Critical, but constructive report on Moldova’s NPM

Friday, March 15, 2013

The National Preventive Mechanism of Moldova has published the report of the 2012 visit by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture, aimed at strengthening the NPM. The UN expert body recommends key legislative and organizational changes.

Following its NPM advisory visit to Moldova in October 2012, the SPT drafted two reports, one addressed to the State and one to the NPM. The NPM has just published the latter report, and translated it into Moldovan. 

After nearly five years of operating as an NPM the visit by the UN expert body was a timely moment to take stock of the mechanism’s strengths and weaknesses.       

One of the main obstacles hindering the efficiency of the NPM is the legal ambiguity regarding which domestic mechanism constitutes the NPM. At present there exist competing interpretations whether the Centre for Human Rights (Ombudsman’s Office) and/or the civil society comprised Consultative Council fulfils this role. The SPT submitted recommendations to address this issue and commented also on the current draft law that provides opportunity for real improvement in this regard.

To build the capacity and reinforce the mandate of the NPM the SPT recommended the following:

  • Providing adequate financial and human resources to the overall NPM, particularly the Consultative Council which is very poorly resourced at present;
  • Bolstering the independence of the overall NPM through ensuring its budgetary autonomy and the establishment of a free-standing NPM Secretariat;
  • The enhancement of the position of the NPM as key a national torture-prevention actor through public awareness campaigns and other promotional activities;
  • Establishing better coordination among various state agencies to ensure the proper functioning of the NPM and the effective implementation of the 2011-2014 national strategy to prevent torture in the current National Human Rights Action Plan.   

The APT wholeheartedly welcomes the move of the NPM to publish the SPT’s report, which casts a critical, albeit constructive eye over its functioning in practice. The organisation urges the NPM and the relevant authorities to act on the key recommendations contained in the report.