or witnesses). These practices offer opportunities for direct or indirect dialogue between victim and offender in a safe and respectful environment where remedial measures and solutions to conflicts are identified, with the help of support persons.  ”Children – whether they are victims, offenders or witnesses - need a friendly justice, adapted to their needs and peculiarities”, the trainers stated.

After having understood the benefits that restorative practices may bring to children and community in general, the participants expressed their wish to promote these practices and to be part of a change within justice for children system in Romania. 

”It is necessary that the development of a restorative attitude and mindset should become a target and a way of relating to ourselves, in any system, as a sign of social responsibility and increased attention that we must pay to children and young generation”, Ema - Elza Șeclăman told the trainees.

i-RESTORE 2.0 is a 2-year project through which we intend to show children and youth the benefits of restorative justice, to encourage them to become agents of change and to facilitate exchange of knowledge between relevant actors in the EU justice field with regard to children access to quality restorative justice.      

More details about the project on this website  https://tdh.ro/en/i-restore-20-accessible-quality-restorative-justice-processes-children-contact-law-europe