830 refugee children from Ukraine registered on newly launched social services platform in Romania
Since its launch a week ago, 830 refugee children who arrived in Romania after fleeing the war in Ukraine have been successfully registered on the Primero platform.
Registration of Ukrainian children on the platform will ensure that they are monitored to provide the necessary protection.
Primero is an open-source software platform that helps social services and humanitarian workers identify and register refugee children and refer them to specialized services according to their needs, with tools that facilitate case management, incident monitoring, and family tracing and reunification.
Primero also allows early identification of potential abuse, neglect, or trafficking situations and the adoption of all necessary measures to ensure children's rights.
It is estimated that a total of 37,000 Ukrainian refugee children are currently in Romania. Some children came here with their families, others came accompanied by others, or even on their own.
The majority of children registered in the first week were in the counties of Timiș (93), Arad (84), and District 2 of Bucharest (82 children registered).
"Since the early days of the war, UNICEF has worked closely with the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities and the National Authority for the Protection of Children's Rights and Adoption to ensure adequate protection for refugee children. The introduction of Primero is an essential step in providing children and their families with the protection and services they need, as registering and monitoring children is an important part of this work," says Gabriel Vockel, UNICEF Representative in Romania.
Using Primero, the National Authority for the Protection of Children's Rights and Adoption can quickly identify, register, and monitor all children coming from Ukraine to Romania who are temporarily living in the country or transiting it.
"Through the Primero application, information about organized accommodation places or communities where families with Ukrainian children or Ukrainian children accompanied by adults other than their parents are hosted will be centralized. In addition to identifying and registering Ukrainian refugee children in Romania, the app allows access to essential child protection services, including family monitoring and reunification services, so that we can help these children to get through this traumatic experience in their lives as smoothly as possible," says Gabriela Firea, Minister for Family, Youth, and Equal Opportunities.
The 'on-the-ground' Primero team so far consists of 317 trained users responsible for identifying and registering the children, and an additional 47 county coordinators helping to generate reports at the county level.
Identification and registration are only done if consent has been given.
After the initial assessment and determination of the level of risk, each child is referred to the institutions that can provide the necessary services, such as general directorates for child protection and social assistance or immigration authorities.