Romania "The newest country of migration is Belgium"

20 May 2007

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Sanda Bordei, 28, is a Romanian psychologist, working for Tdh since June 2006. She gives an overview on the migration issues related to children, in the South West of Romania, Craiova, Dolj county.

379_the_newest_country_of_migration_is_belgium_0_small In December 05, Tdh published an investigation on the increasing of sexual exploitation of Romanian minors in Rome, in Italy, so now you are working in the region of Craiova… Can you explain the reason why you work in Craiova now?

Sanda Bordei: The reason was that out of the total number of the Romanian minors identified in Rome, those coming from Dolj county were double than the number of any other counties… From Craiova region. The second was Calaras, which is also in the South of Romania, and also Giurgu, Ias…

Can you talk about the root causes you identified in these areas either in Craiova or in Calaras?

Sanda Bordei: The main factor and the general one is the poverty which is everywhere, and both public and civil society, and local actors, families and parents, children investigated, all of them stated it was the main cause, together with the lack of jobs…

There is any relation between the rate of school drop out within these regions and the proportion of migration?

Sanda Bordei: Yes, the school abandonment is seen both as an effect of migration and in the same time as a cause of the migration. There is a high rate of school abandonment in the region related to migration abroad with the parents, but also to internal migration.

We understood also that in Romania now, there are a high number of children which have been placed to grand parents’ or relatives’, while the parents are migrating abroad, is it correct?

Sanda Bordei: Yes, it is correct, but in fact, in many cases the children are left without any supervision, or at least without any legal documentation of the person in charge of these children. So when a problem appears, it is very hard to settle it because the parents are not there and the children practically are not left supervised by a certain person. The number of these children is also very high.

These children which are placed by the parents who are going abroad to grand parents or relatives, are the risks identified regarding specifically this kind of children?

Sanda Bordei: They lack of psychological support at the first instance. May be they can receive money from their parents, but they lack their care. They are in the risk of joining “alternative groups”, which could leave them to other activities, to leave school or to get involved into illegal activities.

In the region where Tdh is working in Craiova, can you tell me the destination where either the children or the parents are migrating today?

Sanda Bordei: The main destination country turned out to be Italy, the second one is France and Spain. And the newest destination country we heard about is Belgium, because of the politic situation in France which has changed recently. So the flux of migration has changed to a more permissive country like Belgium.

The kind of activities that you want to do in these villages of origin of these children is related directly to the families and the children or with the authorities?

Sanda Bordei: Both. We will have direct activities on the field related to children and their families but we also want to empower local authorities, to raise their capacities to deal with the issues related to child protection, because we found out that they were not aware of the procedures or the ways to apply these procedures concretely. And they expressed also this need to be supported in their work at technical and knowledge levels.

Another focus will be an activity which is the most important, namely late birth registration and registration of unregistered children. Because we found out that in Dolj county this is a big problem, at the county level, there are lots of children who have never been registered. So it’s like they don’t exist now, they don’t have any rights and don’t have an identity basically. This will be one of our priorities as well.

What kind of activities you will do directly with the parents and the children, apart from registration?

Sanda Bordei: It will be like training activities through the schools, discussions and raising awareness on problems of unprotected migration could bring to the children. Also may be identifying cases where a concrete support from us could help children to continue their studies… It could be an activity…


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