Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports


2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Regression in Law and Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2018, Moldova made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government passed Government Decree No. 378 to grant financial allowances to children left without parental care until they reach the age of 18. Labor inspectors also attended regional anti-trafficking workshops, including a policy planning workshop organized by the Permanent Secretariat for the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Moldova is receiving an assessment of minimal advancement because of 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, indicating that the State Labor Inspectorate does not have legal authority to conduct on-site inspections without at least first requesting and then receiving insufficient documentation from the business being inspected or conducting a risk assessment that finds reasonable indicators of a possible violation. The amendments to Law No. 131 allow announced on-site inspections only if the State Labor Inspectorate gives the business owner five day's notice that the inspection will be conducted within ten business days. Unannounced inspections, even those based on a complaint, including at the request of law enforcement or other state bodies, are permitted only based on a risk assessment that indicates an immediate threat to the environment, life, health, or property. These stringent new measures have been interpreted by the State Labor Inspectorate as stripping the body of its ability to conduct unannounced on-site inspections. Other stakeholders maintain that unannounced inspections are still possible when required conditions are met. In addition, when any inspection is conducted, the labor inspector must now 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. In addition, training is needed for new investigators and, due to government restructuring, no occupational health and safety inspections, including of hazardous child labor, were conducted during the reporting period.

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