GLEE Submission of the Month: Minor Steps to Major Rights

May, 8 2013


Inga Daranuta is a FLEX student from Moldova who called Chicago her home for the year. Here she reflects on a recent GLEE workshop with Heartland Alliance focused on human rights. Inga writes about her motivation to learn more about the subject and personal experiences living in Transnistria, a disputed region of Moldova.

In December we had an interesting training about human rights. I knew a lot of information on this topic because in Moldova I used to participate in social life in my community. However, I am still curious and can learn more. Even though human rights is a fragile topic, together we can work on making it easier to understand and apply this knowledge.

Inga waves the Moldovan flag in her host city of Chicago

The first international documents on human rights were signed by Moldovan authorities in the early days of independence. Over the years, Moldova has been accepted to almost all organizations and signed important papers on fundamental human rights. However, the application of the new standards takes more time. The European Court of Human Rights constantly condemns Moldova for violation of the right to liberty and security of the person. The most commonly encountered complaints of people are related to the fact that their personal data is not protected and that rights to justice, health, social protection and private property are violated. I think the problem starts with the system of training of judges in our country. However, the situation is changing and many laws have changed. The big issue is people’s mentality that things do not change as quickly as we would like.

A problem that remains unsolved is a region called Transnistria. It  is a breakaway unrecognized state in our country. It seems that the most serious and grave violations of fundamental rights and freedoms take place there. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory’s political status is unresolved.Transnistria is an internationally unrecognized independent state. It has its  own  police, currency, constitution, and flag. I live there, and I have a passport of Moldova  and passport of Transnistria. Because of a war that happened in 1992 in this territory many people that do not know the actual situation now are afraid to go there. One human right that is violated in Transnistria is the right to liberty that is violated by illegal, unjustified arrests and freedom of expression. In my town, there is only one school where we can study in Romanian, our native language. Other schools and even mass media are in Russian, and the right to information is being violated.

In Moldova, several different nongovernmental organizations work on projects in the human rights area.Promo-Lex is an organization that works in particular on helping people in the Transnitrian region who don’t know their rights and could be taken advantage of. People in Transnistria usually have to suffer in three cases: because they are not informed; because they are afraid to do something; because they just don’t want to change something about fundamental human rights in that territory. Last year a new president was elected, and promised a lot, and there seems to be some changes, though some people still think the same way. But I believe that we can make the change. Moldova is young country that continues to develop and learn.

I know that we have to work a lot, but I’m happy to see even small progress. It’s a very important topic, and the main idea is to understand and not be indifferent.

There are different ways to promote human rights. The first step is to learn about them as much as we can. If I want to change the world, I should start with myself. We have to inform our family and friends, and then go on and try to make this phenomenon national, international, and global.

Human rights is a topic that needs to be discussed, but the most important thing is to make it work. We don’t need to tell somebody what to do, it’s better to show a good example. Promoting human rights is easy, you just have to want it and start. A person who does it should be responsible and ambitious. I’m a FLEX student, and I care about what’s going to happen, and I will continue to make the world better with small steps. What do you do for our future?


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