The Voices of Europe's Children
November 20, 2003

Legislation

Legislation and international conventions provide tangible opposition to trafficking in persons. Domestic and international instruments have been enacted to prevent and suppress the process of trafficking in persons and related practices such as slavery and servitude.

At the international level, the United Nations Protocol for the Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (the ‘Trafficking in Persons Protocol’), to which Moldova is a signatory from 14 December 2000 and entered into force in September, 2004. In accordance with paragraph 3 of article 15 of the Protocol, the Republic of Moldova does not consider itself bound by paragraph 2 of article 15 of the Protocol. Until the full establishment of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, the provisions of the Protocol will be applied only on the territory controlled by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova. This Protocol represents the most comprehensive effort by the international community to target trafficking in persons. Despite being the first instrument which considers trafficking in persons as a distinct issue, the Protocol has been strongly influenced by earlier anti–slavery and ‘white slave traffic’ conventions and treaties. Information will be available on this site detailing the development of national legislations according with the Protocol and other international instruments which preceded it.

In Moldova, prior to 2001, was no legislation which contained specific offences relating to trafficking in persons. This changed with the introduction of the Criminal Code 1131 which introduced laws criminalizing trafficking.

In 2002, was adopted a new Criminal Code that includes two articles 165 about trafficking in persons and 206 about trafficking in children.

The Moldavian legislator chose to address trafficking as a part of the Criminal Code recognizing trafficking as a serious crime. Since June 12, 2003, the law finally recognized trafficking in persons as a specific offence whereas the old law talked about related activities. The new law talks about trafficking in human beings in article 165 and the trafficking in children in article 206. It is comprehensive in two ways. The Moldova’’ Law covers not only the criminalization of trafficking in persons and related offences, but also the different aspects of assistance to victims as well as establishing cooperation between different state authorities and NGOs. The law is all-inclusive in defining the forms of trafficking. The Moldavian Law, while it includes the forms of trafficking as specified by the United Nations Protocol, goes above and beyond. It recognizes trafficking not only commercial sex but also as non-commercial sexual exploitation. This includes mail order brides, trafficking for the purpose of childbearing, and trafficking for marriage. An explicit reference is used to define the illegality of adoption, the use of persons in armed conflicts, the utilization of persons in criminal activities, and the trafficking for the purpose of pornography.

Each provision is accompanied by a detailed commentary, providing several options for legislators, as appropriate, and legal sources and examples.