The Universal Periodic Review – Moldova
In March of this year Civil Rights Defenders in Moldova together with 11 of its partners who form the NGO Coalition for UPR Moldova submitted three Reports within the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Moldova, 2nd cycle. In the detailed report, Civil Rights Defenders and its partners outlined a wide number of recommendations for lobbying purposes and the hope is that our recommendations are not only included in those given to Moldova but also accepted in Geneva in early November.
Please see full report – Report to the UPR Review 2016
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process in which a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States is undertaken under the umbrella of the Human Rights Council. There, each state has the opportunity to state the actions that have taken place to improve the human rights situation in their respective countries and also fulfil their human rights obligations.
Although Moldova has taken many positive steps to fulfil it international obligations wide gaps still remain and human rights violations especially when it comes to discrimination.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Alesia Vidruk, Programme Office for Moldova to find out her thoughts on the importance of the UPR Review for Moldova.
Moldova has made many positive developments in introducing and reforming legislation when it comes to discrimination. What are the main areas of discrimination contained in the report that still need to be addressed today?
Following these recommendations, the Law on Ensuring Equality was adopted in May 2012 and an autonomous state body responsible for its implementation was established. Although the recommendations received in the 1st UPR cycle clearly stated that Moldova must adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination legal framework, the Law adopted in 2012 contained a lot of shortcomings. For example, four protected criteria were excluded from Article 1 of the Law, namely: social origin, material situation, sexual orientation and health status. Discrimination on grounds of “sexual orientation” was introduced only in Article 7, regulating employment, giving the false impression that the Law provides protection based on the criterion of sexual orientation only at workplace.
Article 12 of the Law on Ensuring Equality regulates competences of the Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality. However, the law enforcement practice of the Council is problematic since the Council fulfils its functions selectively or controversially in the application of recommendations and submission of cases to court for examination of offences and when it comes to imposing sanctions. Another problem in the Council’s activity is its substantially reduced capacity to monitor enforcement of its recommendations formulated in decisions made. Finally, although the Law states that the Council shall immediately send the materials of the case to criminal investigation bodies, if the facts examined contain elements of a crime, this provision is frequently violated by the Council in practice.
This UPR Report was compiled with the assistance of 12 partner organisations of CRD representing a broad spectrum of human rights organisations. In your mind what are the major human rights issues that need to be addressed in Moldova today?
What is the purpose of your trip to Geneva in November and what are your feelings about the recommendations you have suggested?
We will go to Geneva to observe how Moldova will present its report to the UPR working group and what recommendations will be given to Moldova by member states.
I hope to hear amongst the recommendations to be given to Moldova; that our recommendations will be accepted by Moldova.
However, one of my major concerns is that Moldova will once again receive more recommendations in the economic, social and cultural sphere rather than civil and political rights. There will not be specific recommendations in regards to Gagauzia and Transnistria which is also worrying..
For further information please contact Alesia Vidruk in Chisinau, Moldova (Russian and English) at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the human rights situation in Moldova, please click here to view the report compiled by Civil Rights Defenders.
Tags: Moldova, UNHRC, United Nations Human Rights Council, and Universal Periodic Review.