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The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova

Adopted on July, 29, 1994
Monitorul Oficial al R.Moldova No 1 of 18.08.1994

Title II.
Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Duties

Chapter I. General Provisions

Article 15

The Constitution in conjunction with other laws grants the citizens of the Republic of Moldova their rights and freedoms and also lays down their duties upon them.

Article 16
Equality of Rights

(1) It is the foremost duty of the State to respect and protect the human person.

(2) All citizens of the Republic of Moldova are equal before the law and the public authorities, without any discrimination as to race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, political choice, personal property or social origin.

Article 17
Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova

(1) The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova can be acquired, retained or lost only under the conditions provided for by the organic law.

(2) No one may be deprived arbitrarily of his/her citizenship or the right to change it.

[Art.17 in the wording of the Law no.1469-XV of 21.11.02, enforced on 12.12.02]

Article 18
Citizenship Restrictions and State Protection for Its Nationals

(1) The citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall enjoy the protection of their State both at home and abroad.

(2) No citizen of the Republic of Moldova can be extradited or expelled from his/her country.

[Art.18 in the wording of the Law no.1469-XV of 21.11.02, enforced on 12.12.02]

Article 19
Legal status of aliens and stateless persons

(1) Except in cases where the law has different rulings aliens and stateless persons shall enjoy the same rights and shall have the same duties as the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

(2) Alien or stateless citizens may be extradited only in compliance with an international agreement or under conditions of reciprocity, or in consequence of a decision of a court of law.

(3) The right to asylum shall be granted and denied by rule of law in compliance with those international treaties the Republic of Moldova is a party to.

[Art.19 in the wording of the Law no.1469-XV of 21.11.02, enforced on 12.12.02]

Article 20
Free Access to Justice

(1) Every citizen has the right to obtain effective protection from competent courts of Jurisdiction against actions infringing on his/her legitimate rights, freedoms and interests.

(2) No law may restrict the access to justice.

Article 21
Presumption of Innocence

Any person accused to have committed an offense shall be presumed innocent until found guilty on legal grounds, brought forward in a public trial in the course of which all guarantees for necessary defense will have been taken.

Article 22
Nonretroactivity of Law

No one may be sentenced for actions or omissions which did not constitute an offense at the time they were committed. Also, no punishment may be given that is harsher than that applicable at the time when the offense was committed.

Article 23
The Right to Know One's Rights and Duties

(1) Every one has the right to an acknowledged legal status.

(2) The State ensures the right of everybody to know his/her rights and duties. For that purpose the State shall publish all its laws and regulations and make them accessible to everybody.

Chapter II. Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

Article 24
The Right to Life and Physical and Mental Integrity

(1) The State guarantees everybody the right to life, and to physical and mental integrity.

(2) No one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.

(3) Capital punishment is abolished. No one could be sentenced to such a punishment nor executed, except for acts committed upon war or threat of war and only in compliance with the law.

[Paragraph 3 art.24 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

Article 25
Individual Freedom and Personal Security

(l) Individual freedom and personal security are declared to be inviolable.

(2) Searching, detaining in custody or arresting a person shall be permitted only if based on the authority of law.

(3) The period of detention in custody may not exceed 72 hours.

[Paragraph 3 art.25 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

(4) Persons may be arrested only under warrant issued by a judge for a maximum time limit of 30 days. The arrested may contest the legality of the warrant and lay a complaint before a hierarchically superior court, which is bound to reply by way of a motivated decision. The time limit of detention may be extended to 12 months only by a judge or by court, in compliance with the law.

[Paragraph 4 art.25 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

(5) The person detained in custody or arrested shall be informed without delay of the reasons for his detention or arrest, as well as of the charges made against him/her, which may take place only in the presence of a lawyer, either chosen by the defendant or appointed ex officio.

(6) If the reasons for detention in custody or arrest have ceased to exist, the release of the person concerned must follow without delay.

Article 26
Right of Defense

(l) The right of defense is guaranteed.

(2) Everybody has the right to respond independently by appropriate legitimate means to an infringement of his/her rights and freedoms.

(3) Throughout the trial the parties have the right to be assisted by a lawyer, either chosen or appointed ex officio.

(4) Any interference with the activity of those carrying out the defense within legally established confines shall be punished by authority of law.

Article 27
The Right to Free Movement

(1) The right to move freely within the boundaries of one's native country is guaranteed.

(2) Every citizen of the Republic of Moldova is guaranteed the right to choose his place of residence anywhere within the national territory, to travel in and out of the country, also to emigrate at will.

Article 28
Private and Family Life

The State shall respect and protect private and family life.

Article 29
Inviolability of Domicile

(1) The domicile is inviolable. No one may enter upon or stay on the premises of a domicile without the owner's consent.

(2) The law shall allow for derogation from the provisions of paragraph (1) under the following circumstances:

  1. For executing an arrest warrant or a decision of a court of law;
  2. For forestalling imminent danger threatening of the life, physical integrity or the property of a person;
  3. For preventing the spread of an epidemic disease.
(3) Searches and questioning in a domicile may he ordered and earned out only in accordance with the rule of law.

(4) Except for cases where an obvious offence has been committed, night searches are forbidden.

Article 30
Privacy of Correspondence

(1) The State shall ensure the privacy of letters, telegrams, other postal dispatches, of telephone conversations and of using other legal means of communication.

(2) Exceptions to paragraph (1) are allowed when they are in the interests of the national security, economic welfare of the country, public order and preventing crime.

[Paragraph 2 art.30 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

Article 31
Freedom of Conscience

(1) The freedom of conscience is guaranteed, and its manifestations should be in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

(2) The freedom of religious worship is guaranteed and religious bodies are free to organize themselves according to their own statutes under the rule of law.

(3) In their mutual relationships religious cults are forbidden to use, express or incite to hatred or enmity.

(4) Religious cults are autonomous vis-a-vis the State and shall enjoy the latter's support, including that aimed at providing religious assistance in the army, in hospitals, prisons, homes for the elderly and orphanages.

Article 32
Freedom of Opinion and Expression

(1) All citizens are guaranteed the freedom of opinion as well as the freedom of publicly expressing their thoughts and opinions by way of word, image or any other means possible.

(2) The freedom of expression may not harm the honour, dignity or the rights of other people to have and express their own opinions or judgements.

(3) The law shall forbid and prosecute all actions aimed at denying and slandering the State or the people. Likewise shall be forbidden and prosecuted the investigations to sedition, war, aggression, ethnic, racial or religious hatred, the incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, public violence, or other actions threatening constitutional order.

Article 33
Freedom to Create

(1) The freedom to create scientific and artistic works is guaranteed. Creative work may not be submitted to censorship.

(2) The law shall protect the rights of citizens to their intellectual property, and to the material and moral interests related to various forms of intellectual creation.

(3) The State shall support the preservation, development and propagation of national and world achievements in culture and science.

Article 34
The Right of Access to Information

(1) Having access to any information of public interest is everybody's right, that may not be curtailed.

(2) According with their established level of competence, public authorities shall ensure that citizens are correctly informed both on public affairs and matters of personal interest.

(3) The right of access to information may not prejudice either the measures taken to protect the citizens or the national security.

(4) The State and private media are obliged to ensure that correct information reaches public opinion.

(5) The public media shall not be submitted to censorship.

Article 35
The Right of Access to Education

(1) The right of access to education is put into effect through the compulsory comprehensive public school system, lyceal (public secondary school) and vocational education, as well as the higher education system, and other forms of instruction and training.

(2) The State will enforce under the law the right of each person to choose his/her language in which teaching will be effected.

(3) In all forms of educational institutions the study of the country's official language will be ensured.

(4) State public education is free.

(5) All educational institutions, including those that are not financed by the state, shall be established and function under the rule of law.

(6) Higher education institutions have the right to be autonomous.

(7) The access to lyceal, vocational and higher education is equally open to all and is based on personal merit.

(8) The State ensures under the law the freedom of religious education. The State ensures a lay education.

(9) The priority right of choosing an appropriate educational background for children lies with the parents.

Article 36
The Right of Health Security

(1) The right of health security is guaranteed.

(2) The State shall provide a minimum health insurance, that is free.

(3) Organic laws will establish the structure of the national health security system and the means necessary for protecting individual physical and mental health.

Article 37
The Right to Live in a Healthy Environment

(1) Every human being has the right to live in an environment that is ecologically safe for life and health, to obtain healthy food products and harmless household appliances.

(2) The State guarantees every citizen the right of free access to truthful information regarding the state of the natural environment, the living and working conditions, and the quality of food products and household appliances.

(3) Non-disclosure or falsification of information regarding factors detrimental to human health constitute offenses punishable by law.

(4) Private individuals and legal entities shall be held responsible before the law for any damages they may cause to personal health and property due to an ecological offense.

Article 38
The Right of Voting and Being Elected

(1) The foundation of State power is the will of the people made known through free elections held at regular intervals and based on universal, equal, direct, and free suffrage.

(2) Except for the persons banned from voting by law, all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova having attained the age of 18 on or by the voting day inclusively have the right to vote.

(3) The right of being elected is granted to all citizens of the Republic of Moldova enjoying the right of voting.

Article 39
The Right of Administering

(1) The citizens of the Republic of Moldova have the right of participating in the administration of public affairs, either directly or through their representatives.

(2) The access to a public office or position is guaranteed by law to all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

Article 40
The Freedom of Assembly

All meetings, demonstrations, rallies, processions or any other assemblies are free, and they may be organized and take place only peacefully and without the use of weapons.

Article 41
The Freedom of Political Association

(1) All citizens are free to associate in parties and other social and political organizations. These organizations contribute to the definition and expression of public political will, and under the rule of law take part in the electing process.

(2) All parties and other social/political organizations are equal before the law.

(3) The State shall ensure the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of parties and other social/political organizations.

(4) Parties and social/political organizations are declared unconstitutional if by their aims or activities they are engaged in fighting against political pluralism, the principles of the rule of law, the sovereignty and independence or territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova.

(5) Secret associations are forbidden.

(6) The activity of parties consisting of foreign nationals is forbidden.

(7) The organic law shall establish those public offices whose holders may not join political parties.

Article 42
The Right of Establishing and Joining Trades-Unions

(1) Any employee has the right to establish and join a trades-union in order to defend his/her interests.

(2) Trades-unions are founded and carry on their activities in accordance with their statutes under the law. They make their contribution to the defense of employees professional, economic and social interests.

Article 43
The Right of Working and of Access to Work

(1) Every person has the right to freely choose his/her work, and to benefit from equitable and satisfactory working conditions, as well as to be protected against unemployment.

(2) All employees have the right of work protection. In this respect the protective measures will bear upon work security and hygiene, working conditions for women and young people, the introduction of minimum wages across the national economy, the weekly period of rest, the paid holidays, difficult working conditions, as well as other specific situations.

(3) The length of the working week shall not exceed 40 hours.

(4) The right of collective bargaining is guaranteed, and so is the legal enforceability of collective agreements.

Article 44
Prohibition of Forced Labour

(1) Forced labour is prohibited.

(2) Not to be regarded as forced labour are the following:

  1. Military-like duty or the activities designed to replace it, carried out by those who under the law are exempted from compulsory military service;
  2. Work done by a convicted person under normal conditions, in custody or on conditional release;
  3. Services such as required to deal with calamities or other dangers or as considered under the law to be a part of normal obligations of civilians.
Article 45
The Right of Striking

(1) The right to strike is acknowledged. Strikes may be started only if aimed at defending the economic, social and professional interests of employees.

(2) The law will establish the conditions requested in the exercise of this right, as well as the responsibility involved in the illegal start of strikes.

Article 46
The Right of Private Property and Its Protection

(1) The right to possess private property and the debts incurred by the State are guaranteed.

(2) No one may be expropriated except for reasons dictated by public necessity, as established by law and against just and appropriate compensation made in advance.

(3) No assets legally acquired may be confiscated. The effective presumption is that of legal acquirement.

(4) Goods destined for, used or resulted from crimes or offenses may be confiscated only as established by law.

(5) The right of private property carries with it the duty to observe the roles regarding the protection of the environment, the maintenance of good neighbourly relations and the observance of all the other duties that have to be fulfilled by owners of private property under the law.

(6) The right to inherit private property is guaranteed.

Article 47
The Right of Receiving Social Assistance and Protection

(1) The State is obliged to take action aimed at ensuring that every person has a decent standard of living, whereby good health and welfare based on available food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and social services are secured for that person and his/her family.

(2) All citizens have the right to be insured against such adversities as: unemployment, disease, disability, widowhood, old age or other situations where, due to causes beyond one's control one loses the source or means of obtaining the necessities of life.

Article 48

(1) The family is the natural and fundamental constituent of society and as such has the right to be protected by the State and by society.

(2) The family is founded on the freely consented marriage of husband and wife, on the spouses equality of rights and on the duty of parents to ensure their children's upbringing and education.

(3) The law shall establish under which conditions a marriage may be concluded, terminated or annulled.

(4) Children have a duty to look after their parents and help them in need.

Article 49
Protection of Family and Orphaned Children

(1) By economic and other actions the State shall support the formation and development of families, and the fulfillment of their duties.

(2) The State shall protect the motherhood, the children and the young and promote the development of the institutions required to put that protection into effect.

(3) All efforts aimed at maintaining, bringing up and educating orphaned children and those children deprived of parental care constitute the responsibility of the State and of society. The state promotes and supports charitable activities for the benefit of these children.

Article 50
Protection of Mothers, Children and Young People

(1) Mothers and children have the right of receiving special protection and care. All children, including those born out of wedlock, shall enjoy the benefits of the same social assistance.

(2) Children and young people enjoy a special form of assistance in the enforcement of their rights.

(3) The State shall grant the required allowances for children and the aid needed for the care of sick or disabled children. The law shall provide for other forms of social assistance for children and the young.

(4) Both the exploitation of minors and their misuse in activities endangering their health, moral conduct, life or normal development are forbidden.

(5) It is the duty of the public authorities to establish the conditions enabling the young people to take part freely in the social, economic, cultural and sporting life of the country.

Article 51
Protection of Disabled Persons

(1) The disabled persons shall enjoy a special form of protection from the whole of society. The State shall ensure that normal conditions exist for medical treatment and rehabilitation, education, training and social integration of disabled persons.

(2) Except for those cases that are provided for under the law nobody may be submitted to forced medical treatment.

Article 52
Right of Petitioning

(1) All citizens have the right to apply to public authority by way of petitions formulated in behalf of the applicants.

(2) Legally established organizations may petition exclusively in behalf of the associations or bodies they represent.

Article 53
Rights of Persons Aggrieved by Public Authority

(1) Any person, whose rights have been trespassed upon in any way by public authority through an administrative ruling or lack of timely legal reply to an application, is entitled to obtain acknowledgement of those rights, the cancellation of the ruling and payment of damages.

(2) The State is under patrimonial liability as foreseen by the law for any prejudice or injury caused in lawsuits through errors of the police or the judiciary.

Article 54
Restricting the Exercise of Certain Rights or Freedoms

(1) No laws suppressing or violating fundamental human rights and freedoms shall be adopted in the Republic of Moldova.

(2) The exercise of certain rights or freedoms may be restricted only under the laws which meet generally accepted principles of the international law, and only as required in cases like: the defense of national security, of territorial integrity, of economic welfare of the country, of public order, preventing mass disorders and offences, of protecting citizens rights, freedoms, and personal dignity, preventing the disclosure of confidential information or guaranteeing judiciary authority and impartiality.

(3) Provisions of paragraph (2) do not provide for the infringement of the rights stipulated in Articles 20-24.

(4) The restrictions enforced must be in proportion to the situation that caused it, and may not affect the existence of that right or liberty.

[Art.54 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

Chapter III. Fundamental Duties

Article 55
Exercise of Rights and Freedoms as Part of An Integrated System

Every citizen has to exercise his/her constitutional rights and freedoms in good faith, without infringing others' rights and freedoms.

[Art.55 in the wording of the Law no.351-XV of 12.07.2001]

Article 56
Allegiance to the Country

(1)Allegiance and loyalty to the are sacred.

(2) Citizens entrusted with the holding of public office, as well as the military, are under the responsibility to fulfil faithfully their duties towards the state, and in given situations shall also take the oath as requested by law.

Article 57
Defense of Motherland

(1)It is the right and the sacred duty of every citizen to defend one's motherland.

(2) The national armed forces constitute the framework for performing military services, for national defense, guarding the borders, and maintaining public older under the law.

Article 58
Financial Contributions

(1) All citizens are under obligation to contribute by way of taxes and financial impositions to public expenditure.

(2) The system of legal taxation must ensure a just distribution of fiscal burdens over the population.

(3)All taxation other than that established by law is forbidden.

Article 59
Protection of Environment and Public Monuments

It is the duty of every citizen to protect the natural environment, and to preserve and protect the country's historical and cultural sites and monuments.


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