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Position of the County Foundation for Youth Timiş (FITT) on the referendum on amendment of article 48, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of Romania

Timiş County Foundation for Youth (FITT), a structure comprising 30 non-governmental youth organisations in Timiş County and holding and administering the House of Youth of Timisoara, the only youth centre in Romania accredited by the Council Europe (and among the 11 across the continent), promotes and encourages, as always, the active participation of young people in democratic processes, as well as respect for fundamental human rights and the provision of a social climate Safe and equitable guaranteeing equal opportunities for each category of people. Holding the quality label of the Council of Europe (COE) for youth centres (youth centres), FITT has undertaken to retain and promote the fundamental principles of this European structure: the rights Democracy and the rule of law. These values are the basis for all activities carried out by FITT. FITT appreciates the fact that the organisation of the referendum for amending Article 48, paragraph 1 of the Constitution of Romania is the result of a democratic approach, starting from a citizens ' initiative, which cannot be questioned. Instead, we believe that the theme addressed by this proposal to amend the Romanian Constitution is one designed to stigmatise a social category, namely sexual minorities, and to secure the restriction of some of its rights, generating both Hate speech in Romanian society and create inechități in respect of human rights. Thus, FITT understands that the referendum on modification of the Romanian Constitution, starting from the Citizens ' initiative, is a democratic process and believes that citizens must express their opinion in such an approach, participating in the vote, but cannot Supports the proposal to amend the Constitution, considering that it contradicts respect for fundamental human rights, not causing any change in the factual situation existing in Romania today from a legal standpoint, but Generating a wave of hatred and unacceptable social divide in a modern European society. FITT considers that all the citizens of Romania, irrespective of their sexual orientation or the environment in which they originate, must have equal rights. Thus, we do not want people belonging to the category LGBTQI + to be marginalised or excluded by society, but on the contrary, we want the rights and freedoms of these people to be guaranteed and secured by the national legislative framework. We believe that human rights cannot be negotiated in any way. We also support the adoption of a legislative framework, such as a civil partnership regulation, which gives LGBTQI couples + the rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, recognizing their ability to establish a family. So FITT calls for the acceptance of diversity and strongly condemns the hate speech that is increasingly met in public space during this period. We call on the competent authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure an inclusive social climate, in which all citizens feel safe and respected. We do not believe that democracy can be practiced by absence, but only by expressing the opinion and the use of all the instruments that this political-economic system makes available to the organisation of society. As we have encouraged and will always encourage the participation of young people in the elections, to decide for themselves what their representatives are, we are also encouraging and at present, and we will always encourage young people to make their point and express it through all The available mechanisms, including voting in a referendum, as long as it was generated by a democratic process. Promoting the participation of young people in all processes in society is an important objective that FITT has assumed. Moreover, in view of the context in which voting in Romania is a low one, in general, especially among young people, we believe that incitement to vote even from civil society is detrimental to ensuring the functioning of democracy . We also express our disappointment that the Romanian Government has refused to regulate the use of the computer system to monitor voter turnout and to prevent illegal voting, in order to ensure the proper organisation of Voting process. Thus, we encourage young people to sign up as observers at the referendum voting process by Tuesday, 2 October 2018, to ensure that the whole mechanism will be carried out correctly and without suspicion. More details on how to vote observers can be found here: https://fiecarevot.ro. The Timiş County Foundation for Youth (FITT) assumes to continue to push, through all its activities, for the participation of young people in all decision-making processes, regardless of level, and to guarantee and respect all rights Of man, without exception.