Children of Moldova
An entire generation of children has grown up since the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified in the Republic of Moldova one and a half decades ago.
Despite this, children are still one of the most disadvantaged social categories in the Republic of Moldova, many children being vulnerable, excluded, and discriminated against. There are still children that live in residential institutions, and children abandoned by their parents.
The juvenile justice system hardly ensures the rights of children who are in conflict with the law. Children with disabilities, children with HIV/AIDS, and Roma children continue to be victims of stigmatization and discrimination.
Children are affected by poverty more often and more profoundly than adults are. At present, children constitute 30.4 percent of the extremely poor population in the country. Besides the fact that they are poor, vulnerable children are also socially excluded. Most of the time they do not have access to education or medical services, are poorly fed, and do not have decent clothing.
A phenomenon that marks the lives of many Moldovan children is the migration of their parents. In the last ten years, one third of the working population in the country has gone abroad in search of better paying jobs. Left at home without supervision, and without parental love, children become even more vulnerable. Some quickly find themselves in orphanage boarding schools. Others simply stop trying to learn or quit school altogether. The absence of parents increases the risks that the children already have. They can fall prey to abuse and trafficking, or become drug users and be exposed to the risk of infection with HIV/AIDS.
Thousands of children grow up in families where beatings are the most popular form of discipline. In addition, more and more often violence is appearing in schools coming from the teachers.
Children in poor neighbourhoods and rural areas are exposed to a greater risk than other children of being abandoned, institutionalized, dropping out of school, or ending up on the streets.