The Anti-Trafficking and Gender Programme of the OSCE Mission to Moldova contributes to the implementation of the democratization and human rights mandate of the Mission in the field of combating trafficking in human beings and promoting gender equality.
The Mission conducts training seminars for judges, prosecutors, lawyers, the police and social workers at the national and local levels to build capacity to combat human trafficking, domestic violence and the sexual abuse of children on the Internet. Seminars, study visits and participation in international conferences expose Moldova’s institutions and officials to good practices on handling domestic violence cases in civil and criminal proceedings, effective investigative techniques and human rights-based treatment of victims of trafficking.
The Mission provides expertise to state bodies and working groups on combating human trafficking, including to the National Committee on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and its Secretariat. In co-operation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Mission has since 2005 provided legal expertise on key legislation such as the Law to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, the National Action Plans to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and the Law to Prevent and Combat Family Violence and subsequent amendments.
To prevent the trafficking and re-trafficking of persons, the Mission conducts information campaigns and theatre performances informing rural women, youth and children about the risks, causes and consequences of human trafficking and domestic violence. Mission activities often draw a link between these two crimes.
In partnership with non-governmental organizations, the Mission has helped set up a trust-line and counselling services for victims of domestic violence. The Mission supported a study visit to Austria to build the capacity of state officials and social workers in counselling and rehabilitating perpetrators who will receive assistance at the first centre for abusers of domestic violence to be established in Moldova in 2011. A hotline for children was also established with the Mission’s support under the Child Ombudsperson’s office and additional counselling services were supported for child victims of sexual abuse.
In order to prevent and raise public awareness of domestic violence, which affects at least one in four women in Moldova, the Mission co-operates with its partners to support the annual 16-Day Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence in Moldova. This global campaign runs from 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day. The campaign in Moldova includes university lectures and seminars, exhibitions, drawing contests and television debates throughout the country. The Mission is also helping create a coalition of men and boys to speak out against violence against women.
The Mission advocates for a greater participation of women in political and public life at the local, regional and national levels by sharing best practices and highlighting the link between democratization, economic growth and gender equality. Ahead of the 5 June 2011 local elections the Mission conducted training seminars for 150 women from rural regions. The seminars focused on how to run a campaign, identify the interests of the voters, and participate in media debates. Since 2008 the Mission has supported summer camps on leadership aimed at empowering young rural women in life skills education and accessing both higher education and the labour market.
In 2010 the Mission, in partnership with OSCE/ODIHR, facilitated a legal review of legislation aimed at eliminating gender-based discrimination and achieving gender equality.
Since 2007 the Mission, in co-operation with OSCE/ODIHR, has contributed to the development of a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill in Moldova in line with international standards. In 2010 the Mission facilitated an OSCE/ODIHR Opinion on the Draft Law on Preventing and Combating Discrimination to the Government of the Republic of Moldova (see www.legislationline.org).
The Mission plays a leading role in co-ordinating activities on combating human trafficking and promoting gender equality in Moldova. The Mission hosts monthly Technical Co-ordination Meetings in Chisinau and the regions, including in Transdniestria, to foster the exchange of information and good international and national practices between state actors, civil society and the international community. The meetings also help increase contacts and co-operation between the authorities and NGOs from both sides of the Dniestr/Nistru River.
The Mission supports the anti-trafficking and gender network website www.atnet.md which provides information on anti-trafficking and gender activities, news and events in English, Romanian and Russian. It also supports the publication and dissemination of updated legislative compilations, handbooks and manuals for judges, prosecutors and lawyers; publications for children and other key national and international documents on anti-trafficking and gender issues.