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Terre des hommes Moldova launches the initiative to regulate the status of the child under the age of criminal liability who has committed a criminal offence

2017-07-21

On July 20, 2017, Terre des hommes Moldova Foundation, in the framework of the regional project “Child Protection Hub for South-East Europe”, in cooperation with the Moldovan Ombudsman for the Protection of Child's Rights, launched an advocacy initiative aiming to adequately regulate the status of the child under the age of criminal liability. During the event, there was presented a regulatory concept that includes the analysis of the existing tendencies in the field of juvenile delinquency in the Republic of Moldova in terms of statistical data from the last 15 years, the systemic problems of the field and the gaps in the legislation in force. Terre des hommes Moldova came up with a proposal consisting from a set of amendments in legislation – the adoption of which would contribute to the creation of a system of services for the protection and re-socialization of the child who committed a criminal offence being under the age of criminal liability.

The initiative was appreciated and supported by representatives of public institutions, academia, NGOs and lawyers present at the event. “Regulating the status of the child under the age of criminal responsibility and identifying the most effective types of interventions which would contribute to the pro-social behaviour is one of the priorities of the Ombudsman institution in the Republic of Moldova. Having the support of Tdh Moldova, we will be able to materialize this initiative”, said Maia Banarescu, the Moldovan Ombudsman for the Protection of Child's Rights.

Vera Toma, member of the Superior Council of Magistracy, welcomed the idea and appreciated the initiative to come up with concrete proposals on this category of children. “Finally, we have a starting point and a reference to come up with comments and suggestions”, affirmed the magistrate, urging everyone to not hesitate to send in writing their suggestions to the authors.

Virginia Rusnac, director of the Republican Centre for Psycho-Pedagogical Assistance, declared that even if this draft-law adds a new set of obligations to psycho-pedagogical assistance services, it is very necessary, because it addresses a pressing issue of the present. “However, the financial aspects of the initiative are a very important aspect and must be taken into account from the outset. In particular, in order to be able to meet new commitments, the capacity of psycho-pedagogical assistance services will have to be strengthened”, said Ms. Rusnac.

Octavian Bejan, director of the Institute of Criminal Sciences and Applied Criminology from Moldova, stressed the importance of investigating the criminological side of the phenomenon. He mentioned that the lack of relevant statistical data and the lack of funds for serious research in the given field is really problematic.

The participants unilaterally agreed that the regulation of the field is needed and came up with a series of own visions of the pattern to be followed. In the absence of traditions, and by virtue of the pioneering character of the initiative, it is necessary to create a working group which would agree on the final version to be promoted. Taking into account the general support for the initiative, the working group is to be set up and start its activity as soon as possible.

The advocacy activity is carried out by Terre des hommes Moldova within the regional initiative “Child Protection Hub for South-East Europe”, which aims to promote and continuously improve the child protection practices and policies in South-Eastern Europe through a participatory approach.

The concept paper “The child who commits criminal acts being under the age of criminal liability: premises for regulating its status” is available in Romanian and can be downloaded here. For more pictures from the event, please visit here the Facebook page of Terre des hommes Moldova.