The Government of the Republic of Moldova does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Moldova remained on Tier 2. These efforts included investigating more trafficking cases, prosecuting significantly more suspected traffickers, adopting and implementing a new NRM, and approving a two-year NAP with dedicated funds for implementation. The General Police Inspectorate developed sexual assault response teams (SARTs) to respond to reported trafficking cases in rural regions. Furthermore, Parliament passed and entered into force amended legislation empowering the State Labor Inspectorate (SLI) to conduct unannounced labor inspections, which were the country’s main mechanism to identify child labor, including forced child labor, at worksites known or suspected of human trafficking or unreported employment. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in some key areas. Authorities convicted significantly fewer suspected traffickers and identified significantly fewer victims. Persistent gaps in victim protection remained, including a limited number of identified victims receiving state-funded assistance. In addition, corruption, particularly in law enforcement and the judiciary, impeded prosecutions and influenced the outcomes of cases, including those against complicit officials.
The Government of the Republic of Moldova should :
- Proactively identify victims, particularly among vulnerable groups, such as children in state institutions.
- Increase efforts to convict traffickers, including complicit officials.
- Eliminate selective prosecution and hold complicit officials accountable by seeking adequate penalties, which should involve significant prison terms.
- Implement measures to address corruption in the judicial sector and law enforcement community.
- Ensure all identified victims receive state-funded assistance, including long-term assistance, regardless of their participation in court proceedings, particularly long-term reintegration support, such as education, counseling, and job-placement.
- Ensure consistent use of laws and regulations designed to protect victims during trial and prosecute perpetrators of witness tampering and intimidation to the full extent of the law.
- Expand training of police, judges, and prosecutors on a victim-centered approach to investigations and prosecutions.
- Expand training for relevant authorities, particularly social workers in regions outside of the capital, on understanding trafficking and assisting victims.
from 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – U.S. Department of State
2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – United States Department of State