MINELRES: ERT: New Constitution of Moldova Should Contain Stronger Equal Rights Provision

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Feb 1 18:01:05 2010


Original sender: Equal Rights Trust <equalrightstrust1@response.pure360.com>


ERT Urges Moldova to Amend Constitutional Clause on Equality  
 
London, 28 January 2010  
 
On 27 January 2010, The Equal Rights Trust submitted an expert opinion
to Mihai Ghimpu, Acting President of the Republic of Moldova and
Chairperson of the Moldovan Commission on Constitutional Reform, arguing
that Article 16 (Equality of Rights) of the Constitution of the Republic
of Moldova (the Constitution) falls short of international human rights
standards. In its letter, ERT also made recommendations for amendments
which would better reflect the Republic of Moldova&#65533;s commitment to human
rights. 

The Commission for Constitutional Reform was established by a
Presidential decree on 1 December 2009, with the task of considering the
need for constitutional reform, submitting proposals to Parliament for
any necessary reform and elaborating amendments to the Constitution. On
11 January 2010 the Commission was instructed to undertake analysis of
the content of the Constitution, adopted on 29 July 1994, in the light
of international and comparative constitutional frameworks, with the aim
of identifying gaps in the current constitutional system. 

The ERT expert opinion argues that Article 16 of the current
Constitution contravenes international law by limiting the application
of the right to equality before the law to &#65533;citizens of the Republic of
Moldova&#65533;, thereby excluding non-citizens. It further argues that the
list of grounds on which discrimination is prohibited under Article
16(2) is too narrow to be consistent with Moldova&#65533;s international
obligations. In the expert opinion, ERT calls on the Acting President
Mihai Ghimpu, as Chairperson of the Commission, to address these
concerns and to propose amendments which would ensure that the right to
equality enshrined in Moldova&#65533;s Constitution complies with international
law.     

Speaking about the ERT expert opinion, ERT Executive Director Dimitrina
Petrova said: 

"The Commission for Constitutional Reform has a unique opportunity to
improve the protection from discrimination and inequality experienced by
many in the Republic of Moldova. 

"As it stands, Article 16 of the 1994 Constitution is problematic. Its
limited scope excludes non-citizens and provides a limited list of
prohibited grounds of discrimination, meaning the Constitution is in
breach of Moldova&#65533;s international obligations. The Commission must take
this opportunity to iron out these inconsistencies and entrench a strong
constitutional guarantee of the right to equality for everyone,
consistent with international human rights law." 

To read ERT's expert opinion, click here: 
http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/ERT%20Expert%20Opinion%20to%
20Moldova%20on%20Article%2016%20English.pdf . 
 
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Mission Statement
The Equal Rights Trust is an independent international organisation
whose purpose is to combat discrimination and promote equality as a
fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice. 

The Equal Rights Trust - 
One Lyric Square, 5th Floor, London. W6 0NB. UK  
Tel: +44 (0)20 3178 4113  
Fax: (0)20 3178 5537  
Email: info@equalrightstrust.org

The Equal Rights Trust is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in
England. Company number 5559173. It is also a registered charity, number
1113288

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