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Violence against women in Moldova. Facts and figures



The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) launched the “Break the Silence” campaign in the Republic of Moldova and throughout Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, on the occasion of the annual 16-Day Activism Against Violence campaign. According to the OSCE research, women who face violence in Moldova rarely contact the police.

OSCE Study

The study revealed that three out of four women think that violence against women (VAW) is common in Moldova. Cases of VAW remain under-reported to police and other specialised organisations because of a lack of trust in institutions among women and a limited specialised services for survivors of violence. Also, according to the survey conducted within the OSCE study, one third of women personally know someone subjected to domestic violence among their family and friends, and the same percentage within their local neighbourhood. Two out of five women say that they have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15 by a partner or non-partner.

Therefore, just as in other countries where the survey was conducted – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Ukraine – violence against women remains a huge social problem in Moldova, as well as a serious violation of human rights and the most serious form of discrimination against women. “The research conducted by the OSCE is essential for raising awareness with policy and lawmakers, but also the general public, law enforcement agencies and many other stakeholders. […] Attitudes, norms, and beliefs that justify violence against women need to be tackled at their root, as they continue to perpetuate this grave human rights violation. This survey provides the information needed to take action,” said Serani Siegel, OSCE Project Manager.

National statistics

According to a study conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), violence against women is more common among women in rural areas, the phenomenon is more often with the age of the woman and it is indirectly related to her level of education. The married women are more reluctant to report cases of violence and, consequently, the highest rates of reported VAW is recorded for divorced women and widows.

60% of women from Moldova reported at least one form of psychological violence, while physical violence was disclosed by about 40% of women. About 19% of women said they suffered sexual violence at least once in their life. (Violence against women report, NBS, 2011)

13 women were killed by one family member, and another 22 women lost their lives as a result of traumas caused by their partners since 2018, as NGOs official data revealed.

Most of the time, the women do not report the cases of violence because they are afraid of the aggressor, they are blamed by the society, they do not trust the authorities and the judiciary, they do not have sufficient financial resources and employment opportunities (especially if they have children), and the support services are insufficient or even missing.

Istanbul Convention

Several organisations and representatives of civil society are calling for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) until the end of 2019. The NGOs from Moldova also launched an appeal the President of the Parliament of Moldova Zinaida Greceanîi and to Prime Minister Ion Chicu.

The Istanbul Convention is currently the most effective international tool to ensure the prevention and fight against VAW, being based on the belief that VAW seriously violates the fundamental rights to life, security, freedom, dignity, physical and emotional integrity of women. The document calls on implementation of comprehensive and coordinated policies against this type of violence, governmental support for specialised non-governmental organisations (NGOs), collection of relevant data, changes in social and cultural models for eradication of prejudices, customs, traditions and other practices, which are based on the idea of ​​inferiority of women or on stereotypical roles for women and men.

The document also provides for the development of support services for victims, raising awareness, education and training of professionals, participation of private sector and media in preventing and combating violence, etc.

The Istanbul Convention was signed by Moldova on February 6th, 2017 but until now its ratification has been delayed, even though the representatives of the Government and the Parliament have repeatedly assumed a public commitment in this regard.

Legal measures

Moldova is part of the European Convention on Human Rights since September 12th, 1997. The Convention is the main instrument within the Council of Europe for guaranteeing fundamental human rights. Moldova also has an obligation not to infringe the guaranteed rights and freedoms and to ensure adequate judicial protection.

Since 2008, the Republic of Moldova regulated domestic violence, adopting the Law on Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence. The law prohibits the aggressor from approaching victims for a specific period. Still, the authorities do not have an effective mechanism of protection, as the victim is rarely offered a place in a specialised centre, psychological counselling and material assistance.

In 2017, the Government of the Republic of Moldova adopted the National Strategy on Prevention and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence for 2018-2023 and the National Action Plan for 2018-2020 regarding its implementation.


The National Coalition “Life without domestic violence” is an informal platform that gathered 21 NGOs and public institutions that try to do their best in their work to prevent and fight against domestic violence.

The Coalition members managed to provide telephone counselling, emergency and long-term psychological counselling, legal, primary and qualified assistance, social assistance, financial support, material and placement to 5600 beneficiaries, working in 1681 localities with the direct involvement of 200 specialists.

There are also local projects supported by international organisations involved in fighting against VAW. One of them is “Combating violence against women in the Republic of Moldova: exploring and learning from local solutions” – a pilot project from Autonomous Territorial Unit (ATU) Gagauzia, supported by UNDP Moldova.  The purpose of this project is to help the local implementation of the the National Strategy on Prevention and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence for 2018-2023 and to use the lessons learned, as well as the results of the initiative proposed in the pilot project, for offering improved policy recommendations to the decision makers.

Photo: Tumisu – Pixabay


Figures// A worsened Corruption Perceptions Index for Moldova in 2019



On January 23, 2020 Transparency International released the Corruption Perception Index for 2019 (CPI 2019). According to the report, over 2/3 of the countries included in the ranking are stagnating or showing signs of regress in their anti-corruption efforts.

In 2019, Moldova registered a score of 32 points, being ranked 120th out of 180 countries. The score for Moldova worsened as compared to the 2018 year, when the country recorded 33 points, whereas improved when confronted to the data from 2017 – 31 points and 2016 – 30 points. For comparison, such neighbouring countries as Romania ranked 70th, Ukraine – 126th, Russia – 137th, Georgia – 44th and Belarus – 66th.


Over 2/3 of the countries included in the CPI 2019 ranking have a score below 50 points, the average score being only 43 points. Leading countries regarding the CPI 2019 ranking are Denmark and New Zealand (87 points both) and Finland (86 points), while such countries as Syria, South Sudan and Somalia, recorded a score of 13, 12 and 9 points respectively.

According to the TI report, in the last eight years, only 22 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Guyana and Estonia, while nearly 20 countries fell significantly in the ranking, including Australia, Canada, France and Great Britain. Germany and Japan kept the same positions.

One of the most important observations of the TI report is that countries where campaign finance regulations are comprehensive and systematically enforced have an average score of 70 on the CPI, whereas countries where such regulations either don’t exist or are poorly enforced score an average of just 34 and 35 respectively.


Regarding the evolution of the Republic of Moldova, TI Moldova declared the year 2019 a difficult one: “three governments changed; a situational alliance was formed that removed the oligarch in power; new laws began to be adopted, being designed to dismantle the oligarchic regime. Unfortunately, after breaking the government coalition, the priorities of the new government were immediately reconfigured,” is stated in a press release of Transparency International (TI) Moldova.

Specifically, TI Moldova referred to the report of the parliamentary commission regarding the fraud of banking system that remained without the due attention, the stagnation  of the reform of judiciary, as well as the slow process of recovering the fraudulent money. “In order to support the democratic rule of law in the Republic of Moldova, the countries of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership must develop and adopt laws similar to the Magnitsky Act, applying traffic restrictions and freezing the assets of corrupt people, strengthening the legal framework for preventing money laundering, promoting the activity of the newly created European Public Prosecutor’s Office and facilitating the recovery of fraudulent assets.”


The Corruption Perceptions Index aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.


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Secretary General of the CoE: “The perception of corruption in Moldova remains high, including in respect of the judiciary.”



After an working group created by the Council of Europe (CoE) paid a visit to Chișinău, between December 20-21, for offering assistance regarding the implementation of judicial reform in Moldova, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, issued an official statement, stressing the fact that the judicial reform must reflect the country’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe delegation had meetings with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the Speaker of Parliament, the Parliamentary Legal Committee on Appointments and Immunities, the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor General, the Superior Councils of the Magistracy and of Prosecutors, the National Institute of Justice, serving judges – including from the Supreme Court –  and civil society organisations. The conclusions drawn after all the meetings were transmitted to the Secretary General, who stated the following:

“Our experts concluded that a clear strategic concept for the desired changes should be drawn up as the basis for the work to follow, including at the legislative level. This concept should have the active support of all stakeholders and reflect the country’s obligations as a Council of Europe member State.  The concept should provide a proper strategic vision for the planned reforms and be based on a thorough needs assessment justifying and explaining the legislative and policy initiatives that are to follow. The institutions concerned will have to work together constructively and without haste to achieve these important goals.

According to our experts, the perception of corruption unfortunately remains high, including in respect of the judiciary. Measures should be taken to implement GRECO recommendations on preventing corruption with regard to judges and prosecutors, notably to prevent the appointment and promotion to judicial positions of candidates with integrity risks.

More broadly, the effectiveness of the anti-corruption framework should be strengthened and the independence and capacity of the main institutions in charge of preventing and fighting corruption should be guaranteed.

All reform measures must respect the Constitution and any elements of the reform that are not in accordance with the Constitution should be preceded by a constitutional amendment, itself in line with European standards. The Republic of Moldova should implement the recommendations set out in the Opinions of the Venice Commission when it comes to the role and mandate of the Superior Council of Magistracy and steps to renew the judiciary or ensure its integrity. It is important to ensure that all actions are appropriate and proportionate to the aim, and to clearly distinguish between matters that relate to the integrity of judges and those that relate to their competence.

Before considering any large-scale evaluation, full use should be made of the procedures that are already available for ensuring the integrity of the judiciary, notably criminal and/or disciplinary proceedings in cases of specific misconduct including corruption and effectively enforcing an asset declaration scheme.

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) provide a binding framework as regards removals, assessments and transfers of judges. A general re-evaluation exercise for judges and prosecutors is likely to lead to numerous applications before the ECtHR by those who have been dismissed or transferred as well as disrupting the functioning of the judicial system. The Ad Hoc Working Group therefore recommends utmost caution before considering any such initiatives,” is mentioned in the statement.

The CoE working group recommended that the Moldovan authorities work proactively to ensure the widest possible consensus for all reform measures as well as the involvement and endorsement of the institutions and professional groups concerned. The CoE representatives  expressed their readiness to continue the work with the authorities in order to ensure the independence, integrity and professionalism of the judiciary, the Secretary General statement announced.

Also today, the members of the Cabinet of Ministers approved the bill regarding the amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, in aspects related to the activity of judges, the Superior Council of Magistracy and provisions that would allow the president of the country to directly appoint judges.

A first bill’s provision refers to the exclusion of the initial term of five years of judges’ appointment, as a probationary period. Currently, judges are initially appointed for a period of five years. Only if they carry out their activity properly during this period, the judges are appointed until the age of 65 is reached.

Another amendment that is intended to be introduced is the formula according to which the judges from the Supreme Court would be appointed by the president of the country, at the proposal of the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM), the president having the right to refuse the SCM candidatures only once. Currently, the judges from the Supreme Court are appointed by the Parliament.

Also, the Government proposed to supplement the Constitution with a new article that would stipulate that the Superior Council of Magistracy is the guarantor of the independence of the judicial authority.

Another provision concerns the composition of the SCM, as it is proposed that half of the SCM members should be judges and all institution’s members should be elected for a period of 6 years, instead of 4 years as it is now.

The bill lastly contains amendments of Constitution in terms of regulating the functional immunity of judges, that would benefit from functional immunity only while performing their direct job tasks. Therefore, passive corruption, abuse of power, bribery, and similar misconducts wouldn’t be considered as acts committed within the legal exercise of their functions.


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Moldova in the last decade// the most attractive festivals that gathered thousands of people



In the last decade, a lot of festivals, open-air fairs, marathons, concerts and other cultural events were organised. Some of them stopped, others continue until today. The festivals that stood the test of time are mainly related to Moldovan traditions, clothing, dancing, food, etc. Still, there are also some special festivals dedicated to wine, sweets, or… pumpkins. Here we present a collection of interesting festivals organised in Moldova in the last 10 years.

1. The open-air classical music festival DescOpera

source: Facebook| Festivalul DescOpera

The first edition of the festival DecOpera was organised in 2016. The festival takes place in the historical and archaeological complex Old Orhei. The event brings classical music and opera in the middle of the nature.

Being annually held on the third weekend of June, DescOpera is visited by more than 5000 local and foreign tourists, and involves a total of 500 musicians from all over the Europe. The idea of presenting an open-air opera and classical music show at Old Orhei belongs to the Austrian conductor Friederick Pfeiffer, who first came to the National Opera “Maria Bieșu” from Chisinau to perform “Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi in the summer of 2015.

2. Mai Dulce Festival

source: ProTV

The name of the festival can be literally translated as “sweeter”, being organised in Chisinau 7 times in a row. The event encourages home baking traditions, local brands that produce sweets and children’s clothing, as well as supports young craftsmen. It is usually organised at the end of May.

3. The Festival of the Environment

source: UNDP

The last edition of the Festival of the Environment was dedicated to air quality and reducing air pollution. At the event, batteries and households for recycling were collected, it was calculated how many trees we already owe to the planet, the quality of water and air was checked, games and info points were organised. The event was held in Valea Morilor Park, one of the green spots from the most polluted city in Moldova – Chișinău.

4. Lavender Fest


The festival occurred in Cobusca Nouă village in a lavender field. Unfortunately, only two editions of festival were organised: in 2015 and 2016. Visitors had the chance to attend gastronomy workshops, yoga sessions, handicraft fairs, outdoor massage sessions, concerts and they even had ice cream made of lavender.

5. iProsop Festival


The festival iProsop is organised in the village Selemet, Cimișlia district. It is dedicated to the tradition of hand-crafted traditional towel and entrepreneurial opportunities for local artisans.

The event used to be attended each year by more than 50 artisans from all over the region who promoted the traditions and customs from the South, related to the national clothing, gastronomy, folklore and rural lifestyle, but in particular related to Prosopul (Romanian traditional towel) – an element of national heritage.

6. The ethno-gastronomic festival Bostaniada

source: Facebook| Bostaniada

The Bostaniada festival takes place in Lozova village, Straseni district. The festival celebrates the fruits of autumn through an exhibition of the largest and most unusual pumpkins from Moldova and crafts inspired by nature. It exhibits ethno music, parades, contests, games, sculptures in pumpkins, wine tastings and home-made dishes made of pumpkin.

7. Underland wine & music festival

source: Facebook| Underland

The wine and street cultures festival takes place entirely under the ground, in the legendary underground city of Cricova. It gathers 100 national and international street artists, singers, jugglers, magicians, live statues, and presents delicious food, and many kinds of red, white, sparkling and mulled wine.

8. Ia Mania festival

source: Facebook| Ia Mania

The festival is organised every year in Holercani village, Dubăsari district, aiming to promote traditional values and popular clothing. During the event, the contest Mandria takes place, which is a competition of designers from Moldova. Visitors also can attended a fair of traditional dishes, traditional crafts and clothing.

This text is a translation. The original article here.


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