Moldova is a country of origin and (in rare cases) of destination for men, women and children trafficked for all forms of exploitation. The main destination countries for Moldovan victims of trafficking are the Russian Federation, UAE, Turkey, Egypt, and Ukraine. Internal trafficking has been on the rise (from 6.9% of caseload in 2009 to 15% in 2010), mainly involving child trafficking for sexual exploitation (especially boys). Within the past several years, the number of identified men trafficked for labour exploitation has been increasing (in 2010 it was two-fold higher than in 2009).
At the start of the Danish Programme in 2006, Moldova already had comprehensive counter-trafficking legislation defining the functioning of the National Referral System (NRS) coordinated by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family (MLSPF). Moldova was among the first countries to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in March 2006. The efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking were part of the framework of the EU-Moldova Action Plan and envisaged in the Action Plan on visa liberalisation proposed by the EU. In April 2010, a new National Action Plan for 2010-2011 was approved and complemented in December 2010 with a Specific Action Plan developed in response to the recommendations of the US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report. A number of supplementary regulations in support of the comprehensive law are being developed by the Government in cooperation with the Programme partners. The counter-trafficking efforts are aligned with the National Programme on the Creation of Integrated Social Services System for 2008-2012. A data collection module on trafficking in human beings is being integrated into the Social Assistance Database run by the MLSPF.
The National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister provides a high-level forum for discussion of trafficking-related issues. Regular meetings of the committee are held with the participation of key international organizations and NGOs, including Programme partners. The Permanent Secretariat of the National Committee as a coordination structure for Territorial Commissions was established in 2010 and supported by the Danish Programme in 2011. The MLSPF co-chairs the National Commitee and the anti-trafficking Technical Coordination Meetings hosted monthly by the OSCE Mission in Moldova.
The National Coordination Unit of the NRS oversees the work of territorial multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) responsible for victim identification, repatriation, assessment, referral and provisoin of reintgeration assistance locally and maintains a database to consolidate all of the information on individuals receiving assistance through the NRS.
The NRS was piloted as part of Phase I (2006-2008) of the Danish Programme and rolled out as part of its Phase II (2009-2011). The NRS Strategy focuses on strengthening the institutional framework, the harmonization of legislative framework with the requirements of international treaties, ensuring access of VoTs to quality services, preventing human trafficking through providing social protection to particularly vulnerable groups of population, and development of transnational cooperation. It was approved by the Parliament in late 2008, marking the gradual take-over of the NRS by the Government of Moldova. The NRS methodology was also shared with four out of seven rayons and three towns of the breakaway region of Transnistria with the Danish Programme support. Between the first two phases of the Programme, the number of referrals through the NRS increased by 21%.
An NRS monitoring mechanism was developed piloted in 2010 and 2011 with the support of the Danish Programme partners. In 2011 the National Committee issued the first consolidated, widely validated 2010 National Report on Preventing and Combating THB, which was meant to give a comprehensive overview and assessment of the situation in Moldova. The report has shown that support is needed to the Permanent Secretariat of the National Committee in developing indicators and setting up an efficient monitoring and evaluation mechanism.
The breakaway region of Transnistria poses its own challenges: it is facing depopulation by losing thousands of persons every year through migration, with particular vulnerability to human trafficking. Local authorities are opening up for dialogue with specialised NGOs; however, no counter-trafficking policies are being developed. In this context, the prevention and protection efforts require further external support.
The following activities will be implemented in Moldova to address the remaining gaps:
- Development and phase-out of cost-sharing mechanisms within the NRS infrastructure
- Provision of direct assistance to (potential) victims of trafficking and support of prevention services, with special focus on the Transnistrian region
- Development of social contracting system
- Capacity building of NRS service providers and law enforcement
- Support in the development of data collection, monitoring and evaluation systems for counter-trafficking policies and the NRS
Implementing Organisations in the Country Programme in
Implementing Organisations in the Country Programme in
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
La Strada -
Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) in
* OSCE plays a coordinating role only and is not an implementing partner for the purposes of this programme. It therefore does not receive any programme funds.