Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

In the Republic of Moldova, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRH) rights were first recognized as a priority in 1994, following the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. However, it was not until 1999 that the Government endorsed a national programme for family planning and reproductive health services.

The National Reproductive Health Strategy (2005-2015) established a mandatory life-skills-based education course that included SRH subject matter to be implemented in schools. In 2007, the compulsory civics education course was supplemented with a module entitled ‘Life and Health: A Personal and Social Issue’, which covered some SRH topics. In 2015, the optional Health Education course was introduced in Moldovan schools.


2. Terminology

In the legislation reviewed for this profile, the terminology used regarding SRH education includes ‘health education’, ‘sexual and reproductive health’, and ‘preparation for family life’. The 2012 Law on Reproductive Health (amended in 2018) includes the term ‘sex education’.


3. Laws and policies

3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which Moldova is a signatory



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Ratification date: 1994

Acknowledges the need to guarantee sexuality education free from discrimination and stereotypes, conveying gender equality values.


Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Ratification date: 1993

Commits to the right to access appropriate health-related information.


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Ratification date: 2010

Commits to the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities.


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Ratification date: 1993

Acknowledges that the right to sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of the right to health.


UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Ratification date: 1993

Reaffirms that education is a human right. It highlights states' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, bans any form of discrimination and promotes equality of educational opportunity.


The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action


Calls for sexuality education, counselling and support mechanisms for adolescents, and identifies essential topics.



3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating comprehensive sexuality education

The National Reproductive Health Strategy 2005-2015 was developed with a youth-centric emphasis. The Strategy included objectives such as establishing youth-friendly health centres in all administrative districts by 2015 and implementing sexuality education in at least 80 percent of schools.

According to the National Health Policy (2007-2021), health education must also happen through society's spiritual and cultural life, the mass media, literature and film, which are all necessary for shaping appropriate and responsible behaviour aimed at preserving the health of adolescents. Access to free information on SRH must be ensured, and the participation of adolescents and youth in making health-related decisions must be encouraged: ‘Programs for universal secondary education must include a special preparation cycle for family life and parenthood.’

Article 6 of the 2012 Law on Reproductive Health (amended in 2018) regarding SRH among adolescents, states that adolescents have the right to information and access to reproductive health services that are adapted to their needs; and that adolescents have the right to age-appropriate sexual education to ensure sound psycho-sexual development, the prevention of STIs and HIV & AIDS, unwanted pregnancy, and the development of responsible sexual behaviour. Compulsory sexual education (CSE) and preparation for family life shall be conducted in educational institutions and other institutions where adolescents or young people, including those with special needs, are located. They are to receive specially developed programmes, which are part of the compulsory curriculum of educational institutions, that take age, gender, and the particularities of psychosexual development into account. The Law also stipulates that the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Research, in agreement with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection shall develop age-appropriate sexual education programmes for sound psycho-sexual development, the prevention of STIs and HIV & AIDS, unwanted pregnancy, and the development of responsible parenting skills. Adolescents who become pregnant are guaranteed the right to continue their education during the pregnancy and after childbirth.

Developed with the assistance of UNFPA and WHO, the National Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 2018-2022 includes a costed action plan with a dedicated budget line for centralized state budget procurement of modern contraceptives for vulnerable groups, including youth and people living with HIV. In 2018, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection developed and approved five Standardized Clinical Protocols on Family Planning for Family Physicians and Gynaecologists that address youth, people living with HIV, and people with disabilities.


3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

There is no mandatory sexuality education.

Model of delivery

There is no subject devoted solely to sexuality education or health and relationships. However, components of CSE are included in two compulsory courses: personal development (for grades 5-12) and biology (for grades 6-12), in addition to the health education elective course (for grades 1-12).

Comprehensiveness of content

The Personal Development course is divided into five modules, each containing six lessons per year across all grade levels. The instructor may choose additional topics for four additional lessons. The course's five mandatory modules are: personal identity and harmony in relationships, ensuring quality of life, healthy lifestyle, career planning and entrepreneurship development, and personal safety. The modules cover topics such as social and emotional learning, literacy, decision-making, physical and emotional/mental health, personal hygiene, healthy eating, immunization, physical activity, puberty, sexuality, body image, stress management, and the prevention of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. SRH issues, such as the prevention of HIV and STIs, contraception, and family planning, are addressed from the eighth grade onwards.

The Education for Health course consists of seven to nine modules that cover the prevention of HIV and other STIs, human anatomy, stages of development, personal hygiene, psychological and reproductive health, good nutrition, physical activity, and recreation.

Learning resources

The Personal Development curricula and teacher guides provide a comprehensive list of online and hard-copy teaching and learning materials for students and teachers at each grade level, as well as supplementary materials. Teachers of the Health Education course have access to electronic teaching materials for grades 5-12. It includes the major topics and possible lesson plan options, assignments, and exercises to be completed in class or as homework.


3.4. Teachers

There are no minimum standards for teacher training in sexuality education in Moldova. A code of conduct for teachers was developed in 2017 to provide all schools with guidelines on violence prevention and child protection. This includes a practical toolkit for educators, a method for identifying and responding to cases of violence, including bullying, and suggestions for eradicating HIV-related discrimination.


3.5. Schools

According to the 2012 Law on Reproductive Health (amended in 2018), SRH-related medical services are provided to adolescents by youth-friendly health services and other services authorized in accordance with the regulations of the Act. Moldova has established youth-friendly clinics that provide free counselling services to young people between aged 10-24 years, and are staffed by multidisciplinary teams of specialists, including gynaecologists, urologists/andrologists, internists, dermatovenereologists, midwives, nurses, psychologists and social workers.


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The development of age-appropriate sexual education programmes for correct psycho-sexual development, the prevention of STIs and HIV & AIDS, unwanted pregnancy and the formation of responsible parenting skills are provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, in agreement with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, in accordance with Article 6 of the 2012 Law on Reproductive Health (amended in 2018).

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

At the regional level, localities must ensure regulatory compliance with the national education framework, policies and programmes at all levels of educational institutions in their jurisdiction. At the school level, schools can decide if they include and teach the optional Health Education course.

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found on budget allocation for SRH education.


5. Monitoring and reporting

The National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova collects and publishes information on a variety of health-related indicators such as abortion rates and the incidence of HIV by age group. However, SRH elements are not included in the national EMIS or school inspection tools.


Last modified:

Fri, 24/02/2023 - 17:48