Last week, Opening Doors coordinator in Moldova, Ms Liliana Rotaru of CCF Moldova, participated in the EU-Moldova Human Rights Dialogue, in a meeting with civil society representatives ahead of official talks between the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Government of Moldova.
Ms Rotaru updated the EEAS on challenges to ending institutional care in Moldova which threatens to undermine significant progress to date.
One such challenge is a bottleneck in adopting the required legislation. The Government of Moldova has drafted a Strategy on Child and Family Protection 2013-2020 to continue the reform implemented under the last strategy which ended in 2012. Unfortunately, the Strategy has not yet been adopted by the Parliament, although the draft has been through a process of consultation since May 2013.
Ms Rotaru highlighted the importance of adopting the strategy before the upcoming elections, in order to ensure that the progress made so far is not wasted.
“Much progress has already been made in Moldova and the Government has made a serious commitment to reforming the institutional care system,” commented Ms Rotaru.
“However, children under three and those with disabilities risk being left behind in the process which is so far focused on school aged children only. Furthermore, children in Moldova continue to placed in institutional care on discriminatory grounds – poverty, social exclusion and disability are still important factors leading to children’s separation from their families and placement in institutions.
“The EU can play an important role in maintaining focus on this issue, ensuring it remains high on the agenda.”
Ms Rotaru’s contribution was well received by the EEAS, and her arguments were raised with the Moldovan Government during the official part of the meeting the following day.