Equal Rights Trust and Promo-LEX call for improved implementation of equality laws in Moldova

Today, the Equal Rights Trust and Moldovan non-governmental organisation Promo-LEX launch From Words to Deeds: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Moldova the first comprehensive study ever produced on discrimination in Moldova. The report finds that while Moldova has made significant strides in improving legislation on discrimination in recent years, much remains to be done to ensure that these laws are effective in practice.

From Words to Deeds: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Moldova“There is a popular rallying cry in Moldova – “we want deeds not words”. This is the main message which emerges from our research” said Jim Fitzgerald, Head of Advocacy at the Equal Rights Trust.

He continued, “On paper, Moldova has a legal and policy framework which provides a starting point for combating discrimination and promoting equality. Its words offer promise. Yet our research identifies countless gaps between the “words” of Moldova’s most recent legislation and the “deeds” of both state and private actors.” 

The report examines patterns of discrimination arising on the basis of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, health status, gender, disability, religion, age and language. It finds that the state has failed to reform a range of discriminatory laws, and that state actors discriminate. It presents evidence of widespread failure to enforce laws prohibiting discriminatory violence – including in particular against women – and those which prohibit discrimination in employment, education and other areas.

It also finds that:

  • Roma are subject to ethnic profiling by police and to direct – often overt – discrimination by both state and private actors which is rooted in deep-seated prejudice;
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons do not enjoy explicit protection from discrimination, and are subject to a range of discriminatory laws;
  • Despite robust laws on gender equality, persistent gender stereotypes and poor enforcement of laws mean that women are underrepresented in employment, politics and other areas of life;
  • Moldova has yet to give effect to its obligations in respect to accessibility, non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities;
  • The law permits both the deprivation of legal capacity and institutionalisation of persons with mental disabilities, and there are shocking reports of abuse and mistreatment in institutions.

From Words to Deeds also examines the legal and policy framework on equality and non-discrimination, finding much to praise. However, the report identifies significant problems in respect of enforcement and implementation, in particular with regards to the enforceability of decisions by the recently-established Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality.

The report concludes by making specific recommendations for reforms to law, policy and practice, with a particular focus on improving the implementation and enforcement of the Law on Ensuring Equality.

The report is the product of more than two years of research. It includes the findings of interviews conducted with hundreds of people, throughout the country, together with information and data from research by government, non-government and international actors.

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