Children and women from vulnerable groups visit Parliament on the International Democracy Day

More than 100 children and women from all regions of Moldova came to visit the Parliament on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy. The event was organized by the Parliament's territorial information offices in Comrat, Edinet, Leova and Orhei, with the support of the UNDP Project "Strengthening Parliamentary Governance in Moldova" financed by the Swedish Government.

Visitors come from socially vulnerable families, and among them are survivors of domestic violence. The participants made a guided tour of the Parliament, where they learned about the Parliament building and the history of the Moldovan legislature. They visited the Parliament Museum and the exhibitions of several public institutions held in Parliament on its Open Doors day.

Employees of the National Anti-Corruption Center explained to visitors why bribes are harmful to the society and to every citizen. Representatives of the Energy Regulatory Agency talked about energy savings and renewable sources, and, at the National Bank booth, children learned to spot fake banknotes using special equipment. All those interested took pictures with masked officers from the Alfa Battalion of the Intelligence and Security Service.

According to the participants, the Parliament has to provide children and adults with a decent living standards, access to education and health services and jobs that would allow people to stay in Moldova.

"Parliament needs to make concrete decisions that will benefit the country, that would ensure a decent living for me and my parents," says Petru, a high school student from Orhei.

"If I were an MP, I would first of all help older people and sick and disabled children, and make all schools have good tables and chairs as in Parliament," says Dumitru, a pupil from Edinet.

"The country depends on Parliament, so we must have people we can count on," says Andreea, a student from Orhei.

At the end of the visit, the children and women went to the plenary hall to discuss with several women MPs, representatives of the Joint Dialog Platform of Women MPs, about some key issues concerning them: attracting young teachers to schools, inclusive social policies, girls and women’s rights and a fair representation of all groups in Parliament.

"We as MPs must do our utmost to ensure that children have access to quality education," MP Valentina Rotaru told the visitors. MPs Elena Bodnarenco and Valentina Stratan discussed with visitors about school lunches, social protection, but also about their parliamentary career.

The Joint Dialog Platform of Women MPs was created in 2015 with the support of UNDP Moldova to promote respect for women's and children's rights and to promote inclusive social policies. The platform brings together women MPs from all the political factions.

UNDP also supported the opening in 2014 of the four Parliament territorial information offices, which increased the interaction between MPs and their constituents. Their staff received over 2000 citizens' complaints and petitions, many of which were resolved, including by amending the legislation.

The visit of children and women from vulnerable groups to Parliament was organized with the support of UNDP and the Government of Sweden during the Parliamentary Opening Week, as part of the efforts to bring the legislative institution closer to the citizen.