Rape and Domestic Violence: The law defines domestic violence as a criminal offense, provides for the punishment of perpetrators, defines mechanisms for obtaining restraining orders against abusive individuals, and extends protection to unmarried individuals and children of unmarried individuals. The law covers five forms of domestic violence: physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and spiritual. The maximum punishment for domestic violence offenses is 15 years’ imprisonment. The law criminalizes rape of both women and men, including spousal rape and forcible sexual assault, and establishes penalties for violations ranging from three years to life in prison. It requires, however, that victims prove they were subjected to violence. Domestic violence resulting in “nonsignificant bodily harm” falls under the contraventions code, rather than the criminal code, and may be punished by a fine or community service. The law provides for cooperation between government and civil society organizations, establishes victim protection as a human rights principle, and allows third parties to file complaints on behalf of survivors.
During the year, authorities pledged to properly punish violence against women, allocate resources to ensure the functionality of crisis centers for victims of violence, maintain emergency telephone lines available 24 hours a day, open and sustain shelters for victims of violence, and provide psychological and legal counseling services, as well as specialized health services for survivors of sexual violence. Public information on forensic bodies examining sexual violence cases was unavailable, which limited survivors’ access to specialized services.
Nevertheless, sexual violence, including rape, remained a significant problem. Between January and June, prosecutors opened 236 criminal cases of sexual violence. Marital rape was rarely reported, as 50 percent of women considered that sexual intercourse during marriage was a marital obligation. Survivors of violence were often retraumatized by the system and subjected to social stigmas. Legislative gaps, social stigma, and fear of retraumatization contributed to a culture of impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence. As a result, women’s rights advocates believed few survivors of sexual offenses reported the crimes.
Between January and December, police registered 1,483 domestic violence cases, including 19 that resulted in death. The General Police Inspectorate issued 4,535 emergency restraining orders, and courts issued 590 protection orders.
The law authorizes the Ministry of Justice to use electronic devices for monitoring accused abusers in domestic violence cases. According to National Probation Inspectorate (NPI) official data, between January and June, the agency issued 394 protection orders requiring abusers to wear electronic monitoring devices (for 380 men and 14 women). Prior to issuing the devices, the NPI reported a 70 percent recidivism rate among abusers. As of August, the NPI reported a 19 percent recidivism rate. The NPI also registered and filed cases against 94 abusers who broke protection order rules.
Since June, police were required by law to inform the survivors of domestic violence regarding the release of the aggressor from detention, detention term expiry, or court refusals to extend preventive detention. Prison administrations are also required by law to inform domestic violence survivors concerning the imminent release of their aggressor from the penitentiary institution. Between January and June, 47 survivors of domestic violence were informed concerning the release of their aggressor.
During the year police and human rights NGOs continued to report an increase in domestic violence complaints. From January to December, the NGO La Strada’s Women and Girls’ Trust Line received 1,457 calls, including 871 complaints of domestic violence, a significant decrease from 2021 when more than 1,780 calls were received during the same period.
Survivors of domestic violence in Transnistria are not protected by the “law,” which lacks a definition of domestic violence and does not allow for domestic violence cases to be distinguished from other crimes, creating an absence of official statistics on domestic violence. Domestic violence without “substantial bodily harm” (such as broken bones or a concussion) remains an administrative, rather than criminal, offense that is punishable only by a fine. The NGO-administered Trust Line hotline for preventing domestic violence registered 1,206 calls. Transnistrian “authorities” often did not take any action when women were beaten by male abusers.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment remained a problem. The law provides criminal penalties for sexual harassment ranging from a fine to a maximum of three years’ imprisonment. The law prohibits sexual advances that affect a person’s dignity or create an unpleasant, hostile, degrading, or humiliating environment in a workplace or educational institution. There are no criminal penalties or civil remedies for sexual harassment in employment. According to NGOs, law enforcement agencies steadily improved their handling of sexual harassment cases. Civil society groups, however, criticized the judicial system for displaying inadequate concern for the safety of survivors and for not holding perpetrators accountable for their behavior.
Reproductive Rights: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization on the part of government authorities.
The government partnered with the United Nations Population Fund to increase the quality and availability of sexual and reproductive health services and ensured these services were available to all persons in the country, including refugees.
The law provides that minors younger than age 16 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to obtain reproductive health services; a medical provider may waive this requirement if the child’s life or health are in danger. The state provided contraception free of charge to citizens through primary care providers. Although children had access to contraception without parental consent through a network of Youth-Friendly Health Centers, many were reluctant to request contraception from family doctors due to social stigma.
Women and girls from historically marginalized communities faced exclusion, stigmatization, and discrimination, which often kept them in poverty and impeded their access to public services. Teenagers and young women in rural areas had particularly limited access to accurate information on reproductive and sexual health.
According to a report released in March 2021 by the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights, the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls in residential institutions and psychiatric hospitals were not respected. Many of the girls interviewed by the institute in 2020 did not have basic knowledge concerning life skills and their sexual and reproductive rights which would impact their future ability to live independently and set up families following deinstitutionalization. The institute noted that female residents in these institutions did not have knowledge regarding contraceptives or free access to hygiene products. The personnel were not properly trained to provide qualified medical counsel on sexual and reproductive rights. In addition, these institutions were characterized by a stereotype that women with disabilities did not require sexual-reproductive education because they did not have sex or the capacity to become parents.
Survivors of sexual violence had access to sexual and reproductive health services on the same basis as other citizens. Emergency contraception was not universally available to survivors as part of clinical management of rape. Emergency contraception was provided only by family doctors and was not available in emergency centers.
During the year, the Ministry of Health partnered with humanitarian agencies to respond to the flux of refugees fleeing Ukraine – disproportionately women – seeking assistance. This required ramping up a comprehensive systems response to the sexual, reproductive, and maternal health needs of refugees and troubleshooting a range of access problems like fees coverage of contraception and hospital care within the health insurance scheme to enable Ukrainians to access care and to safely deliver babies.
Discrimination: Women and men have the same legal status in family, labor, property, nationality, inheritance law, and in the judicial system. The law requires that women fill a minimum of 40 percent of decision-making positions in government and political offices, including a minimum quota of 40 percent of candidates for parliament on the electoral lists of political parties, distributed evenly across the entire electoral list, and sanctions for noncompliance. While the law strictly forbids discrimination, spells out employers’ responsibilities in ensuring that workplaces are free of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment, and prohibits sexist and discriminatory language and images in media and advertising, gender-based discrimination remained a significant problem. The government did not enforce the law effectively and women experienced discrimination in the workplace. The law requires equal pay for equal work, but discrimination with respect to employment, pay, and access to pension benefits persisted in the country (see section 7.d.).
Women with disabilities, Roma women, and LGBTQI+ women reported discrimination based on some combination of their protected characteristics.
Systemic Racial or Ethnic Violence and Discrimination
The constitution provides that all citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, regardless of race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, opinion, political affiliation, wealth, or social origin. The law governs the equality principles; prevents and combats discrimination; and provides for equality in political, economic, social, cultural life, and other areas regardless of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, sex, age, disability status, opinion, political affiliation, or any other similar criteria. Discrimination and hate-based crime were reported throughout the year, particularly against Roma and the Jewish community.
In May, the president signed into law amendments to the Criminal and Misdemeanor Codes to expand protections against discrimination and incitement to discrimination or hate-based violence. Parliament passed the law after multiple delays since its adoption in a preliminary vote in 2016. The new law allows for enhanced sentences for crimes motivated by stereotypes or prejudice based on race, color, ethnic, national, social origin, citizenship, sex, gender, language, religion or religious beliefs, political views, gender identity, sexual orientation, health, age, or civil status. It also defines “genocide propaganda and crimes against humanity” and introduces a new term of “incitement to discrimination” (see section 2.a., Freedom of Expression).
Roma continued to be one of the most vulnerable minority groups in the country and faced a higher risk of marginalization, underrepresentation in political decision making, illiteracy, and social prejudice. Roma had lower levels of education, more limited access to health care, and higher rates of unemployment than the general population. Roma women were particularly vulnerable to social exclusion and discrimination. Some Roma communities lacked running water, sanitation facilities, and heating. Other problems facing Roma included lack of emergency health-care services in secluded settlements, unfair or arbitrary treatment by health practitioners, and lower rates of health insurance coverage. Authorities lacked an effective mechanism to address vulnerable families whose children did not attend school.
In August, the government adopted a new Roma Population Support Program for 2022-2025, which provides measures to promote Roma employment, including in the public service, professional development and entrepreneurship, and access to education, healthcare, and other public services without discrimination. The government plans to spend 14 million lei ($747,000) for the program’s implementation in 2022-2025. While official statistics put the number of Roma at 9,000 (2014 census), the most recent (2021) mapping of Roma communities conducted by the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit reported 27,900 Roma.
Roma leaders continued to accuse law enforcement bodies of failing to investigate hate speech and holding discriminatory attitudes towards Roma. Roma representatives also reported that police failed or refused to investigate cases of discrimination against Roma. According to Roma leaders, the community faced a high rate of emigration, and the state did not provide sufficient financing for Roma community mediators, as prescribed by law.
Birth Registration: Persons may acquire citizenship through birth to a citizen parent, birth in the country to stateless persons, birth to parents who cannot transmit their citizenship to the child, or through adoption by citizen parents. Registration of birth is free of charge for all citizens. As in previous years, the birth of Roma and children from very rural areas were not registered, which limited their ability to receive public services, including education.
Education: Primary education was free and compulsory until the ninth grade. Education of Roma children remained a problem; only half of Roma children attended school and one in five attended preschool. According to Roma representatives, absenteeism and school dropout rates in Roma communities stemmed from poverty and fear of discrimination.
Child Abuse: Although the law prohibits child neglect and specific forms of abuse, such as forced begging, child abuse remained a problem.
The Ministry of Education and Research reported 7,181 cases of violence against children during the 2020-21 academic year. In most cases children were subject to physical violence, neglect, psychological violence, and labor exploitation. Local public authorities failed to monitor all cases of abuse against children, claiming a lack of experts. The ombudsman for children’s rights stated that most child neglect cases were due to alcohol abuse in the family.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, law enforcement bodies documented 275 cases of child sexual abuse in the first 10 months of the year, including 265 cases of sexual abuse against girls. Out of the total number, 44 crimes were committed through informational technologies (online). A special unit for minors in the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Juvenile Justice Unit, is responsible for ensuring that particular attention and expertise are devoted to child abuse victims and child offenders.
Child, Early, and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age for marriage is 16 for women and 18 for men. Child marriage was most common in Roma communities, where there were reports of girls between the ages of 12 and 14 being married. This either took the form of a forced marriage, whereby a girl is married off to an adult man against her will, or an arranged marriage, whereby “matchmakers” arranged for two children to be married in the future. In such cases, marriage takes place without official documentation or registration. After marriage, girls commonly dropped out of school to take on household duties.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The exploitation of a child in a commercial sex act is punishable by 10 to 12 years’ imprisonment. Authorities punished commercial sex with minors as statutory rape. The law prohibits the production, distribution, broadcasting, import, export, sale, exchange, use, or possession of child pornography, for which the punishment is one to three years’ imprisonment and fines. These laws were generally enforced. The minimum age for consensual sex is 16. The country was a destination for child sex tourism. According to the International Organization for Migration’s 2020 Violence against Children and Youth Survey report for Moldova, 7.6 percent of girls and 5.4 percent of boys between the ages of 13 and 17 experienced some forms of sexual violence in the previous year.
Institutionalized Children: The government, with support from civil society organizations, continued the deinstitutionalization of children, although this process was slow because of the pandemic. A total of 676 children (307 girls and 369 boys) were placed in the residential care system in 39 state institutions during the year. Of these, two categories of children were the most vulnerable: children younger than age three (more than 10 percent or 69 children) and children with disabilities (more than 38 percent or 259 children). Among those with disabilities, more than 68 percent (177 children) had a severe disability. Approximately one third of children placed in the residential care system have been placed in care for less than one year and 40 percent for more than three years. Children with disabilities were placed in three state-run residential institutions. The government also operated family-type homes, maternal centers, and daycare centers that provided various services for deinstitutionalized children, including children with disabilities. Children raised in residential institutions were at greater risk of unemployment, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and suicide as adults compared with their peers raised in families.
The law includes administrative and criminal liabilities for Holocaust denial and insulting the memory of the Holocaust, as well as xenophobic, racist, and fascist propaganda.
The Jewish community numbered between 1,600 and 30,000 persons (depending on source and definition), including up to 2,000 living in Transnistria.
According to the Jewish community, antisemitic discourse and hate speech online and in media against members of the Jewish community remained a problem. Online publications related to the community’s activities received hateful and insulting comments.
Vandalism of Jewish sites and memorials remained a problem. The Chisinau Municipality had limited success in removing a rash of antisemitic graffiti that appeared early in the year on public signage. During the year, the Jewish community reported one case of vandalism of the Jewish monument, “Grieving Mother,” in Edinet, on which unknown individuals drew swastikas. The 2021 case of vandalism at the Jewish memorial in Cosauti was not resolved because police did not identify the perpetrators.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report.
Acts of Violence, Criminalization, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression, or Sex Characteristics
Criminalization: The law does not criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults. In Transnistria, the “law” does not permit consensual same-sex sexual activity. The laws were not enforced, but there were no credible efforts to rescind discriminatory laws that targeted LGBTQI+ persons.
Violence against LGBTQI+ Persons: While the LGBTQI+ community reported an improvement of respect for their rights during the year, cases of verbal harassment and discrimination by public officials and religious leaders continued. For example, on June 16, Communist and Shor Party members of parliament held a flash mob in parliament against the Pride March. They flew banners which said, “No to homosexual dictatorship, Moldova is against the Pride festival” or “Moldova is not Sodom.” Socialist municipal councilors called the ruling party “a traitor of values and the people” for allowing the Pride march. On June 17, Chisinau Mayor Ion Ceban stated the LGBTQI+ community should choose a different location for its march, such as by way of the presidency, parliament, or other government buildings, as the city administration planned other events on the march route and was initiating repairs to the sidewalks (see section 2.b., Freedom of Peaceful Assembly,and Restrictions of Freedom of Expression, Association, or Peaceful Assemblysubsection below).
Religious leaders continued to make homophobic statements against the LGBTQI+ community. For example, on June 12 Bishop Marchel, the Orthodox bishop of Balti and Falesti, called the LGBTQI+ community “bearers of the most unscrupulous sin, sodomites” and the planned Pride march “a parade of shame,” encouraging citizens to counterprotest and stop the scheduled Pride March in Balti. As in in previous years, police were reluctant to open investigations against perpetrators of abuse. According to NGO Genderdoc-M, in most cases law enforcement bodies failed to identity and hold to account persons who perpetrated acts of violence against LGBTQI+ individuals. As of December, Genderdoc-M reported 41 cases of abuses of the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals, including hate speech, discrimination, and hate incidents. Cases of violence in same-sex couples were not regarded as domestic violence cases and the victims, especially male victims, could not benefit of the same state protection mechanisms as heterosexual couples.
Insults against LGBTQI+ representatives on social media by both public officials and private individuals were also frequent. For example, on November 8, former President Igor Dodon wrote on social media, “Maia Sandu’s government gradually destroys faith, family, and economy. This leads to destroying the country! As a parent… I am categorically against homosexual propaganda and debauchery in schools, pushed by the incumbent antinational and anti-Christian leadership. Those from PAS opposed the teaching of Christian religion classes in schools but are now launching campaigns promoting homosexuality… Heat has not reached many schools, as opposed to the LGBT propaganda. Stop! Stop destroying our family! Do not mock faith! Leave Moldova alone. Go away!”
Discrimination: The law prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but societal discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity continued. Hate speech and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remained a problem. Transgender individuals also experienced employment discrimination.
In May, the Prosecutor’s Office rejected the Ministry of Defense’s request to open a criminal case for desertion against Marin Pavelescu, a soldier who in November 2021 posted a video message online declaring that he would not return to the army because he was mistreated after his sexual orientation was disclosed. At the same time, the Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case against the Ministry of Defense on the “illegal collection of private data” after the ministry disclosed a telephone call between Pavelescu and his 17-year-old boyfriend that led to the soldier’s harassment and intimidation by his peers and superiors. Following the incident, President Sandu, in her role as supreme commander of the armed forces, said that she would discuss this case with Ministry of Defense to ensure that all state institutions respect human rights. Pavelescu was one of the keynote speakers at the Pride Opening week.
Despite parliamentary approval in February of amendments to the Education Code to introduce the term of “bullying” and ways to prevent and sanction it, school bullying of students in the LGBTQI+ community remained pervasive. In April, representatives of the LGBTQI+ community protested in front of the government’s headquarters requesting more measures from the Ministry of Education to counter homophobia, transphobia, and bullying in schools following the suicide of a transgender teenager who was subject to continuous pressure and humiliation in school. Earlier in the year, the LGBTQI+ community alerted authorities regarding the case, but the school administration took no action.
A study conducted by S.C. Magenta Consulting S.R.L. for Terre des hommes Moldova and GENDERDOC-M in 2021 and released during the year showed that most LGBTQI+ students age 15 to 19 said sexual orientation and gender identity were discussed in school to a limited extent and most teachers had or voiced negative opinions regarding the LGBTQI+ community. The study also showed that in schools, many individuals thought that the LGBTQI+ community was made of “perverse, sick or dangerous” persons.
In Transnistria, LGBTQI+ persons were subjected to “official,” as well as societal discrimination.
Availability of Legal Gender Recognition: Civil society organizations reported that, although transgender individuals were technically allowed to change their names on legal identity documents, including passports, the government did not permit them to easily update gender markers to reflect their gender identity. The Public Services Agency continued to refuse to change identity documents for transgender individuals, despite court orders. Obtaining those court orders remained time intensive and requirements were case-by-case, often requiring applicants to obtain a psychiatric diagnosis of “transsexualism” or “gender identity disorder.” Self-determination is not permitted.
Involuntary or Coercive Medical or Psychological Practices Specifically Targeting LGBTQI+ Individuals: There were no reports during the year of so-called conversion therapy or similar practices.
Restrictions of Freedom of Expression, Association, or Peaceful Assembly: During the year, the opposition Socialist Party and representatives of the Moldovan Orthodox Church criticized activists who spoke out in favor of LGBTQI+ rights and advocated for the adoption of “antigay propaganda” laws.
On May 26, the People’s Assembly of the Autonomous Gagauzia region adopted a decision banning media from disseminating information regarding the LGBTQI+ community in Gagauzia. Media NGOs issued a statement expressing their concern for the decision’s intolerant character and its limit of freedom of expression.
In June, Chisinau Mayor Ion Ceban attempted to prevent GenderDoc-M and other organizations supporting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons from holding a Pride March, the first time the event had been held since 2019 due to the pandemic. In May, Ceban stated in a Facebook post that the march would “not be accepted” by the city government because of its content and later announced two days before the planned June 19 march that road construction and a redirection of public transport would prevent the march from taking place. Despite these declarations, the march proceeded as planned on June 19, remained peaceful, and was protected by national police forces (see 2.b., Freedom of Peaceful Assembly). More than 500 persons marched, which made it the largest Pride March in the country’s history. Six members of parliament from the majority Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) and members of the diplomatic community also joined the march. Other members of the ruling party, including more socially conservative members, framed their support of the march as support for the right of public assembly and freedom of expression, although they did not personally attend (see Section 2.b., Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, and the Violence against LGBTQI+ Persons subsection, above).
Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities could not access education, health services, public buildings, and transportation on an equal basis with others. The law stipulates equal access to public facilities, health services, public buildings, and transportation. Authorities rarely enforced the law, and discrimination against persons with disabilities persisted. The government did not regularly provide information and communication on disability concerns in accessible formats.
The law requires new construction and transportation companies’ vehicles to be accessible to persons with disabilities. Authorities implemented the provisions of the law only to a limited extent. While some newly built or reconstructed buildings were accessible, older buildings largely remained inaccessible. According to the disability rights NGO Motivation, more than 70 percent of public institutions lacked access ramps for persons with disabilities. Persons with mobility disabilities complained regarding the lack of access to public transportation and public institutions, as well as a shortage of designated parking places. Despite some improvements during the year, city authorities and construction companies often disregarded legal requirements on accessibility for persons with mobility impairments.
Most schools were poorly equipped to address the needs of children with disabilities. Some children with disabilities attended mainstream schools, while authorities placed others in segregated boarding schools, or they were home schooled.
There were reports of violence and abuses against persons with disabilities. In most cases, prosecutors refused to investigate complaints submitted by patients, questioning the accuracy of allegations made by persons with mental disabilities. According to Promo-LEX, most prosecutors and investigators lacked technical skills to investigate acts of violence or torture in psychiatric institutions. Authorities also lacked a regulatory framework for the psychological assessment of victims of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in psychiatric institutions.
During the year, members of the Council for Prevention of Torture, as part of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture (NMPT), conducted preventive visits to residential institutions for persons with disabilities. The NMPT identified pervasive problems in such institutions, including: a shortage of personnel in most residential institutions and of qualified medical staff in institutions hosting persons with disabilities; neglect of the special needs of persons with mental disabilities; verbal and physical abuse by personnel of persons with disabilities; involuntary confinement of patients; insufficient qualified staff at specialized institutions for children with disabilities; and lack of complaint mechanisms.
According to the Moldovan Institute of Human Rights, systemic deficiencies identified in psychiatric hospitals and temporary placement centers for persons with disabilities were not addressed. In particular, the institute noted the lack of qualified medical personnel; patients in psychiatric hospitals with COVID-19 being treated by psychiatrists; initial placement of new patients with existing patients without COVID-19 PCR or antigen testing; and insufficient protective and sanitary equipment or medicines for COVID-19 treatment protocols. Experts reported cases of forced medication without a legally mandated court order. Patients isolated in temporary placement centers reported the administration of psychotropic drugs without consent and mistreatment by personnel. The institute also found deficiencies in the documentation, investigation, and management of cases involving persons with mental or psychosocial impairments by police, prosecutors, judges, and health-care providers. According to the Moldovan Institute of Human Rights, the Balti Psychiatric Hospital lacked a separate ward for patients who committed crimes, leaving them to be held and treated alongside civilly committed and voluntarily committed patients. Persons with different types of disabilities and of widely different ages sometimes shared the same rooms, and unjustified restrictive measures were sometimes applied. There was no separation of persons who were civilly committed as presenting a danger to themselves or others from those who voluntarily committed themselves in any of the country’s three psychiatric hospitals.
According to Promo-Lex, patients from psychiatric hospitals held under coercive measures were the most vulnerable. Patients with mental disabilities were neglected, wore old clothes, and were held in poor “detention conditions” with no guarantees against their ill-treatment. The general prosecutor’s order on the procedures for identification, registration, and reporting of alleged cases of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment was not functional. One of its provisions, according to which the hospital staff must inform the prosecutor’s office of any injuries within 24 hours was not enforced, with a few exceptions. A visit by Promo-Lex during the year found that hospital staff did not inform the prosecutor’s office concerning patients with injuries.
Although the law provides for equal employment opportunities and prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (except for jobs requiring specific health standards), many employers either failed to provide accommodations or avoided employing persons with disabilities.
Disability rights advocates reported that in the parliamentary election of 2021, fewer than 2 percent of polling stations were accessible to persons with limited mobility. Most polling stations had no ramps or accessible toilets, narrow entrances, and dark hallways, which led many persons with disabilities to request mobile ballot boxes. According to Central Election Commission data, there were 170,000 persons with disabilities of voting age. There were no measurable improvements to accessible voting during the year.
The government continued the deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities and provided alternative community-based services under the National Program of Deinstitutionalization of People with Intellectual and Psychosocial Disabilities from residential institutions for 2018-26. Human rights observers criticized the country’s guardianship system. A person placed under guardianship loses all standing before the law and cannot perform social and legal acts, such as marriage, voting, claiming social benefits, and consenting to or refusing medication. Most residential institutions lacked proper accommodation for persons with mobility impairments.
In Transnistria, the “law” provides for protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the areas of education, health care, and employment.
Reliable information on the treatment of persons with disabilities in Transnistria was generally unavailable, but there were reports that children with disabilities rarely attended school and lacked access to specialized resources.
Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
Persons living with HIV continued to face societal and official discrimination.
The law prohibits hospitals and other health institutions from denying admission or access to health-care services or requesting additional fees from persons with HIV or suspected of being HIV-positive. Prison inmates with HIV or AIDS faced high levels of discrimination by both prison staff and other inmates. Official practice requires that positive HIV test results be reported to the public health sector’s infectious disease doctor. In some cases, positive test results were reported to the patient’s employer and the HIV-positive person was subsequently subjected to discrimination. For example, an HIV-positive woman who worked as a custodian in a local school was fired by the school administration after the latter received information regarding the woman’s HIV-positive status from the healthcare institution during the yearly medical investigation of all school employees.