Children’s ombudswoman Maia Banarescu will work in 2018 on a study on the number of children exploited for labor in Moldova. She told a press conference at IPN that, to this day, there are no national official statistics on this topic, while daily observations show the number of children involved in dangerous labor is increasing.
Maia Banarescu says that child labor is not properly monitored by authorities. The law allows part-time work only from 16 years of age. In spite of this, children are involved in intense and dangerous labor at early ages. The ombudswoman explains that exploiting children is very attractive for employers, as the kids don’t know their rights, don’t know how to report the risks and abuse to which they are exposed. Employers don’t respect the Labor Code regarding the working conditions and hours of underage persons.
In many cases, children work for a business because their parents are in debt to that business. Some parents think that because they worked hard in their childhood, their children should to the same. Maia Banarescu is unhappy that Moldovan law doesn’t regulate the labor of children within their households. They are forced by their parents to take part in almost all the agricultural works during the year.
The children’s ombudswoman insists that authorities must revise their policies on the protection of children and on preventing the exploitation of children for labor. The strategy for the protection of children for 2014-2020 is vague and since 2015 there has been no plan for its implementation.
Maia Banarescu says that joint efforts from all the decision-makers are necessary to prevent and fight child labor. Even the studies currently must cited are outdated and don’t reflect the real situation.