Moldovan children will have an Ombudsman of their own
National and international experts have met Wednesday, September 12, in Chisinau to discuss the opportunity of instituting the office of Ombudsman for Children in Moldova. A working group, headed by Vice Speaker Maria Postoico, has examined for a couple of months proposals for amending the Ombudsman Law. The Children’s Ombudsman is supposed to be the fourth ombudsman to work in the Centre for Children’s Rights in Moldova, and to exclusively deal with children rights, assisted by a team of experts. The Children’s Ombudsman will not examine particular cases, but will form a central-level authority that will monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, will promote children rights and will act as a spokesperson for all the children in Moldova. In the long run, the authorities plan to transform this institution into an independent one. According to Stefan Secareanu, chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights, Moldova needs an institution that will deal exclusively with children rights and will always keep the attention of the governmental sector upon them. Such an office will enable the authorities to be constantly updated on the situation of children in the country, in order to promote the establishment of a national fund designed for financing children’s rights projects. Mariana Ianachevici, president of the Alliance of Family & Child Protection NGOs, said that the civil society would lake to see an independent person, unbiased and politically neutral, an opinion leader with good knowledge of laws and excellent communication skills taking this office. The Swedish Ombudsman for Children, Lena Nyberg, said that since the institution of this office in her country in 1993, the Swedish society has experienced a series of changes, the number of domestic violence significantly decreasing. The Swedish Children’s Ombudsman works for and is paid by the government, but at the same time is independent. Moldova is home to roughly one million children aged 8 years and younger. Most frequently, children’s rights violations are associated with poverty, abandonment and domestic violence. The establishment of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office in Moldova has been recommended by the Geneva Committee on Rights of Child and is stipulated by the Moldova-EU Action Plan, as well as by the National Strategy for Child & Family Protection. The event was organised by Moldova’s Parliament, UNICEF and the Swedish Embassy in Romania and Moldova.