The 2020 Report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the Impact of labour migration on left-behind children highlighted the fact that “Leaving millions of children without parental care is a mass violation of human rights”.
On 12 December, in Sofia, the Council of Europe – European Commission Joint Programme ROMACT and the Bulgarian Ombudsperson’s office are organizing a public discussion on children left behind by parents going abroad for work.
ROMACT interventions at local level in Bulgaria brought to light the enhanced vulnerability of children left behind in marginalized Roma communities by parents going abroad for work (other terminologies can be found such as “transnational families”, “euro-orphans”, “home alone children”), detailed in the report on Children left behind: between labour migration, institutional standards, and extended family. While working abroad might bring improvement to the financial situation of the family on the long run, leaving the children behind without a reinforced protection network might put certain categories of children in a situation of risk, especially in communities with limited access to basic services.
This event will be an occasion to raise awareness about the vulnerability of Roma children left behind in poor and marginalized communities by parents going abroad for work, in order to stimulate policy development and reinforce targeted action on the ground.
The discussion will be attended by leaders and experts from responsible Bulgarian state institutions, academia, the ROMACT Programme; the Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a representative of the Steering Committee on the Rights of the Child (CDENF) of the Council of Europe, the PACE Rapporteur on children affected by labour migration, the Head of Mission of UNICEF – Bulgaria. Members of the Parliament, deputy ministers and representatives of civil society are also invited.