NGO: More than 21,000 Romanian children have both parents or only supporting parent working abroad
At the end of 2021, 76,170 children had at least one parent working abroad, according to data from the National Authority for Children's Rights and Adoption quoted by the non-profit Save the Children Romania. Of these, 21,024 had both parents abroad or were from families where the only supporting parent was away.
The official statistics only cover children in the records of the public services for social assistance.
A total of 9% of children with at least one parent abroad have been in this situation for more than ten years, the non-profit said.
At the same time, 18% were left in the care of relatives for seven to nine years, while 37% for four to six years, according to an analysis of Save the Children Romania on a sample of 700 children the organization works with.
When it comes to how frequent children communicate with their parents who live abroad, 26% do so daily, 34% two-three times per week, 23% weekly, 4% once every two weeks, 5% monthly, 3% less than monthly, and 5% not at all.
Given this, the non-profit is running for a second year several informative activities for parents returning to the country for the summer holiday. The activities, rolled out with support from the Romanian Border Police, aim to highlight the unwanted consequences parents' departure can have on children's development and the importance of maintaining communication between parents and children.
"The phenomenon of children left in the care of relatives while their parents need to work abroad is chronic. As the Save the Children Romania analysis shows, these are children who have already grown up, developed emotionally, and went from one school cycle to another without their parents, who have been gone for more than a decade. Maintaining the communication between parents and children is crucial because nothing can compensate, neither emotionally nor socially, for the absence of a parent from a child's life," Mihai Gafencu, the president of Save the Children Romania, explained.