Update from June 2022:
At the end of 2021, UNHCR reported 1909 stateless people and 1434 people with undetermined nationality, based on the Moldovan Government’s figures.
There were no major legal or policy reforms in 2021 in Moldova.
Routes to protection for stateless people and people at risk of statelessness fleeing the war in Ukraine to Moldova are limited, as the government has not issued the implementing decision to activate temporary protection, although people may apply for refugee status and humanitarian protection. There have been reports of discrimination against Romani people.
New resources on Moldova now available include:
- 2021 Statelessness Index Survey
- Country briefing on access to protection for stateless refugees from Ukraine in Moldova (in English, Ukrainian, and Russian)
- Joint submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review on Moldova (July 2021)
- Quick Guide for Refugees from Ukraine in Moldova (in Ukrainian) (February 2022)
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 has established a dedicated Statelessness Determination Procedure (SDP) 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, but do not have any political rights (for example, they cannot vote in any elections). 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 naturalisation.
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. 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 and a birth certificate 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, including Roma. Provisions for deprivation of nationality are broadly in line with international standards.
Information below by theme was last updated in March 2021.