COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
4-22 March 2002
OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination*
Republic of Moldova
1. The Committee considered the initial, second, third and fourth periodic
reports of the Republic of Moldova (CERD/C/372/Add.2), which were due
on 1 March 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000 respectively, at its 1505th and
1506th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1505 and 1506), held on 11 and 12 March 2002.
At its 1517th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1517), held on 19 March 2002, it adopted
the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the detailed report presented by the delegation
of the Republic of Moldova, which contains relevant information on the
implementation of the provisions of the Convention in the State party.
The Committee welcomes the opportunity to initiate an open and constructive
dialogue with the State party. While noting that the report was not
adequately structured in terms of the guidelines for the preparation
of reports, the Committee appreciates the additional information provided
by the State party delegation during its oral presentation.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
3. The Committee notes that the State party is going through a difficult
period of transition and is facing serious economic and social challenges.
Further, the State cannot exercise its jurisdiction on part of its territory,
the region of Transnistria, because of the ethnic conflict. The Committee
is concerned about the impact of the conflict on the implementation
of the Convention.
C. Positive aspects
4. The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of numerous
international human rights instruments which are relevant to issues
relating to the elimination of racial discrimination.
5. The Committee notes with satisfaction the efforts undertaken by the
State party to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights through
the adoption of the 1994 Constitution, which guarantees a wide spectrum
of human rights, the 1990 Citizenship Law, the entry into force of the
1997 Law on Public Associations, the 1995 Law on the Press, the Laws
on Public Education and Audio-Visual Broadcasting, the 1994 Law on Libraries
and the proposed amendments in line with various treaty obligations.
6. The Committee welcomes the decrees which the State party has adopted
with the purpose of ensuring the functioning and development of languages
of ethnic minorities and the development of the national culture of
minorities, including Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish and Bulgarian groups.
The Committee commends that the State party continue its efforts aimed
at facilitating access to education in their mother tongue for members
7. The Committee notes the establishment of specialized institutions,
demonstrating the commitment of the State party to combating racial
discrimination, such as the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights,
Religious Groups, Ethnic Minorities and External Communities, the Department
for National Relations and Languages, the State Service on Religious
Issues, the Presidential Commission on Interethnic Relations and the
Prosecutor for Minorities.
8. The Committee notes with satisfaction the efforts undertaken by the
State party to implement human rights education programmes, including
those intended for law enforcement officials. The Committee further
notes the efforts undertaken by the State party to disseminate information
on human rights and, in particular, the rights of minorities in its
9. The Committee notes that the socio-economic development plans of
the State party are aimed at the improvement of inter-ethnic relations.
D. Concerns and recommendations
10. The Committee notes the absence in the report of disaggregated data
on the population that would provide detailed information on the ethnic
composition in Moldova. The Committee recommends that the State party
provide relevant data in its next periodic report, in order to facilitate
understanding of the ethnic characteristics of the population.
11. The Committee notes the absence of examples of implementation of
the provisions of the Convention in practice. The Committee recommends
that the State party include in its next periodic report information
on the implementation in practice and on the monitoring of articles
4 and 6 of the Convention, as well as data on incidents of racial discrimination
in the State party. Information should also be provided on effective
penalties and sanctions imposed in cases of conviction for racial discrimination
12. With regard to the constitutional and legal provisions aimed at
the protection of the rights of persons belonging to ethnic minority
groups, the Committee recommends that the State party take measures
to guarantee more fully for ethnic minority groups, economic, social
and cultural rights, as defined in article 5 (e) of the Convention,
including the rights to work and to adequate housing, and that it include
more detailed information in its next periodic report on the implementation
of the provisions of article 5 (e).
13. Landlessness has been reported among persons belonging to some minorities
previously working in collective farms, as a consequence of privatization
of land held by collective farms of the Soviet era. Information on remedial
measures taken by the State party to address the economic condition
of the landless ethnic minorities should be given in the next periodic
14. With regard to article 7 of the Convention, the Committee recommends
that the State party continue and extend its educational and cultural
programmes in order to raise public awareness of issues of racism and
racial discrimination. The Committee invites the State party to provide
in its next report detailed information on the educational system, on
the role of institutions or associations working to develop national
culture and traditions, and on the role of the State and mass media
in combating racial prejudices. The Committee also recommends that the
State party ensure that minorities and ethnic groups in its territory
receive information and education in their respective languages.
15. The Committee notes reports according to which, after the tragic
events of 11 September 2001 in the United States, a parliamentary inquiry
was conducted into the alleged existence of terrorists among students
of Arab origin at the International Independent University of Moldova.
The State party should ensure that actions taken should follow due process
of law and that they avoid any suspicion of racial profiling.
16. The Law on Advertisements states that an advertisement is regarded
as immoral if, inter alia, it makes defamatory comparisons and images
with respect to race, nationality, social origin or language. The State
party should provide detailed information in its next periodic report
on the sanctions provided in such cases and whether there have been
convictions for publishing immoral advertisements.
17. The Committee is concerned at reports of police violence against
persons belonging to minority groups, in particular the Roma population.
The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures
to prevent and punish excessive use of force by law enforcement officials
against minorities. Steps should also be taken for the education and
sensitization of law enforcement officials about the provisions of the
Convention. Due account should be taken of general recommendation XIII,
according to which law enforcement officials should receive training
to ensure that, in the performance of their duties, they respect and
protect the human rights of all persons without distinction as to race,
colour, or national or ethnic origin.
18. The Committee expresses its concern about reports that minorities
experience discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, education
and health care. It is also concerned at reports that the Roma population
is sometimes denied access to, and service in, places intended for the
general public. The Committee recommends that the State party undertake
effective measures to eradicate practices of discrimination against
minorities and, in particular, the Roma population. It also recommends
that the State party include in its next periodic report information
on the impact of the measures taken to improve the situation of the
Roma population, in the light of general recommendation XXVII.
19. The Committee notes that the State party has not made the declaration
provided for in article 14 of the Convention and invites the State party
to consider the possibility of doing so.
20. The Committee recommends that the State party ratify the amendments
to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted on 15 January
1992 at the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention and
endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/111.
21. The Committee recommends that the State party take into account
the relevant parts of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
when implementing the Convention in the domestic legal order, in particular
in respect of articles 2 to 7 of the Convention, and that it include
in its next periodic report information on action plans or other measures
taken to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at
22. The Committee recommends that the reports of the State party be
made available to the public from the time they are submitted and that
the observations of the Committee on these reports be similarly publicized.
23. The Committee recommends that the State party submit its fifth periodic
report jointly with its sixth periodic report, due on 25 February 2004,
that it be an updating report and that it address all points raised
in the present observations.
* Please note that the symbol CERD/C/Session No./CO/... will from now
on replace the previous symbol CERD/C/304/Add...