Child protection – key elements in newly signed Association Agreement between EU and Moldova

Press release (downloadable): ChildPact (The Regional Coalition for Child Protection in the wider Black Sea Area) and The Alliance of Active NGO’s in the Field of Social Protection of Family and Child from the Republic of Moldova (APSCF)

December 3rd, 2013

High level officials  from the Republic of Moldova and representatives of the European Union met in Vilnius on 28-29 November 2013 to sign the Association Agreements with the European Union. 

The Association Agreement largely focuses on deepening political and economic relations between the European Union and Moldova with the goal to gradually integrate Moldova into the EU. The Agreement promote reforms in key unifying areas such as human rights and social protection. Moldova’s EU Association Agreement emphasizes also cooperation for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child.

Article 138 of the Agreement mentions that such cooperation shall include “the prevention and combating of all forms of exploitation (including child labour), abuse, negligence and violence against children, including by developing and strengthening the legal and institutional framework as well as awareness-raising campaigns in this domain”.

The agreement encourages also “the exchange of information and best practice on the alleviation of poverty among children, including on measures to focus social policies on children’s wellbeing, and to promote and facilitate children’s access to education”.

ChildPact and APSCF welcome the Agreement’ emphasis on regional cooperation for child protection reform and believe scaled efforts and innovation for increased protection and well-being of Moldova’s vulnerable children depend upon the exchange of valuable practice and problem-solving techniques.

ChildPact and APSCF look forward to the EU’s tangible efforts to encourage and exchange valuable practices with Moldova from its own EU Member States reform practices on child rights and protection. Namely, Romania and Bulgaria’s child protection reform efforts offer pathways to innovation and lessons that could be replicated and supported across the Eastern Partnership countries and beyond, including Moldova.

Regular dialogue is expected to take place between the EU and the partners on all issues covered in the chapter of the Association Agreement dedicated to the protection and promotion of the rights of the child.

ChildPact and APSCF stress the importance of this section of the Association Agreement and invite the EU and Moldova to make child protection reforms a priority in their cooperation.

ChildPact and APSCF reaffirm their own commitment to prevent and address child vulnerability by promoting regional cooperation and strengthening civil society networks in the wider Black Sea area and look forward to enhanced cooperation in this field with EU institutions.

Mirela Oprea, ChildPact Secretary General

Stela Vasluian, APSCF Interim President