On 25 November 2021 the Council of Europe project Combating violence against children in the Republic of Moldova held the online National Conference on protecting children in the Republic of Moldova from violence: achievements and remaining challenges.
The conference brought together over 40 representatives from Parliament, State Chancellery, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court of Justice, General Prosecutor’s Office, Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights, Council of Europe officials, and representatives of international organisations and civil society. In addition, it was followed by over 40 professionals working with children.
The National Conference aimed to present key achievements and further steps, as well as exchange views, voice questions and comments related to the best approach to address existing challenges in the child protection system regarding violence against children in the Republic of Moldova.
In her welcoming remarks, Regina Jensdottir, Head of the Children's Rights Division of the Council of Europe specified that ”There are still many challenges ahead of us in tackling violence, online or offline, therefore the Council of Europe wishes to continue its’ effort in this regard with a follow up project for the Republic of Moldova. Support to authorities for the implementation of the National Programme on Child Protection in the field of violence against children will be provided and awareness raising activities are foreseen. We would also look at strengthening of independent monitoring of childcare services in the country, as well as awareness raising and training for prison and probation staff working with juveniles. Exploring further areas to be looked at, we envisage activities to raise awareness of internet service providers on their role and obligations regarding abusive images”.
At the same time, Giulia Re, the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Chisinau stressed that ”Although, the Council of Europe provided much assistance in the area of prevention and combating of sexual violence against children, including online, there are still many remaining issues (…). I am confident that with the adoption of the National Child Protection Program and its Action Plan, all existing issues, at least the major ones, will be addressed”.
Dan Perciun, the Head of the Parliamentary Commission on Social Protection, Health and Family mentioned that “Following the adoption of the Lanzarote Convention, the Republic of Moldova has taken several steps to harmonize national legislation to the Council of Europe standards. We are grateful for all the support provided by the Council of Europe and we rely on further assistance in implementing this Convention at national level”.
The event contributes towards achieving the Project’s immediate outcome 1 “Increased awareness on child sexual exploitation and abuse, and the rights of the child in the digital environment”.