Law, policy and practice on the protection of stateless people and prevention and reduction of statelessness is generally positive in Moldova. The country’s record on treaty accession is good and it is one of few states with a dedicated Statelessness Determination Procedure (SDP) established in law. The SDP is accessible, with a mandatory interview, an option to initiate the procedure ex officio, and some rights are granted to applicants. People recognised as stateless in Moldova are granted rights in line with nationals. Although there is an accelerated route to naturalisation, reduced from ten years, a stateless person must still wait eight years before being eligible to apply for citizenship.
Moldovan law provides for detention to be used only as a last resort and a country of removal must be set prior to detention for removal. However, periodic review of detention was removed in 2016, reducing protection from arbitrary detention. There are partial safeguards in nationality law to prevent statelessness and the Moldovan legal framework provides for universal birth registration. However, access to birth registration is hindered in practice by the requirement that parents must be documented to register a birth, with some communities at higher risk of remaining unregistered, such as Roma.
Oleg Palii, Law Center of Advocates