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Moldovans would not accept LGBT+, HIV-infected people and former detainees in the neighborhood

About 70% of Moldovans would not accept to be neighbors with LGBT+ people, while 50% would not accept HIV-infected people in the neighborhood. Similarly, half of the respondents would not accept former prisoners as neighbours. The three social groups are among the most discriminated-against persons in Moldovan society, according to an analysis by the public association National Center for Research and Information on Women’s Issues “Partnership for Development”.

“These figures tell us very clearly about the level of discrimination and prejudice in the Republic of Moldova, but also about the fact that we are still at a very and very primary stage when we talk about combating of stereotypes and inclusion of people from minority groups,” Natalia Covrig, executive director of the Center “Partnership for Development”, stated in a press conference hosted by IPN.

According to her, despite these discriminatory attitudes, there are yet particular positive trends and the most significant ones refer to the three groups that are the most marginalized ones. “Things have improved, people’s attitudes and perceptions have changed and, respectively, we hope that in the coming years we will have a constant improvement. Currently, we see a deterioration only in the case of two social groups – people of Russian ethnicity and people who don’t know the official language. Most likely, this is due to the context of the regional conflict and also to the fact that, by virtue of these circumstances related to security, the conflict, a division occurred inside society,” noted Natalia Covrig.

Leo Zbancă, Organizational Development coordinator of the Information Center “Genderdoc-M”, said that in a hostile society, the people do not feel safe to reveal their sexual orientation, gender identity and the impression that such persons do not exist is created as a result. “We see now that there is increased misinformation about the LGBT community and this is spread mostly through media sources coming from Russia. And we know very well that the Russian Federation creates narratives about the fact that the LGBT community is the internal enemy and these narratives, unfortunately, come through the media and through particular actors affiliated with Russia. We would like to reiterate as an organization that greater emphasis must be placed on the implementation of laws. We have a very good law against hate speech and it must work,” stated Leo Zbancă.

Irina Korobchenko, analytical expert in the prevention and combating of hate speech at Promo-LEX Association, said that there is a new legal framework regarding hate speech and incitement to discrimination, including during electoral periods. The Association’s experts monitored the situation and the implementation of the provisions, and the data show that hate speech is constantly present in the public space and increases in intensity during electoral periods. The monitoring also showed that hate speech is most often found on social media sites. Men use hate speech more often than women and hate speech is common among people aged between 35 and 50. Hate speeches generated by public figures, such as police officers or state officials, have a much greater impact because society believes what it hears either in plenary sittings of Parliament, at press conferences or during electoral meetings. Therefore, the public figures should assume responsibility for the way they express themselves.

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