Juvenile justice reforms in Moldova – model for other countries in the region
CHISINAU, Moldova 2 July, 2012 – During the period of 1-7 July 2012 a high level delegation from Tajikistan is visiting Moldova to document the juvenile justice system reform and progress achieved in the country. Representatives of the Parliament, Government, Supreme Court and other legal institutions and members of civil society and UNICEF in Tajikistan will meet with their counterparts from Moldova to draw on good practices and experience that Moldova has to share in juvenile justice.
Moldova has made significant progress in this area in recent years and, as recommended by UNICEF regional office, is a model country in this respect in Eastern European region. Thus, due to legal reforms, Moldova has managed to reduce the number of juveniles in detention, more and more children being redirected to alternative procedures, such as probation and community service. To this end, a new probation service was introduced and probation officers, including 42 specialized in working with children, were appointed. Today in Moldova probation services are present in all districts of the country.
Responsibility for investigating cases involving children, was transferred from the police to the prosecutor and 73 prosecutors specialized in cases involving juvenile offenders were appointed. All of them recieved specialized training in working with children.
As a result, the maximum sentence for children was reduced to 10 years, and the maximum detention period in the police station was reduced from 72 to 24 hours.
All these changes approached Moldova's juvenile justice system to European and international standards.
Meanwhile, experts attest some gaps in the system, including inadequate services for children in conflict with the law and lack of mechanisms for their social reintegration. Further, Moldova should strive to create community support services and assistance for social reintegration of juveniles in conflict with law and crime prevention among vulnerable children.
The progress in juvenile justice system in Moldova was made in collaboration with national and international partners, with UNICEF playing a key role in promoting reforms, interstate exchange of experience and strengthening partnerships for children.
The visit of Tajikistan delegation to Moldova in the period of 1 – 7 July, 2012 is organized by the UNICEF office in Tajikistan, with support from UNICEF Moldova and the Moldovan Ministry of Justice.
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