Moldova is a country of migrants. According to official government estimates, more than 600,000 Moldovans are living and working abroad, although the actual figure differs according to different sources and likely tops one million. Migrants are also a major source of income for the national economy, with remittances from those abroad estimated at $300 million per year. Managing Moldova's migrants, many of whom are abroad illegally, is a major challenge for IOM and its partners in the international community and Moldovan government. IOM supports policies that promote orderly and safe migration, respecting human rights while creating sustainable domestic and social polices that promote economic alternatives to seeking work abroad.
Capacity Building for Developing Migration Management Procedures and Migration Policies
The development of certain capacities have been identified as priorities by the international community at large and by EU and SIDA in particular, given its uncontested importance for the Moldovan economy and society. From a legal and human rights protection perspective, the status of the following categories of migrants deserves special attention: one eighth of Moldovans who live as migrants abroad, irregular migrants in Moldova and asylum seekers. The regulatory/coordination functions of the Migration Bureau are also of equal importance. The current programme’s comprehensive approach enables the Government of Moldova to deepen its knowledge of migration flows and migration realities and build the Government’s capacity to develop policies for efficient migration management, based on the improved/enhanced data collection and analysis. The activities include the development of migration legislative framework; research on migration patterns, visa systems and out-of-country voting possibilities; creation of data systems with follow-up training and network visits; and analytic development trainings focused on international migration law, project development and computer literacy.
Protection of human rights of irregular migrants
The global increase in irregular migration, and in particular the movement toward the current EU borders, is having a pronounced impact on Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, and creating new management challenges on already strained systems. From 2007 Moldova and Romania share an EU border. Yet despite the increasing flow of irregular migrants through Moldova, there has been minimal effort at managing this growing phenomenon.
The Government of Moldova (GoM) is in the process of restructuring its migration management approach that includes the operational framework related to the closed accommodation of irregular migrants. With the financial support of the EC, IOM has supported the GoM's initiative in its efforts to follow European and international best practices and standards related to managing both regular and irregular migration, with a special focus on treatment of Irregular Migrants. Joint GoM and IOM activities have addressed the issue of the treatment and protection of human rights of irregular migrants and Government's efforts to comply with and ensure international best practices and humanitarian standards set by the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment as well as harmonisation with the EU acquis communautaire. In order to enhance Government capacities for managing irregular migration in Moldova, and to ensure the compliance with the international standards in the accommodation of irregular migrants, GoM has managed to refurbish one accommodation facility for irregular migrants. The renovated facility will provide a guaranteed protection of the human rights of the apprehended irregular migrants in Moldova and improved access to suitable temporary accommodation, health care, humanitarian and legal services.