Psychiatric Hospital Chisenau

"The one main issue permeating the whole society and influencing how persons with disabilities are perceived therein is the strong prevalence of the medical model of disability. This approach focuses on defining a person’s defect and separating those that are ‘healthy’ or ‘normal’ from those that are ‘unfit’ – resulting in exclusion and segregation, objectifying attitudes and forced interventions."

Instead of enabling persons with disabilities to exercise rights such as work, this approach actually certifies many of them as unable to work, an approach completely inconsistent with the international human rights framework. I would strongly urge the Republic of Moldova to abolish this pervasive stigmatization which gravely undermines the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, and implement the social and rights-based model to disability as anchored in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

During my visit, I also observed the lack of accessibility of the physical environment in the cities and facilities I visited, and the low involvement of persons with disabilities in public decision-making processes or efforts undertaken by broader civil society. I could further observe that among persons with disabilities, those who are deaf or have intellectual or psycho-social disabilities, women and girls with disabilities and Roma with disabilities seemed to be at biggest risk of being left behind.

Interesting initiatives are being implemented to make the system more compliant with the human rights-based approach to disability. Law No. 60 on social inclusion of persons with disabilities was adopted in 2012, just two years after the country ratified of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I acknowledge the establishment in 2014 of the institutional ombudsman of psychiatric hospitals. Nevertheless, there is a need to move swiftly towards establishing a structure of national level implementation and monitoring in compliance with article 33 of the Convention, with a view to enhancing coordination among different levels of governance and adequate accountability and independent monitoring of undertaken activities.

I would also like to commend the Government for its progressive work to ensure inclusive education for children with disabilities. Through my conversations with various stakeholders I got the sense that the right elements are in place to make the system sustainable. Read the full statement here.

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The situation of persons with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities in Moldova



In dialogue with local journalists, the Special Rapporteur expresses her concerns about the situation of institutionalized persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in the country.

  • Copyright 2016