MDAC in Moldova

The rights of people with disabilities in Moldova inched closer to being respected last week. During 11-15 March MDAC carried out three seminars in Chisinau for government representatives, NGOs, the Ombudsman’s Office, and people with disabilities.

On 11 March MDAC’s Executive Director and Magdi Birtha (a researcher on Article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) held a one-day training for twenty civil servants on how they should coordinate policy efforts to implement the UN Convention. They focused on Article 33(1) of the Convention, using MDAC’s Guidelines which were published in 2011.

The next day, the focus shifted from implementation to independent monitoring. MDAC trained members of NGOs who have set up a mechanism for monitoring the rights under the Convention. A member of the National Human Rights Council (Ombudsman) also attended, but the Ombudsman has not started any work in this regard and is not collaborating with the NGOs, the reason given that it is awaiting clarity on the format of the monitoring mechanism from the parliament.

On 12-15 March Kay Sheldon from the UK and Jolijn Santegoeds from the Netherlands – who have both experienced forced treatment and detention and shared their experiences with participants – joined Dorottya Karsay (MDAC Project Manager) and Oliver Lewis to deliver a three-day training on monitoring places of detention. The focus of the training was how people with disabilities can be involved as monitors of human rights in closed facilities, such as psychiatric and social care institutions. On the second day of the training the participants visited the 960-bed Chisinau psychiatric hospital where they interviewed patients and staff. The training provided participants with the knowledge and skills to carry out monitoring work in the future and collaborate with the Ombudsman’s Office when that office is willing to cooperate with the NGOs.

The training events were co-organised with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova, and kindly funded by the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


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