Integrative methods for protecting foreign citizens on the territory of the Republic of Moldova

More than 3,000 forcibly displaced persons from Ukraine are already benefiting from temporary protection on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, a programme launched three months ago to provide solutions to the refugee crisis in the spirit of human rights observance.

We aimed to come up with an innovative mechanism to protect displaced people, offering a model of quality and accessible services. Beyond this objective, the team of the Ministry of Internal Affairs succeed to make this project an integrative one, which would contribute to the strengthening of social security at community level, to the empowerment and to assumption of rights and obligations by all members of the community. By providing displaced persons from Ukraine with access and guarantees of fundamental rights, we create necessary conditions for this social group to participate directly to the economic growth and social welfare in a safe environment, reducing the risks of social tensions’ says Jana Costachi, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Republic of Moldova is the first non-EU country that offers a type of European protection to foreign citizens. Currently, the General Inspectorate for Migration (GIM) has issued identity documents to 3575 Ukrainians, of which more than 1030 are children. Temporary protection allows the beneficiaries of the programme to work and receive support for their employment; to benefit from free emergency medical care and shelter space for people in need; to have access to social services and education (for minors).

The project not only provides protection for people who cannot return to their country of origin because of war, but also contributes to a more efficient management of migration flows, legalisation and monitoring of refugees in our country.

However, the granting of temporary protection fosters economic growth by reducing poverty and adjusting labour market imbalances, as well as by allowing those fleeing the war to invest in businesses or real estate in the Republic of Moldova. According to ANOFM data, 1099 Ukrainian citizens are officially working in the Republic of Moldova as software developers, engineers, sewers, salesmen, sales consultants, cooks, waiters, doctors, educators, fitters, nurses, etc.

More than 82,000 Ukrainian citizens have taken refuge in our country since the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine, of which 43,300 are underage children. Some 663 thousand refugees have been registered crossing the Republic of Moldova since 24 Februarie 2022.

Temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine was established in the Republic of Moldova for a period of 1 year, following the approval of Government Decision No 21 of 18.01.2023 on granting temporary protection to displaced persons from Ukraine, as of 1 March 2023. The programme is being implemented by the Ministry of the Internal Affairs through the General Inspectorate for Migration (GIM) in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This is a form of protection granted immediately, on an exceptional basis, in the event of a massive and spontaneous influx of displaced persons who cannot return to their country of origin. Persons applying for temporary protection can receive an identity document, issued free of charge, for a period of one year. Data on beneficiaries of temporary protection are recorded in the Automated Information System of the competent authority for foreigners (GIM) and can be accessed via the MConnect interoperability platform.