The Children's rights Ombudsperson Maia Banarescu takes note ex officio of the CIJM investigation about undocumented children titled “Invisible Children”, published on June 1 on the Anticoruptie.md portal. "We will study the case ex officio and we will include it in the monitoring report that we will issue this year based on the recommendations for the authorities regarding the cases of undocumented children", Maia Banarescu said for Anticoruptie.md.
The "Invisible Children" investigation reveals that there are undocumented children in the Republic of Moldova. These children are not included in the statistics, they do not receive protection, health care and social benefits. Deprived of their rights, they are at huge risk of being exploited, trafficked or sold for organs. Nobody will look for them, because they don't officially exist. Without identity documents, these children will remain on the edge of the "official" world for the rest of their lives.
The Center for Investigative Journalism found that there was a huge discrepancy between the number of live births and the number of birth certificates issued by the authorities in the last five years. This difference is over 22 thousand, which means that so many children would not have identity documents, because the number of documents issued each year is several thousand less than the number of children born in the Republic of Moldova. The Ministries of Health and Labor and Social Protection have not yet reacted to explain on the huge discrepancy between the number of live births and the number of birth certificates.
The investigation reveals the case of Alina Dovghii from Negureni village, Telenesti district, who cannot document her 7-month-old child because she does not have identity documents. The paradox is that Alina has another child, a 6-year-old girl, whom she gave birth to at the maternity hospital in Telenesti and they issued her a birth certificate, based on which the parents were able to document the child. And then, as now, Alina did not have identity documents. After the publication of the journalistic investigation, representatives of the District Directorate for Child Protection in Telenesti contacted the child's mother and promised to get involved in solving the problem, so that the child and the mother could complete their documents.
In the Republic of Moldova, the birth certificate is issued based on the medical birth certificate, issued by the health unit where the birth occurred, the report and the certificate stating the sex and age of the child - in the case of a child that was found. The birth certificate is issued only upon presentation by the mother of the identity card. The lack of it makes it impossible to issue the certificate and, implicitly, leads to the child not being documented, which is admitted by the authorities and law enforcement agencies.
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet "a child is registered from the moment of birth and has the right to a name". This unequivocal wording is an obligation for all States, including the Republic of Moldova, which have ratified the Convention and require that this right be respected and protected.