Amnesty International Moldova was born on Human Rights Day, 10 December 1993, when a group of Moldovan law students received a letter from the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, which recognized them as the first initiative group of Amnesty International in Moldova.
More people joined the group, and 10 years later, in 2003, Amnesty International Moldova became a fully-fledged non-governmental organization. At first, its primary mission was to explain what human rights are to students of Law Departments at universities. The post-soviet culture gave little room for human rights concepts, whereas violations of personal freedom and integrity were widespread and commonly regarded as no big deal. Since then, Human Rights Education (HRE) has been one of the core activities of Amnesty International Moldova.
Amnesty International Moldova engaged in a number of global campaigns, most successful of them being ‘Stop Torture’ and ‘Stop Violence against Women’. Today organization’s key activities also include the fight against discrimination and promotion of social, economic, and cultural rights, education for human rights in schools and among specialised groups, etc. Amnesty International Moldova was one of the advocates of a more liberal law on assemblies, passed in 2008.
Taking into account Moldova’s eligibility for submission of complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, Amnesty International Moldova has been organizing capacity building trainings for practicing defense lawyers, who then use their newly-acquired skills to defend the rights of many people internationally as the domestic justice system often fails them. The project now expands to include other legal professionals involved in law-enforcement and the judiciary.
For several years Amnesty International Moldova has implemented the ‘Human Rights Education’ project, which aims at raising awareness of Human Rights among school students, as well as among teachers. Human Rights basics have been introduced in the school curricula as an optional subject. Amnesty International Moldova developed course materials and is organizing HRE trainings for school teachers. The organization promotes creation of Amnesty groups in schools for extracurricular activities for Human Rights.
The organization is governed democratically: the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members elects five its representatives to sit on the Board; in turn, they designate an Executive Director, and the latter hires staff members.
Being a movement of people, Amnesty International Moldova always welcomes voluntary work and initiative. Local groups of Amnesty International Moldova exist in many locations – anyone can become a member of the organization, as well as join any given local group.