Accessibility of courts of law to persons with disabilities, audit

Only two courts of law of the 25 assessed are accessible to persons with locomotor disabilities. Nineteen courts are inaccessible and another four are partially accessible. Of the 19 inaccessible buildings, 15 can be made accessible to persons with all types of disabilities, while four cannot or necessitate considerable financial resources for the purpose, shows an assessment carried out by the public association Center for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CDPD).

In a news conference at IPN, project coordinator Elena Stajila said that only five buildings have accessible ramps. Another 17 buildings housing courts of law have ramps, but these are inaccessible and three courts do not have any ramps. Of the 25 examined buildings, only three have sanitary facilities accessible to persons with locomotor disabilities. “The door is wide enough and enables a person with disabilities to enter. The toilet cubicle is spacy enough for maneuvering a wheelchair and there are support bars on both sides of the toilet. The sanitary facilities in 22 buildings are inaccessible,” stated Elena Stajila.

According to the report, of the 25 assessed buildings, none is accessible for persons with visual impairments: there is no tactile paving showing the way to functional rooms. In 15 buildings, the rooms are insufficiently lit and sonorous interpretation of the information posted on electronic boards is not ensured. Not all the courts of law have personnel responsible for guiding persons with disabilities.

Only 16% of the assessed buildings have visual ordination indicators and pictograms for persons with visual impairments. 47% of the courts occasionally sign contacts for the provision of services with the Association of the Deaf so as to make the trials accessible to people with hearing impairments and only 6% do it annually.

Vitalie Meşter, executive director of the Center for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said the audit of the accessibility of the 25 national courts of law, which was carried out in June-August this year, forms part of the nationwide campaign for healthy justice.

“The Government of the Republic of Moldova, on September 8, 2017, made a decision to approve the action plan for the national program for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities for 2017-2022. According to a point of the plan, the courts of law are to take a series of measures to make the communication infrastructure and informing of persons with disabilities about the legal procedures accessible. The CDPD offers support for the courts of law and the Government of the Republic of Moldova for implementing the given point for which we carried out an audit of the courts of law so as to see if they ensure public services for persons with disabilities and access in the same way as for the other citizens. The audit was conducted in the framework of the project “Supporting persons with disabilities in ensuring justice for persons with disabilities”, stated Vitalie Meşter.

The news conference forms part of the series of conferences held in the framework of IPN’s project “Injustice Revealed through Multimedia”. IPN Agency does not assume the right to decide if the organizers of news conferences are right in the cases about which they will speak as this is the exclusive prerogative of justice, but the exaggeratedly long examination period of these cases, which is much longer than the law allows, can be considered an act of evident unfairness and injustice. IPN News Agency does not bear responsibility for the public statements made in the public sphere by the organizers of news conferences.

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