Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports


2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Law that Delayed Advancement

In 2019, Moldova made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government established the National Council on Human Rights to monitor and assess efforts to comply with national and international obligations to combat child labor, and established an annex specifically for child victims of trafficking within state-run shelters. In addition, the Anti-Trafficking Bureau's mandate was expanded to include investigations of all forms of online child sexual exploitation. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Moldova is receiving an assessment of minimal advancement because it continued to implement a regression in law and practice that delayed advancement in eliminating the worst forms of child labor. In August 2018, the government amended Law No. 131 through Law No. 179, such that unannounced inspections, even those based on a complaint or at the request of law enforcement or other state bodies, are permitted only on the basis of a risk assessment that indicates an immediate threat to the environment, life, health, or property. This stringent measure severely limited the State Labor Inspectorate's ability to conduct unannounced inspections. In addition, announced inspections are only permitted after the State Labor Inspectorate first requests and receives insufficient documentation from the business being inspected or after conducting a risk assessment that finds reasonable indicators of a possible violation. Moreover, when an inspection is conducted in response to a complaint, the labor inspector must only focus on the alleged violation outlined in the complaint; if other violations, such as child labor, are uncovered, they cannot be addressed. Children in Moldova engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also engage in child labor in agriculture. Moldova lacks a sufficient number of labor inspectors to provide sufficient coverage of the workforce. Furthermore, training is needed for new criminal investigators. In addition, entities responsible for conducting occupational, safety, and health inspections, including of hazardous child labor, lacked adequate capacity to do so during the reporting period.

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