A coalition of 14 NGOs will insist that Parliament adopt some human rights bills that MPs "forgot about"

04 August 2020

They joined forces to be heard more easily by the government. 14 human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) created the Coalition for Inclusion and Non-discrimination (CIN) in Moldova.

They have joined forces to be heard more easily by governments. 14 human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have created the Coalition for Inclusion and Non-discrimination (CIN) in Moldova. The aim of the initiative is to promote important human rights bills that have been languishing in parliament for years. Coalition members hope that in this format they will be more persuasive and that MPs will return to "forgotten" or postponed bills. The Coalition for Inclusion and Non-Discrimination (CIN) is made up of human rights organisations, including people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, etc. Until 2021, the CIN secretariat will be held by the Institute for Human Rights (IDOM), represented by Gheorghina Drumea. "We have created this coalition to join forces and contribute each according to our specificities and areas of expertise. We are 14 public associations that have decided to get actively involved in order to move things forward.We will draw up an action plan and work on improving the legal framework and promoting the correct application of existing laws," says Gheorghina. As a priority, the Coalition will make reasoned public calls for the adoption of long overdue bills: "We will remind MPs about those bills that are sitting dusty in drawers." Nina Lozinschi represents the Gender Centru organisation, a member of the Platform for Gender Equality, in the coalition, saying that intolerance and discriminatory speech has been on the rise recently. At the same time, behaviour and messages encouraging physical force, incitement to hatred and actions that deepen gender stereotypes are increasingly being expressed in the public space. According to Nina Lozinschi, the Coalition should also be a spokesperson for women discriminated against on the basis of gender. "Sexist messages are a serious and unacceptable violation of human rights and discourage women's participation in politics. Efforts are being made in the Republic of Moldova to combat sexist and discriminatory attitudes towards women, including women's participation in politics. Promoting non-violent discourse, respectful attitudes towards women and men, regardless of their political, religious, gender, ethnic, etc. affiliation, is essential for our society," she says. Coalition will opt for hate speech to be punished For their part, experts from Promo-LEX will promote and argue to lawmakers for the amendment of the Electoral Code, as well as for the urgent adoption of the bill on hate crimes. "Why we insist on this bill and what people need to understand is that in Moldova we often have, especially during the electoral campaign, messages that incite discrimination and hatred towards certain people or certain groups of people. This draft law comes, on the one hand, to punish speech that instigates discrimination and hatred through the Contravention Code. On the other hand, it is intended to punish much more serious acts that go beyond the framework of a misdemeanour. There are situations where physical violence, aggression or offences are committed on the basis of prejudice against a group of people (whether they speak a different language, have a different skin colour, have a different religion or religious belief, or have a different nationality or other similar criteria). In these cases, sanctions are required under the Criminal Code", says Irina Corobcenco, human rights expert at Promo-LEX. The Eastern European Foundation (EEF) is the initiator of this coalition. Andrei Brighidin, director of development, monitoring and evaluation at EEF, says lawmakers are dragging their feet on adopting necessary laws that would bring national legislation up to the standards set out in international human rights treaties. "Since the authorities are in no hurry to adopt these measures, we proposed to create this Coalition, which will be a voice of non-governmental organisations, individuals, platforms of organisations, concerned with ensuring equality and valuing diversity in our country. In this way, we will contribute to a more united society that ensures equal opportunities for all," says Andrei. In the string of important bills and initiatives in the field of human rights waiting to be adopted by the Moldovan Parliament are: the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on combating domestic violence; the package of legislative acts aimed at ensuring gender activity and narrowing the wage gap (the wage gap between employed men and employed women), as well as the draft law that would allow the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality to impose sanctions on people who admit discriminatory actions. Have your fundamental rights and freedoms been violated? Call the free "Hotline" 080080030 from landlines or mobile phones and we will help you to be heard and refer you to the relevant public institutions. Mariana Jacot