Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Report

Introduction

The following information reports U.S. Government priorities and activities of the U.S. mission in Moldova to promote democracy and human rights. For background on Moldova's human rights conditions, please see the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Reports at www.state.gov.

Part 1: U.S. Government Democracy Objectives

The U.S. government's highest priorities are to achieve peace and security, resolve the frozen conflict in the breakaway region of Transnistria; promote democratic institutions and governance; assist broad-based and sustainable economic growth; and promote the rule of law by reforming law enforcement and judicial institutions. The U.S. goal is to promote the rule of law by assisting all law enforcement and judicial bodies of the government in order to modernize operations and equipment, safeguard the human rights of suspects, and bring them up to European standards, particularly in forensics.

Part 2: Supporting Top Priorities and Other Aspects of Human Rights and Democratic Governance

To resolve the frozen conflict in Transnistria, the United States engages Transnistrian authorities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and academics to encourage civic activism to prevent trafficking and build networks and cooperation among NGOs on both sides of the river and to sponsor projects that deliver information on American culture to Transnistrians. Continued efforts on the part of the U.S. Government work to include Transnistrian participants in exchange programs (including the International Visitors Leadership Program, Cochran, educational exchange, and Summer Work and Travel programs), to open American Corners in Transnistrian libraries for cultural and informational outreach, and continue public diplomacy activities such as concerts and film festivals.

To promote democratic institutions and governance, the U.S. Government promotes transparent political processes and encourages citizen and political party participation in campaigns and elections. During the 2009 elections, the United States promoted democracy and Moldova's realignment to European values by training parties and electoral administration bodies, improving voter lists, targeting minority voters and others through voter education campaigns and improving the performance of election monitors. In the next rounds of elections (repeat parliamentary at a time to be determined, and local council and mayoral elections in the spring of 2011), the United States will coordinate with international bodies and local NGOs to support “Get out the Vote” and voter education campaigns; train all political parties on campaigns, organization and publicity techniques; improve the quality and integrity of voter registration lists; improve the training, administrative and management capacity of Moldovan electoral administration bodies; and assist grassroots campaigns targeting women, minorities, young voters, and rural residents. In addition to electoral programming, U.S. Government civil society programming aims to further strengthen Moldova's representative democracy through support for a constituent-driven, financially viable civil society sector. Activities aim to enhance the skills of civil society organizations to represent citizen interests, improve the governance and management of civil society organizations, strengthen the legal and fiscal framework for civil society, and promote the diversification of financial resources available to civil society. The U.S. government supports independent media development by networking and building the professional journalism, business and management skills capacity of regional media outlets. Support is also provided to journalists' rights and freedom of information advocacy organizations.

To promote the rule of law, the United States continues to work closely with government entities that play a key role in combating crime, such as the Center for Combating Trafficking in Persons (CCTIP), the Center for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption, the Prosecutor General's Office, and ministries of interior, justice, and related entities. Changes in the government have led to greater opportunities for more in-depth engagement. The U.S. strategy seeks to capitalize on the local government's growing receptiveness to enacting liberalizing reforms. Within the interior ministry, the focus will be put on Public Order/Riot Control, the Canine Center, the Forensics Unit, the Department of Operative Services and the Police Academy. The U.S Government will fund the placement of an on-site advisor with the CCTIP to provide mentoring for prosecutors with responsibility for overseeing human trafficking cases. To bolster the government's ability to combat corruption, U.S. programs will build on past projects, strengthening whistle-blower protection, and implementing civilian review boards to investigate police and other official misconduct. The U.S. Government will also work with other criminal justice sector institutions to improve their capacity to investigate and prosecute other serious crime, including public corruption, organized crime and other transnational crime, while adhering to standards of integrity and transparency and international standards of due process. U.S. Government efforts will also encourage law enforcement bodies to cooperate more effectively with their counterparts in neighboring and other countries, and to ensure there is an adequate system to protect endangered witnesses and whistle-blowers. To ensure future sustainability, the embassy will assist criminal justice training institutes in developing a growing cadre of competent trainers within their institutions.

[This is a mobile copy of Moldova]