Due to economic and social crises, the mental health of the people in the Republic of Moldova has been negatively influenced.
Mental health disorders have risen to 576 cases for every 100,000 Moldovans in 2009 from 500 cases for every 100,000 Moldovans in 2005. Among of the organizations in the country that supports and cares for the residents with these are the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC), European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), and Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI).
MDAC became involved in Moldova just last December 2010. That very same month, it came up with a capacity-building event to monitor the methodology of mental health and social care institutions in Moldova. MDAC also held then an advocacy event for government representatives and directors of mental health institutions on legal capacity law reform.
The following year, the MDAC already came up with recommendations to improve the discrimination bill.
But it did not stop there. The MDAC also co-organized a four-day training session in March 2012 on how to prevent torture and ill-treatment against PWDs. The rights of detainees in psychiatric and social care institutions were checked, a psychiatric hospital inspected, and preparation of monitoring reports taught.
PWDs themselves were trained to be vigilant against torture during the same month the following year. They were asked to cooperate with the Moldova’s National Preventive Mechanism established under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
The MDAC’s primary advocacy is to protect women with disabilities in Moldova. It has studied how they are treated in psychiatric and social care institutions in the country, particularly the use of forced psychiatric treatment, overcrowding, the use of restraints and seclusion techniques to control detainees, and a worrying lack of oversight in these places.
The MDAC has also reported evidence of violations based on gender including the use of forced abortions, a high prevalence of sexual violence and degrading conditions including a lack of toilet paper, tampons and pads for female residents. It has submitted this “shadow report” to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in September 2013, and has called on the Moldovan government to reform the “discriminatory guardianship system” the very next month.
Representing over 10,000 social service provider organizations across Europe is the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD).
It has six members in Moldova: the Association for Charity and Social Assistance (ACASA), which involves 34 NGOs and 29 individuals; the Alliance of Organisations working with the disabled people (AOPD), which enjoins 13 civil society organisations (CSOs); the Association ‘Curcubeul Copilarie’, which supports children with special educational needs; the Day Care Centre “Speranta”; the Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association (KHSIMA); the Asociatia Motivatie Moldova; and the Verbina.
In November 2012, the Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) trained 33 individuals in Moldova.
Since then, DRPI Moldova has come up with surveys and reports that concerns PWDs in the country. These are the “Monitoring of rights of persons with disabilities in Republic of Moldova,” “Analysis of individual experience of persons with disabilities from the Republic of Moldova,” “Monitoring of the legislation, policies and programs: the observance of rights of persons with disabilities from the Republic of Moldova,” and “Monitoring of mass media and society’s attitude towards persons with disabilities.”
There are more than 170,000 persons certified as “invalid” in Moldova, the current term in Moldovan law for PWDs. The latter face discrimination, social exclusion, poverty, unemployment, life in segregated institutions, low quality education, and inaccessibility to the general system of social protection even in their own country.
To combat these, the Moldovan Parliament has committed to implement the right of PWDs to (1) live in the community, and (2) legal capacity. It has planned to introduce new equality instruments “to bring Moldovan laws in line with regional and international human rights standards.” This could be seen within the draft law on “Preventing and Combating Discrimination.”
“People with disabilities need as far as possible to be integrated, not segregated, and strenuous efforts need to be made to help people lead an active life in the community rather than be locked away in institutions.” ~ Navi Pillay
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Яр Бест