Activity of the Parliament on May 23-27, 2005
31 May 2005
During the aforesaid period legislators examined several draft laws, some of them of major importance to the public. Among others the drafts on unemployment aid and the draft abolishing sanctions on prostitution proved to be the most controversial ones.
Apart from the aforesaid drafts, legislators examined and passed a series of amendments aimed at bringing Moldovan normative acts in accordance with European standards.
I. Law on the Modification and Completion of the Law on Employment and Social Security of the Unemployed
Commentary by ADEPT: The goal of the law is to bring national laws in accordance with Labor Code and enhance social security of the unemployed.
The law also regulates the legal status of private employment agencies, coordination and control over their activity. One of the innovations of the law is that it allows for permanent employment in localities far from the place of residence. Ousted employees who would register with employment agencies would be also entitled to unemployment aid.
The provision on reducing the unemployment aid from 50-60% to 30-50% of the previous salary has triggered many debates. Many deputies objected on the grounds those people would be worse off, considering the inflation and raising cost of consumption basket.
Draft authors supported by majority faction replied that unemployment aid would in fact increase, i.e. in 2005 it would equal 500 Lei, in 2006 - 650 Lei, while in 2007 - 850 Lei. Those arguments convinced hesitating deputies to pass the law in the final reading.
II. Law on Modification and Completion of the Law on the Status of Refugees
Commentary by ADEPT: The amendments come in response to recently passed international documents in the field of refugees. The law includes new provisions on several institutions:
1. Humanitarian protection, institutions supported via the Council of Europe Recommendation of 2001 on subsidiary protection. According to Council of Europe the latter is to be provided by the states in conformity with decisions taken by the specialized bodies, to certain persons that do not fall under the provisions of 1951 Convention on Refugees, but need to be protected from threats and various ill treatments.
2. Council for Refugees which should be an administrative, consultative structure without any appeal or recourse powers.
3. Access of UN High Commissioner on refugees to applicants for asylum or refuge.
4. Applicant for asylum. The deadlines for applying to asylum are to be abolished as the person deserves to be protected regardless how many days passed since his/her arrival in the country.
5. Voluntary repatriation. This has been proven to be the most appropriate solution to refugee's problems, therefore the law provides such a repatriation as grounds for ceasing the refugee status.
6. Exclusions. The law also provides persons that might not apply for a refugee status.
7. Family reunification. This provision was included in the law so as to make possible family reunification in the Republic of Moldova.
8. Appeal. Provisions as regards appeal were brought in accordance with national and international law in the field.
III. Resolution on granting "Valea Morilor" park in Chisinau the status of monument of architecture
Commentary by ADEPT: Parliament passed such a decision in view of recovery and conservation of the "Valea Morilor" park, following a report by a working group responsible for fighting illegal construction in the park. The park was founded in 1951 and currently has 113.9 hectares. By including the park in the list of places under state protection, it would be preserved and become a center culture and recreation, a natural attraction.
IV. Resolution on abolishing sanctions on prostitution
Commentary by ADEPT: Parliament resolution that approved the Action-Plan in the field of Human Rights back in 2003 provides for amending the law so as to persecute both the person providing the service and the clients of such services. Since then the criminal law has changed and it does no longer sanction prostitution due to its low social harm. Prostitution continues to be sanctioned as a contravention. In most European countries the client of such services are not sanctioned, that is why Moldovan legislators considered there were no grounds to introduce such sanctions in Moldovan law.
V. Draft law on modification of the Criminal Code and new regulations on torture
Commentary by ADEPT: Parliament passed in a first reading a draft law completing Criminal Code with a new article on torture. Under the draft, intentional actions causing pain, physical or mental suffering in order to obtain from a person or a third party information or confessions so as to punish that person for an action he/she committed or is suspected of committing; intimidation or pressure on a third party, any form of discrimination, when such a pain or suffering are caused by a person in high position or at duty shall be sanctioned.
It was important to introduce the modification as there were no such provisions in the Criminal Code and there were numerous cases of torture registered in the Republic of Moldova.