UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Releases Report on Moldova
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:56 PM

The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Yakin Ertürk, has released a report as a follow-up to her official mission to the Republic of Moldova in 2008. Travelling with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment, Manfred Nowak, Ertürk met with the prime minister of Moldova, along with other members of the government and a variety of non-governmental organizations currently dealing with issues of violence in Moldova. The report, released on 8 May 2009, details the successes Moldova has achieved in human rights and institution building since Moldovan independence in 1991 and offers recommendations for further improvements in reducing violence and discrimination against women.


Moldova, once a typical middle-income socialist country, experienced a sharp economic decline in the 1990s, making it now the poorest country in Europe. The report notes that the transition to a market economy has had a significant impact on women’s status, adding both additional economic stresses on families and rapid social transitions that affect perceptions of gender roles. While economic decline has led more women to find work outside the home, poverty is still “said to have a distinct human face.” Women, on average, are paid only 72% of the average salary for men, and around one third of women are currently living at or below the absolute poverty line. Economic necessity has led many Moldovan women to seek employment outside of the country in the hopes of earning additional money to be sent back home to support their families. This, in turn, leads to an increased risk of falling victim to trafficking or physical abuse. Women seeking work abroad are sometimes deceived by offers of legitimate jobs and end up being sexually or physically exploited. 


In its conclusion, the report finds the frequent connection between irregular migration and physical violence to be especially troubling. The majority of violence against women occurs in the private sphere, but the risk of abuse dramatically increased in situations involving migration and trafficking. Children of migrant workers are also at a heightened risk of abuse or neglect. While there are non-governmental organizations in the country providing support services, government assistance is lacking and many crimes go unreported or unprosecuted. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Moldovan government increase its efforts on investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of trafficking and violence against women. The creation of a special government representative to deal with violence against women, combined with public-awareness programs, specialized training for law enforcement officers, legislation reform, and improved monitoring and data-gathering, could lead to a decrease in trafficking and violence against women and girls.

To access the full report, please click here (PDF, 27 pages).

Compiled from: Ertürk, Yakin, "Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences," Human Rights Council, (A/HRC/11/6/Add.4) (8 May 2009).