Public authorities and minority organizations will work together for the implementation of CERD recommendations

On Tuesday, 11 July, the UN Office for Human Rights organized a public discussion on the rights of minorities in the Republic of Moldova adressing the ways of implementation of the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Following the event, the Bureau of Interethnic Relations (BIR) committed to publish on the institution's website the Action Plan in this regard, while minority organizations to come up with proposals and recommendations to it, so that in September 2017 the document will be finally approved by the Government.

CERD revised the Republic of Moldova in April 2017 and issued several recommendations for the improvement of the situation of minorities, which need to be completed in the next five years. The recommendations refer in particular to the quality of the teaching of the state language for minorities, the lack of access to education in the mother tongue, the lack of access to justice and the lack of statistical data on the participation of minorities in the political and public life of the country.

BRI Deputy Director, Vera Petuhov, who presented the national report to CERD in Geneva, said that members of the UN Committee were particularly worried about insufficient funding for minorities and brought the example of the Action Plan for the support of Roma population. At the same time, she expressed the hope that the new Action Plan for the implementation of CERD recommendations will become an effective document, and the organizations of minorities will contribute to its realization in practice.

The deputy chairman of Taraclia district, Pavel Tarlev, said that for the bulgarians living in Taraclia, it is very important that the Plan contains a clear mechanism for representation of minorities in the Parliament. They also expect that the administrative-territorial reform will take into account the interests of minorities and the quality of teaching of the state language for minorities will be improved.

UTA Gagauzia representative, Olesea Tanoglo, referred to the lack of comprehensive information about Gagauzia in the manuals of hystory, which is why many children and young people do not know basic things about it. Anna Nichitcenko, the representative of the Ministry of Education, invited regional authorities and minority organizations to participate in the review of the school curriculum to be held in 2018.

The member of the Parliamentary Commission on minority rights and interethnic relations, Inna Şupac, recommended to minority organizations and relevant authorities to adress the Parliamentary Commission and initiate a more in-depth dialogue in this area.

Veaceslav Balan, the National Coordinator of the UN Office for Human Rights, thanked the participants for their openess and quality of discussions, saying that this is only the first step, and further pro-active actions are awaited from the authorities, so that the next review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, ends-up with fewer complaints and more achievements in this area.

A total of 60 people, including representatives of the Government, the Parliament, the Bureau of Interethnic Relations, the People's Advocate Office, the Equality Council, the UN Office for Human Rights, as well as ethnic minorities, people of African descent, Roma people, attended the public event on CERD recommendations.