Subject: Re: Italian legislation?
From: Ala Mindicanu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Mar 19 2000 - 21:08:22 EST
We are an NGO working in traffic.
Please, receive some information about traffic issue
General information on our organization :
Name : National Council of Women of Moldova
Founded when : April, 1998
Legal status : June 23, 1998
Funding : Private, public and otherwise.
President : Ala Mandicanu, Member of the Parliament of Moldova
Personnel how many waged : 5 persons (1 full-time and 4 part-time)
voluntary : the rest of the members
The organization has got 2 thousands members working in the capital (Chisinau) and in 11 provinces of the country. The CNF is an umbrella organization. The CNF carries out its activity throughout the Republic of Moldova and has among its members physical persons and non-governmental women organizations which have expressed in writing their request to join the CNF.
3) Aims and activities of our organization :
The aims of the CNF are :
7 to promote women to decision - making bodies on all levels;
7 to contribute to the implementation of the provisions of the Convention regarding Abolition of All Forms of Women Discrimination;
7 to contribute to the eradication of the violence against women;
7 to fight against traffic in women;
7 to plead for the setting up of educational and health protection systems and of an environment favorable for mothers and children;
7 to contribute to the education of women based on the acknowledgement of their role and place in the society, on self-respect and civil dignity;
7 to contribute to the adaptation of women to the market economy conditions and values;
7 to support the promotion of the principle of integral approach to gender equality at all levels.
Now, about the country:
IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
The social-economical situation of women.
The Republic of Moldova is one of the former Soviet Union states, which was recognized to be independent
in 1991. The population constitutes 4mln 320thousands (1997). Its surface is 33.700 sq.km. Rural share is
54%, urban share-46% (1996). Women's share 53% of total population.
Over the last years Moldova has passed through important changes connected with its transition to market
economy. Despite the initial calculations, these changes have brought the country to a catastrophic decline in living standard, devaluation of moral and ethical norms, and no guarantee of human security.
Thus at the beginning of 2000 year the Gross Domestic Product has constituted only 40% of the level of
1990. The decrease of production caused unemployment. Its officially registered rate constitutes annually 1- 2% of all engaged. The real rate, however, is 20-25%. More than a half of all unemployed are women (53%). Their situation is even more complicated as they have many difficulties in finding a new job and become a long time jobless. In 1997 the durable unemployment (longer than 6 months) for men was 29.1% and for women 44.1%, the chronic unemployment (over a year) reached 8.6% for men and 19.3% for women.
An extremely difficult situation is for old and incomplete educated women. As women's work is of a higher cost when including maternity and children-nursing subsidies, businessmen prefer men's engagement or that of young women up to their maternity. In order not to lose their job, women think less about future children.
Besides workday is often over the norm. Thus, the birth rate has decreased last years from 17.7 to 13; the
growth of population has grown down from 8.0 to 0.8. The number of women suffering from anemia during
pregnancy has increased and now it constitutes 44.3%. 3500 cases of breast cancer are registered yearly. The degree of mortality during the delivery is 3-5 times higher that in European countries.
As for labor perspectives, further restructuring of production presupposes the reduction of labor force (up
to 50%). This will much affect women as their share among low-qualified workers who will be dismissed
first of all, is higher than that of men. For women it is 2/3, for men - 1/3.
The economic position of the majority of population is characterized by the low purchasing capacity.
Moldova has the lowest average salary compared with CIS countries. It is $30, while the minimum
consumer's budget is $65. Women's salary in the national economy constitutes 70-80% of that of men. 80%
of population lives below poverty line. Purchasing power of national currency has been decreasing from year to year. If in 1991 for an average per/capita monthly income it was possible to buy 579 liters of milk, then in 1999 only 64 liters. The rate of national currency has also been going down. Compared with 1998 it
decreased almost three times. Thereby, people prefer to earn and to accumulate foreign currencies. This fact contributes to their urge to find jobs abroad.
The transition from common property to the private one caused the development of entrepreneurship. The
share of women doing business is going up and constitutes 28%. The business opportunities, however, can
poorly be realized because of the high tax rate, lack of financial resources, bureaucracy, imperfect legislation etc. Besides women's quota of those who have bank accounts is 2-3 times less than that of men, women's access to credits is also smaller than men's (only 20% of companies managed by women benefit credits). To influence this situation politically, women try to increase their number in the respective bodies. But although women constitute 53% of the population, 51% of the labor force, yielding 50% of the national income, only 8% of them are represented in the higher legislative bodies.
Hard business conditions determined the infringement of legislation everywhere. In spite of juridical rights
stipulated by the Constitution (1994), Labor Code (1994), ratification of a number of international
conventions, the right to labor in general and that of women, in particular, is poorly respected. The trade
unions are public organizations and have no serious influence upon labor situation in the country.
High level of unemployment, poverty, limited opportunities and difficult conditions of business caused
mass migration of the population, especially the women part, to all countries of the world. The Parliament
and the Government try to regulate this migration. On January 2000 it was adopted a law regarding
patronage. The Government has addressed to 25 countries. Today there are 13 responses only. Belaru
Russia and Ukraine concluded bilateral treaties. Czech Republic, Romania and Greece have manifested their positive attitude.
But the mainstream of migration remains to be spontaneous and unregulated. This fact negatively
determines the women's position in the society, causing traffic, violence and prosti
TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN1. General situation
Trafficking in women is a new phenomenon for Moldova. It has been mostly caused by the social-
economic crisis of the state. Along with this, the transition toward market economy has shifted a lot
mentality and moral norms of people. The culture of the market has not been produced, everything and
everyone is treated to be just a commodity. Thus, the trafficking in human beings, especially in women,
came into being. There is no precise data when the phenomenon appeared, approximately around 8 years
ago. Women and population in general had no knowledge about it. They just looked for a job abroad and
went there. They trusted any local or foreign company or even individuals that promised them assistance in
finding a job abroad. Positive case-information such as lucky marriages, illegal but good job and conditions
abroad also contributed. Such a belief had a real foundation: Moldova as a new state was unknown for the
foreign employers. Step by step the latter found that it was possible to find cheap labor force or even free of
charge and exploit it without any responsibility for the consequences. So the trafficking in people, especially
that in women and girls flourished.
Only recently women have been starting to know about this phenomenon as a form of violence. That
happened due to the accumulation of negative case-information on both private level about traffic victims
and state level (appeals of foreign countries to Moldovan authorities, Interpol interference, addresses of
Moldovan traffic victims etc.).
It is a pity to ascertain that Moldova is a country of origin of trafficking in women and children. About
200 thousands people are looking for a job abroad, the majority of which are women and young girls.
Several social groups of women and girls going abroad can be distinguished. In general their purpose is
common - to earn money. Their differences are as follows:
1. Young women who go to prostitute abroad, being aware of it and considering it as a kind of profitable
2. Women and girls who are naive and trusty. They are mostly from the countryside or very young. Some
of them dream to accumulate money for wedding, education, to be independent from parents or help
them etc. Some of them dream of romantic love abroad, rich marriages etc. This group constitutes a
significant part of those attracted by the traffickers. Usually they have no awareness of prostitution or
any kind of violence.
3. Women being under despair because of poverty, unemployment, impossibility of husband to improve the
situation; because of hungry children or as there is a necessity to pay for their education or medical
treatment etc. The education of these women can be high and their social reputation is impeccable. But
they agree to fulfill any kind of job for the sake of family survival. They may be aware of prostitution
and violence, but they hope for God's Grace and they believe that the bad experience of others won't be
theirs. This group is also numerous.
4. Young women and girls who live in good material conditions and may stay home, but they heard a lot
about good life abroad and they are curious. They are influenced by the global migration stir and go to
get more and better. They also don't expect any violence. This group is smaller in comparison with other
In the former Soviet Union there was a state monopoly for employment abroad. After getting
independence the Government of Moldova declared free market economy, leaving in fact without control the
demand - supply of labor force, especially on the international level. So, it turned into the field of private
business. Nowadays, only 10 companies have a license on assistance for people with a job abroad. Most of
the companies are interested in assistance for men only. Those companies, which offer legal job
opportunities for women are not much appreciated by women themselves, as the salary is low ($200-$300
per month), but expenditures are numerous (meal, housing, private needs.) Nothing remains to bring home.
Thereby women address and trust those illegal companies or individuals who promise them legal job and a
Women are trafficked in different ways: travel agencies, model agencies, contests of the type "Miss the
Most Beautiful", dance companies, au pair services, international matchmaking services, bride agencies,
Internet announcements etc. Some companies offer "studying" abroad. Another gathers men and women for
season agricultural jobs or domestic services. The office of Public Prosecutor had registered cases when
under the pretext of assistance with a job abroad men and women were sent for illegal transplantation of their
The traffickers come from different countries, especially from the former Soviet Union states or countries
of Central and Eastern Europe. They recruit young women to work in their countries or traffic them fur
in Western Europe, North America, Asia or Far East. More often, the traffickers are ofMoldovan origOne
way is when a person emigrates from Moldova and is lucky to organize his own business. He contacts with
his relatives or friends to recruit women paying them $500-$! 500 for each. Those concerned put
advertisements in newspapers and then they send girls to their emigrant fellow. Another way is when
Moldovan traffickers travel throughout the country and recruit girls. On a certain date they gather them in the
specially lend apartments in Chisinau, instruct them "how to behave abroad", give them drugs up to their
unconsciousness and convey them across the border to a neibourgh country. There the traffickers all over the
world investigate the girls, buy them and transport them somewhere further. At the countries of destination
the girls are as a rule deceived, isolated, violated.
The third way is when a Moldovan woman being abroad under despair, makes an agreement with her
employer promising him to recruit girls in Moldova in turn of her own release. She comes back and travels
through the country visiting her relatives and friends, demonstrating an expensive car, clothes, money, telling
them stories about good life abroad and kind employers. Numerous trusty mothers address to her asking to
help their girls. She kindly agrees for a certain fee.
2. Public Attitude. Up to recent times neither women nor their families or government knew nothing about
trafficking as a form of violence. So, their attitude about going abroad for a job was positive. Majority of
women hoped to earn money abroad but without emigration. Nowadays when negative-case information has
been increasing the attitude changes. Many people are under despair trying to find their women. Political
agencies and NGOs have started their campaigns, but the measures are dispersed, so the public at large still
trusts the traffickers, especially in the countryside.
3. Policy and Law. As there had been no experience in trafficking in people in Moldova, neither law was
elaborated nor the respective international convention was ratified.
At present the Ministry of Internal Affairs along with the Ministry of Justice has been elaborating a draft
of the Law on Trafficking in human beings. The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family participates
through its Department on Migration in intergovernmental negotiations regarding labor force trafficking.
Besides, the Ministry along with the Council of Europe organized the seminar on Trafficking in human
beings for the purpose of exploitation. The rest of the ministries and other political agencies are being forced
the concerned NGOs to study and react to the phenomenon. Thus on November 1999 The National Council
of Women along with UNDP-Moldova and the Center of Human rights organized a political lobby seminar
"Trafficking in women. Legislative aspect ". The National Council of Women also tries to contribute to the
promulgation of relevant legislation on trafficking in human beings.
5. Prevention and Education. Among hundreds of NGOs of Moldova, only 7 women NGOs are involved
at present in anti-traffic campaigns.
The following organizations especially contributed to the prevention and education campaigns due to the
occasional financial assistance of international representations in Moldova : the National Women's Studies
and Information Center (accumulation and diffusion of the respective information and documentation); the
Association of Social Protection of Women (meetings with women going for a job abroad during which the
women were instructed how to conclude a contract, how to protect themselves, shown letters of the victims;
creation of new job places in business incubators; requalification center for women); the National Council of
Women (training seminars for women NGOs, round tables and seminars-lobby for political agencies and
legislative bodies, seminars for students, sociological and scientific research, translation and publishing
books, leaflets and other international materials of concern); the Women's Organization of Moldova "Civic
Initiative"(the seminars for teenagers, pupils, teachers, computer and language courses for the potential
victims, video materials); the National Association of University Women and the "Women Today" public
organization (shelter and psychological support for victims); Women Journalist Association "10+"
(press-conferences, articles etc.). Besides the NGOs provided women with the list of local and international
agencies to be addressed to in a case of emergency, organized some broadcasts and published articles in the
Unfortunately, because of the lack of resources, the measures are not systematic. So the mass of
population remains to be uncovered.
The NGOs have been going on to involve international agencies in to the issue solution. As a result,
Soros-Moldova has founded a Club for teenagers "Eva" to protect them against traffic. The "Civic Initiative"
has become a partner ofWinrock International Project in which 5 countries are involved, the Association of
Social Protection of Women has entered the global network of 70 countries "Trafficking in Women" created
in Budapest in 1978. The National Council of Women along with international agencies and national NGOs
of other countries has been organizing a Regional Conference on Trafficking in Women this ye
Under the impact of the concerned NGOs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs along with respective agencihas been installing on the Moldovan borders the automatic system "Control-D", which will monitor any kind
of traffic, including that in human beings.
5. Victim support. Governmental structures are inert regarding measures for victim support. There is
neither sociological center and respective statistic data nor a database of those gone and returned. Occasional
information is received from Interpol or international agencies like International Organization of Migration.
There is also no special rehabilitation center or a confidence hotline.
The concerned NGOs made attempts to integrate the victims into the society. Thus the Association of
Social Protection of Women tried to accustom them either to the Christian Church or to business. The
National Council of Women and "Civic Initiative"- to advanced education or to public activity and art.
Some of them have been integrated but the majority needs special psychological and physical treatments.
There should be carried out a number of projects with complex measures to achieve victim support.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Unlike the traffic in women, the violence against women in Moldova is not a new problem. In our society a
historical patriarchic opinion prevails: " a woman who is not beaten is like a house which is not swept".
In the society there are different forms of violence: domestic, family, sexual, physical, psychological
violence as well as rape and sexual harassment at the work place. In the communist period those phenomena
were not recognized and the problem was a taboo for discussion.
Only after the ratification of the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against
women (July 31, 1994) by the Republic of Moldova and the adoption of Declaration of elimination of
violence against women by the UN, the discussion on this problem began.
The first seminar was organized in November 1995 by the Women's Association of Moldova, UNDP
Program "Women in development" and American Bar Association (CEELI).
After the seminar other activities were organized: round tables, tele- & radio programs, trainings for
women and teenagers. There were organized some trainings for police officers who work with victims of
violence. During the period 15-21 November 1999 Women's NGOs organized "Stop the violence against
women" week. The national Women's Studies and Information Center published brochures about domestic
and sexual violence as well as other aspects of violence against women. The action was financed by the ABA
All mentioned and other activities of NGOs contributed to the increasing of political and public
awareness, changed the outlook about violence. On December, 1999 the problem of violence against women
was discussed at a special meeting of the governmental commission on women's problems. The plan of
supplementary actions for fighting with the phenomenon was adopted.
In spite of the efforts, the violence against women still exists in all forms and is still rising.
The economical crisis of the country influences negatively the fortification of family relations. As a result
more and more families become favorable backgrounds for violence.
The numerous murders, crimes, attempts of suicide, heavy solid damages, baby killing committed in the
family are real facts that caracterize the violence. In Moldova in 1999 26.7% of all murders and 22,5% of
heavy solid damages were committed in family. In 5 cases parents killed their children and in 19 cases
children killed their parents. Mothers committed baby killing in 6 cases. In general, crime cases where
women are involved have increased: in 1994 women were involved in 9% of all crimes committed, in 1999 -
Despite the actions and programs directed to prevent violence, the crimes take place in towns and in
villages, the highest number being fixed in Chisinau. In majority of cases the alcohol abuse was mentioned.
Nowadays 4500 persons are registered as suffering from alcoholism.
In Moldova the crisis centers have been created. Their main target is to fight with violence against women,
to assist and to protect the victims of violence, to exclude any possible forms of women discrimination, to
create a general atmosphere of tolerance in the family and in the society. The crisis centers in Chisinau and
Baiti funded by SOROS Foundation Moldova, Education without violence and abuse Center, Family
Planning Society, The Center of Women Health "DALILA".
The centers practice the hotlines of confidence. The content of calls is different. In 61% of cases the
persons calling presented as a case of violence the fact that the daughter/son is a drug addict and 11% of
cases they reffered to difficult financial situation of the family. The rest of complaints dealt with
psychosomatic malfunction, sexual violence, violence caused by the patron, isolations, etc. Characteristic is
the fact that among women seeking the support the predominating age is between 60-65 years and up to 20.
4 The crisis center in Baiti along with health center rehabilitated 219 persons who abused alcohol, 115 drug
addicts. Besides 148 of divorces were prevented. 6 persons who suffered from violence were offered shelter
in the crisis center, later being helped by friends and relatives. The Baiti crisis center offers judicial and
medical support, pedagogical consultations. 142 persons were consulted by a psychiatrist, 16 by doctors, and
18 by a jurist. It is important to emphasize that the centers cannot profit from social service to continue the
total rehabilitation of persons at home. It is necessary to develop and innovate all the offered services
including judicial and social support.
The legislation of the Republic of Moldova serves also as a subject for discussion about violence.
The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova in the art.24, paragraph 1 says clearly enough that the state
guarantees to every human the right to live, the right to physical integrity; paragraph 2 of the same article 24
says that humans will not be tortured, punished with cruel treatments, inhuman or degrading.
In the art.25, paragraph 1 it is assured the inviolability of the individual rights. The constitutional
fragments mentioned as well as the art.95, 96, 105-106 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Moldova
authorizes the right of the citizens to be protected from violence. It is important to mention that a special
notion of "domestic violence" is expected to be introduced to the legislation of the RM.
We consider it to be important that the UN Declaration of elimination of violence against women will soon
result in a Convention.
Prostitution does not have its roots in cultural traditions, customs, and religion of the country. Moldova,
however, is not an isolated state, so the prostitution always existed. But it was hidden, occasional and public
attitude was negative. The transition to market economy has intensified the phenomenon. According to the
sociological research conducted at some colleges and schools in Moldova about 70% of students considered
prostitution to be a profitable business.
In 1998-1999 there were registered 331 prostitutes and 449 brothels. But in reality, the number is much
higher. The prostitutes work in different forms: in brothels, nightclubs, hotels, bathhouses, "by call ", on the
streets. Some of them work independently, but the majority with pimps. Besides, there is a mafia net that
monitors prostitution. Prostitution trade unions do not exist. That is why prostitutes don't have any social
Prostitution in Moldova is not legitimated. The public and political attitudes differ. One opinion is to
legitimate prostitution, another - to forbid.
In 1998 in the Penal Code of Moldova there were introduced some additional articles connected with
Article 105-1 The practice of prostitution
" The practice of sexual relations with different persons for the purpose of profit, realized during 1 year after
administrative sanctions, is punished with imprisonment from 6 months to 1 year ".
Article 105-2 Panderment
"To force to prostitution or advise to practice it, facilitation of practicing the prostitution, obtaining a
profit from prostitution by a person as well as the recruiting of a person for prostitution or trafficking in
human beings and their selling for this purpose are punished with imprisonment from 3 up to 7 years.
If the measures mentioned above have been done in front of a minor or they caused solid damages then the
punishment is the imprisonment from 5 years up to 10 years."
At present the criminal situation in the public morality domain has engraved. There have been formed
flexible pander groups that recruit girls for prostitution. In order to improve the situation a Moral Police
started to act along with the State Agency of Moral Protection. They fight with the propaganda of
pornography, the cult of violence and brutality and prostitution.
At the same time the prostitution as well as traffic spread a lot today and they belong to the shadow
economy or mafia nets. This is why in order to fight with them efficiently it is necessary to join the efforts of
the government, NGOs and international organizations to create a new global network for prevention these
phenomena on one hand and for assisting the victims on the other hand.
I hope this information will be useful for you.
Best wishes, Ala Mindicanu, President CNF
On Thu, 16 Mar 2000 11:09:51 Gabriele Reiter wrote:
>We are currently working on a project on the combat of trafficking
>in women, scrutinising the factual situation of women concerned and the
>legal framework in Austria as well as relevant developments on the
>international level. As we also shortly mention other European
>countries' legislation (such as Sweden or Belgium) on the issue, we are
>interested in getting some information on the relevant Italian
>Would it be possible for you to send me just some basic information on
>relevant provisions of criminal law and alien law (especially, if there
>exists an explicit prohibition of trafficking in the penal code and if
>there is any witness protection available, such as the possibility to
>obtain a residence permit during/after procedures against the
>traffickers or to be covered by the national social insurance system)?
>Thank you very much in advance and best regards,
>Boltzmann Institut fuer Menschenrechte
>Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights
>A-1010 Vienna, Hessgasse 1
>tel. +43 1 4277 27438
>fax. +43 1 4277 27429
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