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Child Protection

Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates the right of the child to be protected ‘from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child’.

   Children everywhere are exposed to risks from which they need to be protected. Issues of particular concern in Moldova include high rates of alcohol and drug use, family violence, and trafficking.  These risks are compounded by the absence of parents for many, often due to migration, and the lack of sufficient services to support families. 

   As is common in the region, Moldova has traditionally relied on institutionalization of children as a protection measure. Poverty and limited family support services at community level led to placement of thousands of children from poor families and of children with disabilities in residential care.  This is beginning to change, and the country has made great progress in reforming the system; with 40% fewer children in residential care now than just four years ago. But overall numbers are still high, and young children and those with disabilities or special needs are particularly affected.  System reform is far less developed in Transnistria, where the proportion of children living in residential care may be among the highest in the world.

Key Data

What are the key issues making children vulnerable: situation and trends?

  • The Republic of Moldova has had significant achievements in reducing the number of children in residential care in the last years. Nevertheless, the rate of institutionalized children has remained high. 
  • On the integration part, for the institutions under the Ministry of Education, in the period 2007-2011, only 518 children were re-integrated in the extended biologic family, and other 82 were placed in alternative family services.
  • Most of children leaving residential care are graduates. No mechanism has been put in place for them.
  • Reform of the child residential care system has had a rather low impact on children with disabilities. Information about the ones which are not integrated in the school system is virtually non-existent. 
  • Every fifth household with children had at least one member left abroad, in 2010. Separation from parents influences the moral and psycho-social development and causes anxiety.
  • Various forms of violence against children such as domestic neglect, domestic emotional/ psychological abuse, domestic physical abuse (beating), commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking or child labour are still persistent in Moldova. 
  • Juvenile delinquency in Moldova has had a decreasing trend in recent years, if considering the share of juvenile crimes in the total number of crimes. However, in absolute numbers, the number of crimes committed by minors increased in 2010 compared to 2009.


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