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Moldova’s national human rights institutions, with support of OSCE Mission, work together to protect rights of national minorities

Heads of the Agency for Interethnic Relations, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality are signing a Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova Claus NeukirchThe three Moldovan human rights institutions – the Agency for Interethnic Relations, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality – signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 November 2018 to work together on protecting and promoting the rights of national minorities in the country. The ceremony took place on the premises of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, which facilitated the development of the document.

The Memorandum of Understanding is an effective tool to support the implementation of the National Strategy for the Consolidation of Interethnic Relations till 2027, which was adopted by the Moldovan Government in 2017. It sets a framework for strengthening the co-operation between the three national human rights institutions through regular meetings, the exchange of information, joint research and mutual support. The Memorandum of Understanding places a specific focus on the national minorities’ right to education, access to information, public participation and other cultural, religious and linguistic rights, which are reflected in the National Strategy.

“The OSCE Mission to Moldova together with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities supported the commendable efforts of the Moldovan Government to develop the Strategy, which seeks to create an inclusive and tolerant society in Moldova. This kind of environment, where human rights, including the rights of national minorities, are respected, builds a strong foundation for the settlement process,” said Claus Neukirch, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova during the signing ceremony.

The Memorandum of Understanding was developed as part of an OSCE Mission project to strengthen the co-operation and capacity of actors in promoting and protecting the rights of national minorities. It complements the Mission’s two-day training course held on 2 and 3 October 2018 in Chisinau in which an international expert explored issues related to national minority rights for representatives of the three institutions. It also complements the ongoing training seminars for lawyers throughout Moldova on the rights of national minorities.