Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights within the Justice System of the Republic of Moldova

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 This project is funded by the European Union

 

PRESS RELEASE

Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights within the Justice System of the Republic of Moldova

 

 Chisinau, Moldova – May 7, 2014,

The Delegation of Terre des hommes-Lausanne Foundation to Moldova is pleased to announce the launch of the “Strengthening the Capacity of Law Enforcement, Inter-Agency Coordination and Civil Society Organisations to Address Discrimination and Ill-Treatment of Children within the Justice System in the Republic of Moldova” Project. The two-year project is funded by the European Union[1], under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

Each year at least 2,000 children get into contact with the law in Moldova. Whether children come into contact with the law as victims, witnesses or offenders, it is equally important that they are met with a system that understands and respects their rights and unique vulnerabilities. While Moldova has a legislative framework allowing for basic child protection during judicial proceedings, reports on actual practices point out repeated incidences of mistreatment, secondary victimization and inadequate access to information for child victims, witnesses and offenders alike. Available data and expert consultations identified the first contact with the justice system as the stage where the highest number of incidents involving discrimination and ill-treatment might occur.

In the light of the above, the project aims to reduce the potential for discrimination and ill-treatment of children during the early stages of contact with the justice system in Moldova. With a strong emphasis on child and civil society participation, the project works in close collaboration with all the key actors to ensure local ownership and sustainability. The project has been developed as a result of the dialogue between Terre des hommes Moldova and the General Police Inspectorate, to support their capacity building in the area of justice for children. It is aligned with and feeds into the National Reform of Child Protection System lead by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family, and into the implementation of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy for the years 2011-2016.

The project is built as to address three core children’s rights: the right to be treated with dignity and compassion, the right to be protected from discrimination and the right to be informed. By involving three key target groups – police officers, the members of an Inter-Agency Coordination Mechanism, and children and parent/care-givers, the activities of the project are meant to enforce each of the above-mentioned rights.

Firstly, the project will build the capacity of in- and pre- service police officers to identify, respect and respond to the rights and needs of children in contact with the law. Secondly, the coordination between law enforcement, civil society and child protection authorities will be strengthened to ensure cooperation between all actors who have a role in ensuring the well-being of children in contact with the law.

Overall, at least 200 in-service police officers and 450 multi-disciplinary professionals will participate in the project’s training programme, which further will be nationally implemented. Complementarily, a Curriculum for pre-service police officers will be developed and introduced in the educational programme of the Police Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.

And finally, an important objective is to improve the availability and access to information for the children and their parents/care-givers through the development of booklets and leaflets, targeting children who have already come into contact with the law. The information materials will be available in police stations and widely distributed through schools and medical centres. This activity will be supported by an information campaign in the form of a contest aimed at increasing awareness with children aged 14-17.

By taking a child-centred approach and ensuring the participation of children throughout the project, Terre des hommes and its partners will work toward improving the experience of children when in contact with the law.

For more information, please contact:

Elena Croitor

Justice for Children Programme Coordinator

Tel: +37369951853

E-mail: elena.croitor@tdh-moldova.md

 

About Terre des hommes:

Founded in 1960, Terre des hommes (Tdh) is a Swiss organisation helping to build a better future for disadvantaged children and their communities. Tdh is active in over 30 countries. Working in Moldova since 2004, Tdh is dedicated to meeting the needs of all children and contributing towards the improvement of the Moldovan child protection system. 

 


[1] The total budget of the project is 300.000 EUR (5.568.000 MDL) and is funded in proportion of 80% by the European Union.




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