Exploring the failure to protect the rights of the Roma child in Romania

Michael J.R Butler, Lidia Gheorghiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An important test of the progress of development management is its contribution to human rights, especially in transition economies. This article explores the failure to protect the rights of the Roma child in Romania, who are particularly vulnerable to abandonment and institutionalisation. 2008 witnessed the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several other related celebrations. Nevertheless, within EU borders, minority populations can still lead dismal lives. It is argued that although both the EU and the Romanian government made the Roma's social inclusion a top priority, they failed to bring about substantial improvement. The first contribution of the article is to reinforce the trend within development management of linking policy implementation to the specific needs of the local context. Contemporary policy reports and early empirical results from an exploratory study in Galati, mainly in the area of education, suggest several inter-related causes of poor implementation, including the national political context, specific issues affecting the Roma and local implementation capacity. The second contribution suggests that ideas from business and management, specifically the notion of organisational receptivity to change, could increase the pace of change. Receptivity provides a framework for understanding local issues and how to manage them. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • human rights
  • Roma children
  • Romania
  • policy implementation
  • business and management and organisational receptivity to change


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