Last Updated: Monday, 22 December 2014, 15:24 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Moldova

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Moldova, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa480c.html [accessed 22 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor2254
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2000:30.1
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2000:31.2
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2000:28.9
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:16
Compulsory education age:9
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:91
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:83
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2000:82.2
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Moldova, children often work on family farms or perform other work for their families. It has been reported that two-thirds of rural children have engaged in agricultural work by the age of 14.2255

According to the Government of Moldova, the number of registered cases of the worst forms of child labor increased between 2001 and 2004, the most recent period for which such information is available.2256 The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that in 2003 there were 3,681 children living or working in the streets.2257

Moldova is a major country of origin for children trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and begging.2258 Russia is reported to be the primary destination for children trafficked internationally from Moldova for commercial sexual exploitation and begging. Turkey is also a major destination for girls trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.2259

Trafficking from and through the separatist region of Transnistria is reported to occur.2260 There have also been reports that girls are trafficked internally from rural areas to the capital, Chisinau.2261 According to information gathered by ILO-IPEC in 2003, boys and girls as young as 12 years are trafficked, often by people they know.2262 Migration of adults in search of work has left approximately 40,000 children parentless.2263 These children often do not have proper supervision and are at greater risk of exploitation.2264

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years.2265 In certain cases, children 15 years old can work with parental or legal authorization if the work will not interfere with the child's education, health, or development.2266 Children between 15 and 16 years are allowed to work a maximum of 24 hours a week and no more than 5 hours a day. Children between 16 and 18 years can work a maximum of 35 hours a week and no more than 7 hours a day.2267 Children under 18 years are not permitted to work on holidays or weekends.2268 To be eligible to work, children must pass a medical exam every year until they reach 18 years.2269 Children under 18 years are prohibited from working overtime or participating in hazardous work, including work at nightclubs, work involving gambling, or selling tobacco or alcohol.2270 The Government has approved a list of hazardous work forbidden to children, including underground work, metal work, energy and heat production, and well drilling.2271

The constitution prohibits forced labor and the exploitation of minors.2272 The law provides for 10 years to life imprisonment for trafficking and using children in the worst forms of child labor.2273 The law protects children under 18 years from sexual exploitation.2274 The law permits vulnerable youth from 16 to 18 years (including those living in residential institutions, orphans, children from single parent families, and victims of trafficking) to receive benefits from the Unemployment Fund.2275 The minimum age for compulsory military service is 18 years. The minimum age for voluntary military service for officer trainees is 17 years, though participation in active combat is not permitted until 18 years.2276

The Labor Inspection Office (LIO) is responsible for enforcing all labor laws, including those pertaining to child labor.2277 The LIO employs 123 people, including 81 inspectors.2278 There were 371 child labor investigations in 2007. Of those, 298 were found to involve hazardous conditions, including 15 that were cited as abusive.2279 The law permits inspection for child labor of both legally registered workplaces and of persons, thus covering informal worksites. Inspectors are also allowed to seek assistance from local public administrators to withdraw licenses of employers who repeatedly neglect labor inspection recommendations.2280 In May 2007, a Child Labor Unit (CLU) was established within the LIO. The CLU is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring national action to combat the worst forms of child labor.2281 However, USDOS reports that the Government of Moldova does not enforce its child labor laws effectively.2282

The Center to Combat Trafficking in Persons (CCTIP) is the Moldovan Government's principal anti-trafficking agency. It operates a task force to coordinate the country's law enforcement efforts.2283 In 2007, the CCTIP also organized an awareness-raising campaign which included 18 seminars with the Center for Combating Trafficking in Women, two seminars with IOM for religious workers, two seminars for university students, and two conferences in Chisinau and Causeni that trained lawyers, teachers, and social workers.2284 The Ministry of Justice is responsible for addressing the social reintegration of children who have been used for criminal activities and are at risk of trafficking.2285 The law stipulates Government protection for the victims/witnesses in trafficking cases. USDOS and others report that the law has been inadequately implemented, and very few witnesses feel safe enough to testify in court.2286 A trafficking victims' referral network exists in 12 regions.2287 Child trafficking victims returned from Russia were referred by law enforcement to NGOs for services.2288 During the first 9 months of 2007, the Ministry of the Interior inspected 195 travel and employment agencies and withdrew the licenses of 14 for suspected trafficking.2289 During the first 11 months of 2007, the Ministry of Internal Affairs registered 495 trafficking cases and convicted 219 persons. Of these, there were 43 cases of child trafficking and 9 persons were convicted for child trafficking.2290 USDOS reports that corruption among government officials and law enforcement hampered efforts to combat trafficking.2291

Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The National Commission for Tripartite Bargaining and Consultation approved the Collective Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and a List of Jobs prohibited to Children on July 3, 2007. A Child Labor Documentation Center was established within the LIO in May 2007. The National Strategy on the Residential Childcare System in Moldova and the National Plan of Action (2008-2012) for its implementation were approved on July 9, 2007. The strategy aims to reduce the number of children living in orphanages, who are especially vulnerable to trafficking, by promoting alternatives to residential care.2292 In June 2007, the LIO, with support from ILO-IPEC, developed a training program for labor inspectors on child labor through which 34 labor inspectors were trained.2293 The National Human Rights Action Plan was revised to include measures to address trafficking in persons.2294

The Moldovan Government is participating in a project called Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labor in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II; 2006-2009), a USD 3.5 million USDOL-funded project implemented by ILO-IPEC. The project is operating in Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine; and aims to withdraw 1,350 children and prevent 3,150 children from exploitive labor in the region.2295 The Government is also participating in the USD 2.2 million German Government-funded ILO-IPEC project to combat child labor in the Stability Pact countries; a USD 606,300 German Government-funded ILOIPEC regional project (Albania, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine) to combat child trafficking; and a USD 1,209,189 German Government-funded regional project (Albania, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine) to combat the worst forms of child labor through education and youth employment.2296

The Government of Moldova is participating in a USDOL-funded USD 1.25 million project implemented by Catholic Relief Services. The project seeks to provide market-based job training, livelihood skills courses, and links to employment opportunities for young women and girls at risk for trafficking.2297 The Government is also supporting a USAID-funded USD 756,000 anti-trafficking project implemented by Winrock International. The project seeks to prevent trafficking by improving access to employment for young women and girls.2298 The U.S. Government also provides funding to UNDP and the IOM to implement anti-trafficking projects in Moldova.2299 The Ministry of Social Protection, Family, and Child provided staff and facilities to assist victims of trafficking and provided funding for the Chisinau Rehabilitation Center.2300 The National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Trade provided free vocational training and employment services to repatriated trafficking victims and persons who are at risk.2301


2254 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of the Republic of Moldova, Labour Code, (March 28, 2003), article 46; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/SERIAL/64896/63849/F1780758090/MDA64896ENG.PDF. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Moldova," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gogv/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100573.htm. See also Government of the Republic of Moldova, Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, (1994), article 35; available from http://www.e-democracy.md/en/legislation/constitution/.

2255 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 6d.

2256 PROTECT CEE, Moldova Country Profile, [online] 2006], 4; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/2005_fs_moldova.pdf.

2257 United Nations, Common Country Assessment, Chisinau, July 2005, 37; available from http://www.un.md/key_doc_pub/doc/CCA_Eng_last.pdf.

2258 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 5, 6d.

2259 Mike Dottridge, Action to Prevent Child Trafficking in South Eastern Europe, UNICEF, Geneva, 37; available from http://www.unicef.org.uk/publications/pdf/traffick3008.pdf.

2260 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 5.

2261 U.S. Department of State, "Moldova (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 5.

2262 ILO-IPEC, Rapid Assessment of Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in Moldova, 2003, Chisinau, 2004, 25-28, 54-56; available from http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/editSearchProduct.do. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, Project Document, Geneva, September 2003, 10.

2263 Vladimir Lozinksi, Lack of Jobs in Moldova Leaves Children Without Parental Care, UNICEF, Rublenita, Moldova, October 17, 2006; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/moldova_36200.html.

2264 PROTECT CEE, Moldova Country Profile, 5.

2265 Government of the Republic of Moldova, Labour Code, article 46. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para 5. See also ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Project Document, Geneva, 2006, 34.

2266 Government of the Republic of Moldova, Labour Code, article 46.

2267 Ibid., articles 96, 100.

2268 Ibid., articles 109, 110. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para. 5.

2269 Government of the Republic of Moldova, Labour Code, article 253. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007.

2270 Government of the Republic of Moldova, Labour Code, articles 105, 255. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007.

2271 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, August 26, 2005.

2272 Government of the Republic of Moldova, Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, articles 44 and 50.

2273 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 6d.

2274 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, August 26, 2005.

2275 Ibid.

2276 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Moldova," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=917.

2277 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para 5.

2278 Ibid.

2279 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, May 8, 2008.

2280 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, August 26, 2005.

2281 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007.

2282 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 6d.

2283 Ibid., section 5.

2284 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, May 8, 2008, para 85, 86.

2285 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, Technical Progress Report, RER/03/P50/USA, Bucharest, March 2005, 3.

2286 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Moldova." See also Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe. 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania., December 2003, 79; available from http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2003/12/1645_en.pdf. 2287 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, May 8, 2008, para 65.

2288 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Moldova."

2289 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Moldova," section 5.

2290 Ibid.

2291 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Moldova."

2292 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, August 31, 2007, 5.

2293 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, November 29, 2007, para. 5.

2294 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, 2.

2295 ILO-IPEC, Balkans Child Trafficking Phase II, Project Document, cover page, 69.

2296 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 12, 2007.

2297 Catholic Relief Services, Moldova Employment and Training Alliance (META), Technical Progress Report, Chisinau, January 31, 2008.

2298 U.S. Department of State, USG Funds Obligated in FY 2007 for TIP Projects, [online] February 2008 [cited March 14, 2008]; available from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101403.pdf.

2299 U.S. Embassy – Chisinau, reporting, May 8, 2008, para 2.

2300 Ibid., para 21.

2301 Ibid., para 32.

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