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The International Society for Human Rights – Moldavian Section (ISHR-MS) is a Moldovan-based independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that was set up in 1999.


ISHR-MS defends human rights, using legal means and carrying out activities of promoting greater awareness of human rights, of monitoring the way human rights are ensured, of civic education, of legal consulting and humanitarian actions for socially disadvantaged categories of population. We assist Moldovan society to become more sustainable and able to meet the EU process obligations and challenges. ISHR-MS established itself in the area of democratic and social rights policy area to advance people-oriented policies that aim at improving the life quality, at promoting the implementation of European standards of rule of law and human rights in Moldovan society.


We sincerely thank our donors for the support they rendered in assisting vulnerable categories of population, strengthening the reform of the penal justice system and defending human rights in Moldova.


Our donors in 2009:

  • ICCO, the Netherlands
  • European Commission
  • Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ukraine and Moldova
  • International Society for Human Rights – Austrian Section
  • International Society for Human Rights – Swiss Section


The right to freedom of associations and assemblies. Strengthening collaboration between local authorities and NGOs in Moldova


Human rights and fundamental freedoms are systematically violated in Moldova, civil society operates under enormous difficulties and lacks all the key elements for proper functioning; NGO capacities are low, their activities are not linked to international networks.

Moldovan NGOs have limited skills and practically no experience in applying social mechanisms for human rights protection. There is lack of effective dialogue and exchange between CSOs and state authorities

 With the aim to strengthen capacities and collaboration between Moldovan local authorities and NGOs, the ISHR-MS organized and carried out seminars and round tables. There were 4 seminars for representatives of NGOs, 4 seminars for representatives of local administrations and 2 round tables held in Cahul, Soroca, Ungheni, Balti.

The seminars were implemented by the Moldovan experts qualified in the train-the-trainer seminar in GSI, Bonn.

The seminar participants expressed great interest in the programme, they mentioned that it was timely and very useful; it gave the possibility to obtain new knowledge, see new perspectives, find new ways of collaboration and new approaches to solve social problems in Moldova. The participants were interested to hear German experience and best practice in the field.  

Seminar for Local Administration in Cahul September 2009 Seminar for NGOs in Balti November 2009 Seminar for Local Administration in Ungheni October 2009


A special workshop on quality assurance in social services was offered in Chisinau for 20 representatives from NGOs working in the social sector.

Round tables provided a possibility for the participants to discuss most sensitive or complicated issues and to jointly develop recommendations on the best practices and follow-up, to develop their potential and ability in social sphere, develop their organisational performance and consolidate partnership.

The participants discussed possibilities to build and strengthen a long-term social partnership and dialog between local authorities and NGOs with the aim to combine efforts of state and non-state actors in poverty reduction, give access to disadvantaged people to main social services. The meetings provided additional opportunities and a discussion forum to address the problems with participation of representatives of state and civil society.

290 representatives of local authorities and NGOs participated in the seminars and round tables.


Human rights of prisoners. Assistance to social reintegration of prisoners and former prisoners


The number of people deprived of liberty decreased in 2009. There were 5285 persons in Moldovan prisons. 30 percent of those detained under criminal law were deprived of their liberty without issuing arrest warrants.


At the same time, the tendency to deprive people of liberty arbitrarily for administrative offences continued, this often being done with the intent of subsequently investigating a person’s criminal involvement. About 60 percent of administrative detentions are under the categories of offences related to insubordination, resistance or provocation of law enforcement agents.


The Center for social reintegration of detainees and former detainees continued its activity within our organization. The ISHR-MS improved the quality of services rendered to beneficiaries.


The activity of the Centre included three main components:

  • rendering legal, social and psychological assistance to prisoners
  • group training for prisoners aimed at developing their pro-social attitude and preparing them for life after release
  • assistance to ex-prisoners in their reintegration into society.


The ISHR-MS collaborators provided individual free legal, psychological and social counseling  to prisoners in penitentiary institution nr. 4 Cricova, one of the largest penitentiary institutions in the country with about 900 detainees, and penitentiary institution nr. 7 Rusca, the only prison for women in Moldova.

The ISHR-MS specialists regularly visited the penitentiary institutions. They counseled the prisoners about human rights protections, job-seeking, learning a trade, how to improve their professional skills. The social assistants explained such issues as how to get one time release grant, unemployment benefit, family allowance, disability grant. Prisoners were assisted in restoring their personal documents (identity card, birth certificate, etc.), reestablishing contacts with families and children. Legal counseling concerned such issues as housing, labour, inheritance, tutorship, etc. Beneficiaries were assisted in writing inquiries, complaints, letters to state institutions. Priority was given to prisoners with about 12 months before release.

Group training for men prisoners Group training for women prisoners Individual consultation in women prison

Former prisoners could also benefit from the Center’s services. To assist ex-prisoners, the ISR-MS collaborators contacted relevant authorities, directed beneficiaries to the necessary institutions, developed action plans for them to follow.

During the year 320 prisoners and ex-prisoners got individual assistance.

With the aim to change the prisoners’ thinking to a pro-social one, to develop the prisoners’ self-control and communication skills and to prepare them for future life in modern society, training programs were elaborated and carried out.

Men prisoners participated in the Programme of skills development for solving problems without violence. The Program consists of 16 lessons and takes 4 months.

In Moldovan prisons there is a separation of prisoners into groups. Different groups of prisoners need specific approach. There is a group of vulnerable prisoners who want to be segregated for their own protection. Often these prisoners are held in premises similar to those used for punishment. They may have little or no access to the opportunities offered in the prison’s normal regime.

A special pilot training was carried out with a group of isolated prisoners in penitentiary institution nr. 4. 20 men were trained.

Beneficiaries of the training got basic knowledge about solving problems in a pro-social way without violence and crime. They obtained necessary cognitive and social skills, learned how to control their anger, obtained necessary social skills that will help them to manage conflict situations, communicate with other people, find a job after release and keep it. Most of the participants have developed the sense of responsibility.

The ISHR-MS came out with initiative to develop and carry out a training course for one of the most vulnerable category of prisoners – mother prisoners. Apart from difficult conditions in prison they have unsettled problems with their children. For women prisoners there was a 3-month pilot training course prepared.

The ISHR-MS collaborators taught women to overcome the feeling of segregation, uncertainty, negative self-image, low self-respect. The participants learnt how to build healthy and effective social network.

In 2009, 90 women and men prisoners got socio-psychological training.

Our services are aimed towards reintegration of prisoners into society and to prevent their future involvement in crime or anti-social activities.


Children rights. Assistance to Moldovan children.

Strengthening family relations between mother prisoners and their children


When mothers are incarcerated, their children are usually cared for by grandparents or other relatives or placed in foster care. Many children do not see their mothers the entire time they are in prison, the main reason for that is lack of money for trips. Thus the mother-child relation becomes difficult or even is lost.


With financial support of the European Commission, ISHR-MS organized 3 visits of children to their imprisoned mothers in P-7, village Rusca.

Children from poor families, boarding schools, centers for rehabilitation and children homes of family type took part in the visits. They were accompanied by relatives, social assistants, educators, collaborators of the Centre for social reintegration. 36 persons participated in the visits.

The ISHR-MS collaborators carried out a considerable psychological and social work with the children and relatives of the condemned. Many relatives had not seen each other for several years and had not had financial possibilities to come to the prison. Many of them had problems in finding mutual understanding. We gave them recommendations on family relations and behavior during the meeting. Thus the condemned and their families were psychologically prepared and had a positive attitude to the forthcoming meetings.

Hairdresser’s courses First clients

The visitors were taken to the prison by bus. Children got food sets and could make a present to their mothers.

The visits took place in the Visitors’ Centre in the prison. Each family could stay in a separate room, have lunch and communicate.

The meeting of children with their mothers was full of happiness and, at the same time, of pain because of their situation. Some children did not have the chance to see their mothers for 10 months, other – for 2 years. Finally they had the opportunity to talk to mothers about their life, problems and expectations.

During the visits, pictures were taken and photos were printed afterwards for all participants of the visit. Children wrote letters of gratitude.


The ISHR-MS, with the financial support of Sud Tirol and IGFM-Austria, rendered humanitarian help to 14 children from 3 children’s homes of family type.

Each stage of our activity was optimized in order to meet as much as possible the interests of children from children’s homes. We precisely knew, for whom we got each separate thing. We bought those things, that children dreamt about and that will be useful to them and will help them develop their intellectual and creative potential.


Children for the first time in their life had an opportunity to choose those things, which they liked and which were necessary for them.


Awareness raising campaign, publications


There were 8 articles published and 5 TV/radio news broadcasted in Moldovan mass-media sources (including online) describing the ISHR-MS activities.

In 2009, the ISHR-MS elaborated and published one brochure and 4 leaflets.


Web-site of the organization was updated (www.ishr.md).

The experts of the ISHR-MS contributed to the improvement of Moldovan legislation, participated in drafting laws and national human rights plans, maintained direct dialogue with the authorities.

Cooperation relations were consolidated with state institutions and non-governmental organizations, among them the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the National Agency of Employment, local employment agencies; local autorities , NGO ”Contact”, and others.



Dr Liubov Nemcinova

Chairman ISHR-MS

January 29, 2010

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova