The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, has published a report on her visit to the Republic of Moldova in March this year – which included travel to Comrat (Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia) and Tiraspol – with recommendations on violence against women and domestic violence, children’s rights, the human rights of persons with disabilities, Roma, hate speech and the rights to housing and health.
With legislation on domestic violence and its implementation increasingly in line with international standards, the Commissioner urges the Moldovan authorities to ratify the Istanbul Convention without further delay. “The government should ensure that the public has accurate information about the true nature and scope of violence against women and domestic violence and the measures envisaged in the Istanbul Convention to respond to and prevent these phenomena”, she underscores. The network of shelters and support services for victims of domestic violence should be extended and access to justice should be improved, along with the capacities of the police, prosecutors and the judiciary to effectively investigate complaints and deal with cases in a gender-sensitive manner.
The Commissioner is concerned about instances of hate speech, especially by political leaders during the electoral campaigns, targeting women and LGBTI persons. “Public officials and community leaders should not only never engage in hate speech but disavow it when it occurs and combat it through prevention, prosecution, self-regulation and counter-speech”. To this end, the existing legal and institutional framework should be fine-tuned and explicitly provide protection against hate speech, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Council for Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality should be strengthened through the necessary changes in regulations and allocation of resources. “The Moldovan authorities must take ownership and responsibility in fighting hate speech and translate their commitment into a visible strategy”, she underscores.
The Republic of Moldova should ratify the Istanbul Convention, improve its response to hate speech and advance access to quality healthcare, affordable housing and social inclusion for all