Andrei Brighidin, member of the Council to prevent and eliminate discrimination and ensure equality explained in an interview with the news portal Unimedia what a person should do if he or she had been discriminated against:

“A person who considers herself a victim of discrimination must choose whether to go to court or to submit a complaint to the Council. In both cases there are no fees to pay. The victim may submit the complaint personally or through a lawyer. We recommend to submit the complaint personally in order to diminish the expenses paid to a lawyer. The complaint can be submitted within 12 months from the moment the act of discrimination took place or from the moment the act of discrimination is acquaint.

In the complaint it should be indicated the contacts of the victim and against whom the complaint is filed. The complaint must contain information, data and facts in support of the claim: what was the differential treatment, on the basis of what protected criteria discrimination took place, what right has been violated and what law was broke, and compared with whom it was applied this treatment less favorable? If possible, there should attach adequate evidence to the complaint. It is known that victims of discrimination often do not have sufficient evidence to prove discrimination. In this context, the law provides for the principle of sharing the burden of proof. The petitioner must present facts and evidence that allow the presumption of discrimination. Once it has been established the presumption of discrimination, the burden of proof passes to the defendant, who must prove that discrimination did not take place.

The complaint may be submitted either by the person who is considered a victim of discrimination, or by an interested person or nongovernmental organization, including unions.

A person can file a complaint in several ways: personally, addressing it the Council or sending the complaint by mail. It can also be submitted through the online service – “write a complaint”, available on the website www.egalitate.md.

As a rule, the Council shall endeavor to contact the person who considers the victim of discrimination. If the complaint is incomplete, the Council guides these people with regard to information which must be presented to establish a presumption of discrimination. Also, when the Council establishes the presumption of discrimination, it organizes meetings of hearings that allow parties to support their positions. The Council then issues a decision on the alleged facts. Decisions are finding with recommendations to prevent and combat similar situations in the future.

If the discriminatory treatment has been found in accessing to goods and services, employment and education, the Council may prepare minutes for the contravention. This report will be submitted to the court, which will then apply the sanction. Penalties can reach up to 12 thousand lei.

Annually we receive over 100 complaints submitted to the Council. So far, the Council issued 250 decisions, of which over a hundred are decision finding discrimination.”

Source: www.Unimedia.md

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