Promoting equality and non-discrimination in the Republic of Moldova

The joint project "Strengthening the access to justice through non-judiciary redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination, hate crime and hate speech in Eastern Partnership countries" awarded two grants to civil society organisations in the Republic of Moldova, aimed at increasing access to justice for groups that experience discrimination, hate speech and hate crime.

The grantees, NGO Roma National Centre and NGO Gender-Centru worked to change the negative attitude towards Roma and other ethnic minority groups and implemented activities aiming at increasing equal opportunities without sexism.

Joint activities under the grants were implemented from December 2021 to April/May 2022, reaching the high numbers of beneficiaries, providing help to vulnerable groups and contributing to promotion of equality and non-discrimination in line with European standards.

The NGO Gender-Centru, as host organization of the Platform for Gender Equality, through the joint activites raised awareness in the society on importance of combating sexist speech, gender-based discrimination and violence against women. Several important actions were implemented, such as: a "Public Dialogue on Hate Speech and Incitement to Discrimination" that focused on  hate speech issues, including sexist speech, but also to the actual problems of hate speech against women refugees from Ukraine in Moldova, including Roma refugees; the eighth Feminist Festival with a March of Solidarity for raising social awareness on sexist speech and violence against women, also in the context of refugee crisis in Moldova; 15 workshops in different regions of Moldova (in Anenii Noi, Stefan Voda, Criuleni, Ungheni, Soroca, Straseni, Cahul, Vulcanesti), during which the participants discussed about the types of sexism, sexist language vs. gender balanced expression, the notion of feminism, masculinized professions, stereotypes and prejudices in promoting gender equality. The Grantee has also developed the infographics on sexist speech and on sexist messages and advertising in the scope of International Women’s Day. Printed posters/infographics were also distributed at the Europe Day in Chisinau on 14 May 2022 communicating the importance of equality to wider public and citizens. Along with this, the project grantee administrated the platform, where signalling of cases of discrimination and hate speech on different grounds can be placed by victims or witnesses.

During the implementation of the Grant, the NGO Roma National Centre worked closely with the Roma community in different regions of Moldova (Otaci, Edinet, Rascani, Glodeni, Hancesti and Ungheni) offering a legal support and mediation on cases of discrimination/hate speech to 33 persons. Also, legal support to approximately 150 Roma refugees from Ukraine in 6 refugee placement centres in Chisinau was ensured, by providing legal advice on documentation for refugees, monitoring of discriminatory practices and assistance in addressing the relevant authorities from Moldova. In addition, the necessary assistance was provided to refugees in a several refugee centres outside Chisinau - in cooperation with other actors, representatives of local public and central public authorities, UNHCR, civil society. The grantee developed a Guide on combatting discrimination, for raising awareness on hate speech and discrimination issues towards vulnerable groups, including Roma community, in the Republic of Moldova. The toolkit was prepared in Romanian language and translated into Russian and Romani.

The cooperation between the joint European Union/Council of Europe antidiscrimination project and civil society organisations was fruitful and resulted in concrete support for minorities and vulnerable groups, reaching ones in need - through providing information and advice on exercising their rights, also by promoting European values and importance of equality and non-discrimination in our societies to wider public

These activities were implemented in the framework of the regional project “Strengthening the access to justice through non-judiciary redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination, hate crime and hate speech in Eastern Partnership countries”, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance phase II, 2019-2022.