Soros Foundation Moldova (FSM)

Good Governance

The mission of the department is to enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness of government in accordance with the European agenda.

Justice and Human Rights

The Justice and Human Rights Department’s vision of rule of law is built on the solid grounds of a fair, accessible and predictable justice delivery system, which effectively safeguards fundamental human rights.

The Department develops and implements activities in several areas, crucial for the fulfilment of its vision: Human Rights, Access to Justice, and Criminal Justice.

Public Health

Our mission is to support and contribute to the development and promotion of health policies and practices based on evidence, which promotes human rights, social inclusion, and justice.

Media Program

Media Department's mission: to contribute to the development of an open, participatory, pluralistic and value-based society in Republic of Moldova by organizing, supporting and financing activities aimed at encouraging the development of an independent media sector and improving access to information.

Other initiatives

Education Support Project

The Soros Foundation - Moldova’s survey shows bribery pervasive and police abuse high

Chisinau, 14 December 2010 - The Soros Foundation - Moldova’s (SFM) 2010 victimisation survey – a survey designed to estimate the extent to which the people of Moldova experience crime and to measure their perceptions about criminal justice – estimates that 20 228 people in Moldova bribed a judge in 2009.

         

This suggests that on average each of the 433 judges in the country asked for or accepted 47 bribes in 2009. Furthermore, as much as 41% of people said it is “very likely” that a person could solve a problem by offering a bribe to a judge. “This estimate of the extent of bribery among the judiciary is cause for serious concern” said Victor Munteanu, director of the Law Program at the SFM.  “Bribery to this extent among judges undermines the justice system and by extension our entire democracy”.
 
Bribery was found to be common amongst all government officials. People were most likely to have bribed a medical worker or a teacher - officials with whom the public have the most contact. Overall in 2009, some 30% of people in Moldova were asked for or gave a bribe to at least one official. The 7% of people who were “serial-bribers” (paid bribes to more than one official in 2009) paid 56% of all bribes paid in 2009. Serial-bribers are more likely to be of above average income, educated, and employed.
 
       
 
The survey found almost a million people in Moldova (or 33%) had been a victim of at least one crime in 2009. The crimes explored in the survey include theft of motor vehicles, scooter theft, bicycle theft, theft out of motor vehicle, burglary, attempted burglary, attack or threat, robbery, stock theft, sexual assault, and trafficking. Bribery and mistreatment at the hands of the police were also measured.
 
A small proportion of people, victims of more than one crime type, were involved in more than half the crimes counted in the survey. “Interventions which seek to protect past victims – who are more likely to become victims again – from being victims may thus have a larger than expected impact,’ commented international expert Jean Redpath via video presentation. Women, people under 30, people earning more than 1500 lei, and those living in an urban area were more likely to be a victim of crime.
 
The survey found that 67000 people from Moldova experienced some form of human trafficking during 2009. Yet the Prosecutor-General of Moldova reports that less than 200 such cases were pursued by that office during 2009. “The high incidence of threats amongst trafficked households supports the idea that witness protection may be necessary for trafficked persons who are willing to testify in court,” said Redpath.
  
 
 
The survey found that households with vehicles who had also been confronted with drugs problems were twice as likely to be victims of theft out of motor vehicle as other households with vehicles. This suggests these problems are related. Stock theft and burglary were also found to be related, with stock-theft tripling the risk of burglary (from 5% to 15%). Survey analysis indicated that the most important protective factor against burglary is vigilant and caring neighbours. Having a dog was also clearly associated with less risk of burglary.
 
The survey suggests around 80 000 people experienced attacks or threats in Moldova in 2009, with 47% indicating such an incident occurred two or more times.
 
Only 6% of women, who said they had experienced sexual abuse, said they had reported the incident of sexual abuse to the police. Almost a third (29%) said they did not report the incident because they were afraid of the perpetrator while 39% said they did not report because the police would not do anything.
 
The incidence of women experiencing physical attacks or threats is three times higher among sexual abuse victims than among women who have not experience sexual abuse. There was no association between sexual abuse and wealth or education. “This suggests all women are equally vulnerable to sexual abuse in Moldova regardless of wealth or education,” said Ludmila Malcoci, national expert.
 
The survey found that 15% of men detained by police in the last five years were beaten by police. This means around 27000 people, or more than 100 a week, beaten by police. “These figures show that the police abuses in the April 2009 events were not isolated incidents but are indicative of a worrying broader trend of general police abuse and maltreatment,” said Munteanu. The results further suggested a relationship between bribery of police and police abuse.
 
The police also did not score well on perception indicators. Almost two-thirds (63%) of people in Moldova could not agree that “the police protect them”. Only 15% of people think the police have improved over the last five years and 26% think they have worsened. The public rated the police mediocre for investigating and discovering crime and low for protecting the law and ensuring human rights. “The FSM is partnering with the Ministry of Police to begin to address long-overdue reform of the police,” said Munteanu.
 
Selected results of the FSM victimisation survey were released at a launch of the report at the FSM offices on 14 December 2010 @ 10h00. The survey involved 3018 interviews amongst a nationally representative sample of the population, carried out during March and April 2010. The survey was analysed by one international expert Jean Redpath and one national expert Ludmila Malcoci, assisted by FSM criminal justice think-tank members Nadejda Hriptievschi, Olimpia Iovu, Vasile Rotaru, Mihaela Vidaicu and Victor Zaharia.