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Moldova: Information on the implementation of the citizenship process and any reports of denying citizenship to non-ethnic Moldovans who applied either within the first year after the law went into effect or after that

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 March 1993
Citation / Document Symbol MDA13504
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Moldova: Information on the implementation of the citizenship process and any reports of denying citizenship to non-ethnic Moldovans who applied either within the first year after the law went into effect or after that, 1 March 1993, MDA13504, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aaee0.html [accessed 21 October 2017]
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.

 

In 1991 Moldova implemented a "zero-variant" citizenship law (CSCE Aug. 1992, 17). Under this law, persons who resided in Moldova the day of the Declaration of Sovereignty could become citizens (International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights Dec. 1991, 5). According to the International Helsinki Foundation, "a number of criteria are set for acquiring Moldavian citizenship, but these do not apply to persons who opt for Moldavian citizenship before June 5th, 1992" (Ibid.). Two basic conditions are attached to the granting of Moldavian citizenship: one, the person must be a resident of Moldavia for ten years, and two, through his or her conduct and attitude, the person must prove his or her allegiance to Moldova (Ibid.).

This law offered equal opportunity to adopt Moldovan citizenship to all persons resident in Moldova at the time of its independence (Country Reports 1992 1993, 854). The law does not permit dual citizenship except where a bilateral agreement with another country exists, but no such agreements were in effect in 1992 (Ibid.).

Article 15 of "The Law On the Republic of Moldova Citizenship" stipulates the conditions under which Moldavian citizenship can be acquired while Article 23 provides for the stripping of Moldavian citizenship under certain circumstances (Kishinev 'Memorial' Society Oct. 1991, 12). Article 20 stipulates that citizenship may be refused in the following circumstances: where a person is "creating national or racial hostility," where he or she is "engaged in activities aimed at undermining state security, public order, population health and morals," and where he or she is "calling for forceful alteration or overthrowing the social order as fixed in the Republic of Moldova Constitution" (Ibid.). The same source notes that

 "[s]uch factors as a vague character of the philological criteria, demanding political merits while granting the republican citizenship and a possibility of stripping anybody of the latter as a kind of punishment provide for the nationality-based discrimination against some layers of the republican population" (Ibid., 12-13).

According to a spokesperson at Helsinki Watch, there have been no reports of denying Moldavian citizenship to non-ethnic Moldovans (9 March 1993). On the contrary, the source added, adoption of Moldavian citizenship has been encouraged (Ibid.).

Additional or corroborating information is currently unavailable to the DIRB.

References

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). August 1992. "Staff Delegation Trip Report on Moscow, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus June 25-July 4, 1992," Washington, D.C.

Helsinki Watch, New York. 9 March 1993. Telephone interview with spokesperson. International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Vienna. December 1991. "Preliminary Report of the Fact-finding Mission to Moldavia, 22-26 November 1991."

Kishinev 'Memorial' Society. October 1991. "Human Rights Situation in Moldavia."

Attachments

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). August 1992. "Staff Delegation Trip Report on Moscow, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus June 25-July 4, 1992," Washington, D.C.

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Vienna. December 1991. "Preliminary Report of the Fact-finding Mission to Moldavia, 22-26 November 1991."

Kishinev 'Memorial' Society. October 1991. "Human Rights Situation in Moldavia."

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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