Last updated: July 2017
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Summary of law reform necessary to achieve full prohibition

Law reform has been achieved. Corporal punishment is prohibited in all settings, including the home.

Legality of corporal punishment


Corporal punishment is prohibited in the home. In 2008, the Family Code 2001 was amended to confirm the right of the child “to be protected against abuse, including corporal punishment by his parents or persons who replace them” (art. 53). Article 62 of the Code states that the methods chosen by parents in educating their children “will exclude abusive behaviour, insults and ill-treatments of all types, discrimination, psychological and physical violence, corporal punishments [etc]”.


Alternative care settings

Corporal punishment is unlawful in alternative care settings under the prohibition of its use by those with parental authority in article 53 of the amended Family Code (see under “Home”).


Day care

Corporal punishment is unlawful in early childhood care and in day care for older children under the prohibition of its use by those with parental authority in article 53 of the amended Family Code (see under “Home”).



Corporal punishment is prohibited in schools in article 87(1)(b) of the Education Act 2008, which states (unofficial translation): “The application of corporal punishment and any other form of physical or psychological methods is prohibited.”


Penal institutions

Corporal punishment is unlawful as a disciplinary measure in penal institutions under the prohibition of its use by those in the place of parents in the amended Family Code (see under “Home”).


Sentence for crime

Corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for crime. It is not a permitted punishment under the Penal Code 2003 and the Criminal Procedure Code (amended 2006).


Universal Periodic Review of Moldova’s human rights record

The Republic of Moldova was examined in the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in 2011 (session 12). The Government accepted a recommendation to prohibit all corporal punishment of children, stating that this has already been achieved.[1]

Examination in the second cycle took place in 2016 (session 26). No recommendations was issues specifically on corporal punishment of children. However, the Government accepted the following recommendations:[2]

“Take concrete measures to eliminate violence against children, protect and support victims including by implementing measures to ensure that such abuse is more frequently denounced and reported by different stakeholders in contact with children (Belgium); Create mechanisms for preventing and fighting against all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence against children (Bulgaria); Redouble its efforts to eradicate child labour and all forms of exploitation, abuse and violence against children (Panama); Further address the elimination of violence against children, including sexual violence (Kyrgyzstan); Undertake efforts to prevent violence against children, including sexual violence (Poland)”

The Republic of Moldova will be examined in the third cycle in 2021.


Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations

Session 050 (2009)

(20 February 2009, CRC/C/MDA/CO/3, Concluding observations on second/third report, paras. 37 and 38)

"The Committee is concerned at reports that corporal punishment is a common phenomenon at home and is frequently used to discipline children at school. The Committee also regrets the absence of official statistics on corporal punishment of children by parents.

"In light of the Committee’s general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, the Committee recommends that the State party enforce the legislative prohibition of corporal punishment in all settings, including through awareness-raising campaigns aimed at families, the school system and other educational settings."

Read more from Session 050 (2009)

Session 031 (2002)

(31 October 2002, CRC/C/15/Add.192, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 31 and 32)

"The Committee notes the establishment of a National Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse, but is nevertheless concerned about the extent of domestic violence, the absence of a legislative framework, the lack of standardized procedures for the identification, reporting, investigation and prosecution of cases of neglect, illtreatment and abuse, the lack of a legal prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, institutions and at home, and the limited availability of skilled services for the support of victims.

“In light of article 19 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:

a) undertake studies on domestic violence, violence against children, ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse, in order to assess the extent, scope and nature of these practices;

b) take all necessary steps to introduce the legal prohibition of the use of corporal punishment in schools and other institutions and at home;

c) adopt and implement effectively adequate multidisciplinary measures and policies, including public campaigns, and contribute to changing attitudes;

d) investigate effectively cases of domestic violence and ill-treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse within the family, within a child-sensitive inquiry and judicial procedure, in order to ensure better protection of child victims, including the protection of their right to privacy….

f) take into account the Committee’s recommendations adopted at its day of general discussion on violence against children within the family and in schools (see CRC/C/111)."

Read more from Session 031 (2002)

Prevalence/attitudinal research for Republic of Moldova in the last 10 years

According to a survey conducted in 2012, 76% of children had experienced some form of violent “discipline” (psychological or physical punishment) in the month preceding the survey; 48% of children had experienced physical punishment, which was more common for boys (51%) than girls (45%), and notably so for younger children aged 2-9 years (52-59%) than older children aged 10-14 years (37%); 22% of children only experienced non-violent methods of discipline, slightly more common for girls (23.6%) than boys (19.8%) and more common in the richest households (24.4%) compared to the poorest (14.8%). In contrast to the actual prevalence of physical punishment (48%), only 15% of respondents believed the child needs to be physically punished; this belief was more common in relation to boys (17.2%) than girls (12.8%).

(National Centre of Public Health & UNICEF (2014), Republic of Moldova Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012: Final Report, Chișinău, Republic of Moldova: National Centre of Public Health & UNICEF)

In a study involving 500 people aged 15 and over, 50% thought corporal punishment should never be used – an increase from 37% in a similar survey in 2005; 73% of parents said they had “smacked” their child (compared to 76% in a similar survey in 2010), 29% said they had beaten or hit them (66% in 2010), 19% said they had beaten them with a belt (26% in 2010) and 19% that they had slapped their child on the face (46% in 2010).

(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)

In a 2009 survey of 206 teachers in primary schools in Chişinău, 68% believed corporal punishment is humiliating for the child, 58% believed it meant that “the parents are not good at rearing children”; 51% felt the use of “spanking” as a punishment would justify intervention by a third party. In an identical survey of a similar sample in 2005, 40% believed this. In a 2009 nationwide study, 55% of respondents believed corporal punishment should not be used, compared to 37% in 2005. In 2005, 11% of respondents said corporal punishment “may be used if the parent believes it will be effective”; in 2009, 5% of respondents said this.

(National Center for Child Abuse Prevention & Nobody’s Children Foundation (2009), Chişinău teachers’ attitudes toward child Part of the Childhood Without Abuse project, which includes studies carried out in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in 2005 and 2009)


[1] 14 December 2011, A/HRC/19/18, Report of the working group, para. 74(2)

[2] 17 November 2016, A/HRC/WG.6/26/L.9, Draft report of the Working Group, paras. 121(103), 121(104), 121(105), 121(106), and 121(107)

Child population

777,000 (UNICEF, 2015)

National and regional advocacy for law reform


Forthcoming treaty body examinations and UPRs

Universal Periodic Review (UPR): 2021, session 40, deadline for briefing tbc

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC): 2017, session 76, exam briefing deadline has passed (15 August 2017)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR): 2017, session 62, deadline for exam briefing 27 August 2017

Committee Against Torture (CAT): 2017, session 62, deadline for exam briefing 9 October 2017

This is an automatic translation service. Extracts from laws, treaty body recommendations and Universal Periodic Review outcomes are unofficial translations.