A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also included is the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.
Republic of Moldova - Twenty Sixth session - 2016
4 November 2016 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
II. Background and legislative framework, developments since the previous review
A. Legislative framework (73.7, 73.20, 75.15, 75.16, 75.17, 76.5)
9. Currently there are two People’s Advocates: one being specialized in the protection of the rights of children. The People’s Advocate may hold one single mandate of seven years.
C. Right to education (73.22, 73.9, 76.11, 76.12, 73.59, 76.10)
37. The right to choose the language of education and training at all levels and steps of education is ensured by creating an adequate number of education institutions, classes, groups.
38. Currently, there are 3 ways of studying the languages of persons belonging to national minorities. One of the realities of the modern school for children of persons belonging to national minorities is the need to study 4 languages: Romanian, Russian, mother tongue and one of the international languages. To meet the requirements of the new society, the achievement of this objective is possible by introducing multi-cultural and poly-linguistic education.
39. Since 2013 the Project Distance Learning of Romanian Language has been implemented. It aims at training the youth for their integration in the society through linguistic and cultural immersion.
40. The National Programme to enhance the quality of Romanian language taught in general education institutions for persons belonging to national minorities (2016–2020) was adopted on 31.12.2015. Its goal is to form and develop the communication skills in Romanian of non-Romanian speaking students.
41. The education system of the RM is organized to ensure the right of all to education. National priorities in education, in general, and education for children and youth with disabilities, in particular, are enshrined in the Education for All National Strategy, Social Inclusion Strategy for persons with disabilities (2010–2013), Development program of the inclusive education in the RM for years 2011-2020.
42. The national education system provides the persons with disabilities with education at all levels of the education system.
43. Ongoing specialized assistance is provided to children with disabilities in general education institutions by organizing multi-disciplinary intra-school committees, and psycho-pedagogical assistance service.
44. The meals for children in pre-university institutions are provided in accordance with the normative acts; the financial funds for the meals are used within the approved local budgets.
45. There is a financial norm set for the free meals for the children of the I-IV forms from the primary schools, gymnasiums and high schools, as well as the school pupils of the V-XII forms from the pre-university institutions from the left bank of Nistru river and Bender municipality, school-pupils from theoretical high school “Stefan cel Mare”, Grigoriopol, located in Doroțcaia, including school-pupils from Doroțcaia village, Dubasari district.
H. Rights of the child and juvenile justice (75.21, 73.11, 73.21, 73.23, 73.49)
77. The legal framework for the protection and monitoring of children in difficulty was established by Law No. 140 of 14.06.2013. The Law on special protection of children at risk and children separated from parents, in force since 01.01.2014, revised the activity of guardianship authorities and vested the mayors and territorial social assistance and family protection offices with powers in this field, regulated the ex officio notification procedure and registration of complaints about children at risk, conferral of the status and placement of children separated from parents. The Strategy for the protection of the child for years 2014–2020 was approved on 10.06.201462. Free telephonic assistance service for children was launched in June 2014. The Automatic Information System of the State Labor Inspectorate has been operational since July 2014. It was designed in the context of economic empowerment of women by increasing their employment capacity.
78. The new Classification List of jobs carried out in difficult, injuring and/or dangerous circumstances was approved and prohibits the employment of persons under 18 years. It prohibits the employment of school-pupils in seasonal agricultural works (a usual practice in rural localities).
79. The standards of social support service to families with children were approved.
80. The General Prosecutor’s Office created a specialized subdivision for minors and human rights; in territorial prosecutor offices prosecutors specialized in children matters were appointed. Their efficiency is enhanced via ongoing trainings within the NIJ .
81. In 2013–2015, rooms for hearing children, equipped accordingly, were opened in eight prosecution offices. The Methodological Guide on handling cases with children victims/witnesses of crimes, the Guide of the interviewer of children were drawn up.
82. Enhanced attention is paid to detention conditions of minors, by organizing permanently trainings for the staff; the individualized Methodology of work with minors was approved. The Law No. 82 of 29.05.2014 made the amendments to the Enforcement Code, including serving the prison sentences by minor detainees. These refer to the escort of inmate to prison. The transfer of minors to other than specialized prisons is prohibited; the right to petition is exercised by the minor inmate, his/her legal representatives or, in the absence of such, by the guardianship services in the jurisdiction of the prison; the time in solitary detention of minors as a disciplinary sanction was reduced up to 3 days compared to previous regulation of up to 5 days.
83. Procedures regarding juvenile probation were established. The amendments to the Law No. 8 of 14.02.2008 on probation were made on 03.12.2015 by amending art.152 para. (5) Which requires the existence of one probation officer specialized in juvenile probation in every probation office. The officer is trained to work with this type of subjects. Also, the educational measures applied to minors were revised to include new educational measures to observe rights of the child and his/her social reintegration. Viable measures alternative to prison were also created. Alternative education programs for social reintegration of the minors in probation are being implemented. The Law No. 123 aiming at strengthening the juvenile probation system was adopted on 02.06.2016.
I. Human trafficking (73.12, 73.41, 73.37, 73.17, 73.36, 73.38, 73.39, 73.40, 75.25, 75.26, 73.42, 75.30, 75.29, 73.50, 75.31, 75.40)
84. The Law No. 270 of 07.11.2013 has significantly enhanced the legislative framework in combating trafficking in human beings (THB). The Law on rehabilitation of victims of crimes was adopted on 17.06.2016. The beneficiaries of this law are the victims of THB and victims of trafficking in children.
85. The spectrum of means by which a child can be exploited in online regime was enlarged and the level of protection of minors against potential offenders has been enhanced.
87. Specialized services for victims and potential victims of the THB are provided by 7 centers of assistance and protection, and are funded from the State budget within the National Referral System (NRS). Besides, in June 2016 an emergency placement Centre for victims and potential victims of trafficking in children (7–18 years) was opened, which provides social and medical assistance services to reintegrate them in the family and society. Joint Bureau for Information and Services (JBIS) was created and is operational in 25 districts of the country.
88. The intervention procedure of employees of education institutions was instituted in 2013. It allows them to intervene in cases of abuse, neglect, exploitation, trafficking of children in the residential education system.
J. Persons with disabilities (73.19, 75.13, 73.51, 75.14, 75.22)
90. There have been established such specialized structures as: National Council on the rights of persons with disabilities, National Council on the protection of the rights of the child and other structures vested with promotion and protection of rights of persons with disabilities. In order to promote a viable mechanism of protection and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, the institution responsible for determining the disability was reformed.
92. The revised Regulation of the Commission on the protection of children in difficulty was approved.
K. Right to study the official/State language (73.9)
98. Since 2016 a new project has been implemented – Simultaneous Learning of Romanian and Gagauzian Languages Programme. This aims to involve at least 150 children (5–7 years) and their parents in learning simultaneously Romanian and Gagauzian languages (from 3 districts of Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia (Comrat, CeadarLunga and Vulcanesti)).
IV. National priorities and initiatives
To develop mechanisms for preventing and fighting against all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence against children.
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law
A. Equality and non-discrimination
11. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women reiterated its concern about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society and the persistent stereotyping of older women and women with disabilities. The Committee was concerned that, although the Republic of Moldova was a secular State, religious institutions often perpetuated traditional gender roles in the family and in society and influenced State policies with an impact on human rights. It urged the State to ensure that local authorities promoted policies based on gender equality principles, without interference from religious institutions. It also urged the Republic of Moldova to develop a comprehensive strategy across all sectors, targeted at women and men, girls and boys, to overcome patriarchal and gender-based stereotypical attitudes.
B. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
21. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that preventing and combating violence against children was part of the Government Strategy on Child Protection 2014- 2020. However, annually approximately 1,000 cases of violence against children were registered with the police. Most victims were recorded as being between 11 and 15 years old. Sexual violence against children was also a concern. The past four years official data of the Ministry of Interior indicated an average of 200 offences of sexual nature (of which approximately half were rape) against children per year. The UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012 indicated that 48 per cent of children faced physical methods of disciplining by caregivers.
C. Administration of justice, including impunity
25. The Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights recommended that the Republic of Moldova ensure adequate legal and social protection for women and girls subjected to gender-based violence and trafficking.
26. The Committee on the Rights of the Child regretted that the Republic of Moldova had not established extraterritorial jurisdiction. It recommended that the Republic of Moldova take measures to establish extraterritorial jurisdiction in accordance with article 4 of the Optional Protocol.
27. The country team reported that there had been a fivefold decrease in the number of children convicted and sentenced to prison. However, official statistics showed that less than half (45 per cent) of the cases involving children offenders were diverted from the criminal justice system, mainly because of the reluctance of prosecutors and judges to do so. Although specialized prosecutors and specialized lawyers providing State-guaranteed legal aid to children offenders existed, no courts or judges were specialized in hearing child cases.
D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
28. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that the State ensure that the social welfare authorities and other State agencies take measures to combat the practice of child marriage and effectively implement the legislation prohibiting early marriage and, in cooperation with community leaders, raise awareness among Roma communities about the legal prohibition of child marriage and the negative effects of such marriage on the health and education of girls.
H. Right to health
51. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women was concerned about the high rate of abortion, in particular in the Transnistrian region and rural areas, which indicated that abortion was used as a method of birth control. It recommended that the Republic of Moldova expand the availability of medically safe modern methods of abortion, including in the Transnistrian region and rural areas, and ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of modern methods of contraception for girls and women. The Committee recommended that the Republic of Moldova integrate a gender perspective into all health interventions, raise awareness of the importance of using contraceptives for family planning and consider including abortion and contraceptives in the basic insurance package.
52. The Committee on the Rights of the Child was concerned that the Republic of Moldova lacked programmes specifically targeting Roma children, children living in poverty, children affected by migration, children living in care institutions and those who ran away from such institutions. It recommended expanding and strengthening its preventive measures, and establishing special programmes targeting Roma children, children living in poverty, children affected by migration, children living in care institutions and those who ran away from such institutions.
I. Right to education
53. While noting the high level of education of women and girls in the Republic of Moldova, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women remained concerned about the persistent segregation of women and girls in traditionally female dominated fields of study at the post-secondary level and their underrepresentation in engineering, technological and other fields of education, negatively affecting their chances of integration into higher-paying sectors of the labour market. It recommended that the Republic of Moldova encourage young women to choose non-traditional fields of study and professions, and implement programmes aimed at counselling boys and girls on the full range of educational choices. The Committee urged the Republic of Moldova to eliminate all forms of sex- and gender-based discrimination throughout the education system and in informal education programmes with a view to removing gender stereotypes from educational materials, incorporating human rights education into school curricula and introducing mandatory courses in all teacher training programmes on ways in which schooling reproduced gender inequalities.
54. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged the Republic of Moldova to promote access by Roma girls and girls with disabilities to high quality mainstream and inclusive education and their retention at all levels of education, including by tackling anti-Roma sentiment, raise awareness of the importance of education as the basis for the empowerment of women and strengthen the implementation of re-entry policies enabling girls who had dropped out to return to school.
K. Persons with disabilities
61. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requested that the Republic of Moldova report on the effectiveness of the implementation and outcomes of the 2011-2015 Consolidated Strategy for Education Development regarding children with disabilities.
I. Information provided by stakeholders
A. Background and framework
3. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
17. While noting that the new legal framework for the operation of the People’s Advocate was, overall, in line with the Paris Principles, The Venice Commission recommended that the Republic of Moldova guarantee a stronger independence to the People’s Advocate and a clearer definition of the position of the Ombudsperson for the rights of the Child.
26. Noting that the adoption of the National Strategy on Child Protection for 2014-2020 had been a positive development, Lumos was concerned that the action plan had not yet been approved and recommended that the Republic of Moldova approve and implement it.
C. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
51. The Ombudsperson’s Office reported the development of policies for preventing and combating child labour and recommended the implementation of the existing mechanisms for monitoring employment and sanctioning employers who violate the law.
52. The Ombudsperson’s Office noted that sanctions had been tightened for child trafficking; that beneficiaries of services of human trafficking victims had been criminalised, so had the trafficking of organs.
3. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law
58. The Ombudsperson’s Office stated that progress had been made in strengthening juvenile justice; however, there was no legal and institutional framework for sanctioning and re-educating minors who committed a crime but may not be held criminally accountable.The Ombudsperson’s Office recommended that the Republic of Moldova establish an institutional and legal framework for children who committed crimes but had not reached the age of criminal liability and strengthen the role of authorities in resocializing minors.
4. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly, and right to participate in public and political life
62. CPEDEE recommended that the Republic of Moldova adjust the legislation to ensure the observance of freedom of conscience, thought and religion for everyone.172 JS4 recommended enhancing the secular character of state education,173 and incorporating human rights174 and diversity education in the schools curricula.175 JS1,176 JS3,177 JS15178 and CPEDEE179 made similar recommendations.
6. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
82. The Ombudsperson’s Office noted that the residential child care system reform was encumbered by insufficient alternative services to the residential institutions; insufficient funding for social services and inadequate allowances for orphans.
7. Right to health
85. Lumos indicated that even though infant mortality rates had reduced, these rates remained high compared to the European average. It added that while the number of children in institutions was decreasing, the proportion of institutionalised children under 3 remained steady. It recommended that the Republic of Moldova ensure access to quality medical and social services and develop family support services for young at-risk children.
87. Indicating that the frequency of teenage pregnancy still remained relatively high, especially in rural areas, JS4 recommended that the Republic of Moldova introduce as a mandatory subject the sexual education course.
8. Right to education
89. JS14 noted that the Republic of Moldova had not organised education in the native language for the national minorities. HRIC/CIDO made similar comments and recommended that the Republic of Moldova launch programmes of studies entirely or predominantly in Ukrainian, Gagauz, Bulgarian and Romani languages. JS14 made similar recommendations.
90. HRIC/CIDO reported that in the majority of Moldova’s school manuals ethnic minorities were generally mentioned occasionally and often in a marginalizing context. It recommended that the Ministry of Education perform a human rights and antidiscrimination analysis of its educational policies and reform them according to the analysis’ recommendations.
91. JS9 reported that in 2013, only half of Roma children had attended primary and secondary education and explained that lack of financial capability to support children’s education, discriminatory school environment and early marriages were among the reasons of school non-attendance and dropouts. JS10 made similar comments. JS3 recommended that the Republic of Moldova implement measures to promote Roma’s access to higher education and JS10 recommend combatting the absenteeism and school drop outs among Roma children, especially among girls.
92. Stating that people with disabilities were discriminated in their right to education, JS16 recommended that the Republic of Moldova eliminate all barriers preventing access of children with disabilities to the education system. Lumos recommended that the Republic of Moldova ensure access to inclusive education for children and young people.
The following recommendations enjoy the support of the Republic of Moldova:
121.2 Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (Slovakia) (Portugal);
121.41 Ensure effective implementation of its National Strategy on Child Protection for 2014-2020 (Serbia);
121.54 Strengthen ongoing efforts related to all forms of discrimination against women and girls, including by effectively implementing and enforcing existing legislation in order to address stereotypes (Turkey);
121.100 Ensure adequate legal and social protection for women and girls subjected to gender-based violence (Poland);
121.103 Take concrete measures to eliminate violence against children, and to protect and support victims, including by implementing measures to ensure that such abuse is more frequently denounced and reported by different stakeholders in contact with children (Belgium);
121.104 Create mechanisms for preventing and fighting against all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence against children (Bulgaria);
121.105 Redouble its efforts to eradicate child labour and all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence against children (Panama);
121.106 Further address the elimination of violence against children, including sexual violence (Kyrgyzstan);
121.107 Undertake efforts to prevent violence against children, including sexual violence (Poland);
121.113 Reinforce efforts for women and girls subjected to trafficking (Greece);
121.116 Continue to ensure legal protection for women and girls subjected to gender-based violence and trafficking (Maldives);
121.155 Continue to strengthen policies on ensuring the opportunity to enrol in education for children and young people with disabilities (Libya);
121.156 Eliminate barriers preventing access of children with disabilities to the education system (Hungary);
122.29 Step up efforts to improve free medical facilities, reduce high infant mortality rates and high teenage pregnancy rates (Greece);
The following recommendation has been noted by the Republic of Moldova:
122.27 Implement legislation to abolish and effectively combat early and child marriage (Sierra Leone).