Strasbourg, 16.05.2012 – On the eve of the International Day against Homophobia, Lise Christoffersen (Norway, SOC) and Piotr Wach (Poland, EPP/CD), PACE co-rapporteurs on the honouring of obligations and commitments by the Republic of Moldova, have expressed their concern at the latest developments in this country relating to the preparation of an Anti-Discrimination Law:
"A draft Anti-Discrimination Law aimed at complying with international standards has been in preparation since 2008, though giving rise to heated debate and misunderstanding within Moldovan society. We are therefore concerned by the recent and unexpected decision of the Minister of Justice to table a compromise draft ‘Law on equal opportunities’ rather than a fully-fledged anti-discrimination law.
We expect Moldovan politicians to demonstrate political courage, to stand up to secure human rights for all and take the lead in promoting social inclusion. We urge the Moldovan authorities to ensure the adoption of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law which will prevent and efficiently combat discrimination on any ground - including sexual orientation - in all spheres of life, for the benefit of all groups, and in particular the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The adoption of a ‘Law on equal opportunities’ with limited scope would leave the Republic of Moldova a long way from fulfilling its obligations as a member State of the Council of Europe. We appeal again to the Moldovan authorities and parliamentarians to consult civil society, launch awareness-raising campaigns to promote this much-needed anti-discrimination law, and take into account the recommendations of the Council of Europe in the final drafting of the law to comply with international standards and give full protection to all its citizens.
We also invite the Republic of Moldova to join the project on combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity launched by the Council of Europe in 2011 and implemented so far in six member states. This would be a strong and unequivocal political message demonstrating the will of the Moldovan authorities to address this issue thoroughly."
The co-rapporteurs intend to pay a new visit the Republic of Moldova in autumn 2012 and submit a report to the Assembly in 2013.