ADC Memorial and AVE Copiii submitted a report on the situation of vulnerable children in Moldova within the UN UPR procedure

The report of ADC Memorial and AVE Copiii focuses on the problems of children in closed institutions or at risk of getting there: children in prisons or in pre-trial detention, children in the probation system, migrant children, children faced lack of parental care, and others.

Human rights defenders welcome Moldova’s efforts in the field of deinstitutionalization. In particular, elimination of the system of police reception centers where migrant children also were placed (both citizens of other countries waiting for delivery to the country of origin, and citizens of Moldova delivered from abroad). However, due to the fact that other countries involved in migration are guided by outdated legislation (the CIS Chisinau Agreement on the Return of Children, 2002) and rely on a system of police reception centers, as well as due to the fact that Moldova often does not allocate sufficient funds for the transportation of children, the children – citizens of Moldova stay for a long time in closed institutions of other countries, unable to return to their homeland and being left out of the education system. Another problem concerning migrant children is the insufficient monitoring of families from where the children are originated who have found themselves in a difficult situation abroad. It should be attentively evaluated whether these families are safe enough for a child to be returned there.

The authors of the report express their hope that the outdated Chisinau Agreement will be replaced by bilateral agreements on the readmission/repatriation of children with other countries involved in migration with Moldova. Considerable efforts have already been made by both civil society and representatives of the relevant ministries to prepare a draft of such an agreement between Moldova and Ukraine. It could become an example for the whole post-Soviet region very much zaffected with mass labor migration.

The report of the ADC Memorial and AVE Copiii pays attention to children serving sentences or a pre-trial detention. The Human Rights defenders are concerned about the conditions of detention in some institutions, as well as the access of child prisoners to education. The authors of the report recommend developing and supporting the system of probation for minors, while detention should be used only as a last resort, and only in specialized children’s penitentiaries. It is necessary to develop progressive practices of caring for children 0-3 years old who live with their mothers in places of detention. In particular, a project that has been suspended due to the pandemic needs to be implemented, with the provision of nursery/kindergarten outside the penitentiary institution for the 0-3 year old children.

Since Moldova is economically very much dependent on labor migration, many children – both involved in migration and left without sufficient care in the country – do not receive a good education. Human Rights defenders call on the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to take effective measures for their full integration into school education and extracurricular activities. Special attention should be paid to the school education of Roma children. It is necessary to support specialized NGOs working in the field of protection of children’s rights.

Implementation of international obligations in the sphere of Human Rights by Moldova will be considered at the 40th session of the UN UPR in November 2021.

The report benefits from the support of the project “Promotion of modern international standards of children’s rights: deinstitutionalisation and humanisation of closed institutions in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine” through the EaP Civil Society Forum Re-granting Scheme (FSTP) to Members and is funded by the European Union as part of its support to civil society in the region. Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of its members that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum. Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.

This publication was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. Its content is the responsibility of ADC “Memorial” and does not reflect the point of view of the European Union.