Why this story matters:
A United Nations report shows that Romania’s annual migration is the second largest in the world, after Syria, a country hit by war. Syria registered an increase of 13.1% per year, while Romania -- 7.3%. Poland ranked third with 5.1%.
According to the National Authority for the Protection of Children Rights and Adoption, 18,403 Romanian children have both parents working abroad. The vast majority of them -- 93% -- remain under the supervision of relatives and neighbors, without social protective measures. The rest is growing up in foster care.
Romanians started to migrate after the 1989 Romanian Revolution, marked by the killing of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. They left their homeland mainly for economic reasons but also in search of freedom, after decades of isolation and communism. They wanted a better life for themselves and their loved ones.
Today, around 4 million Romanians work abroad or have permanently settled there with families. According to the Romanian National Bank, in 2016, they sent home 3.15 billion euros -- 13.2% more than the previous year. The sum is comparable to the 4 billion euros invested in Romania by foreign companies in 2016.
Details from the story:
- At the beginning of the 1990s, more than 6.6 million children lived in Romania. Today, there are only 3.6 million of them. After the 1989 Romanian Revolution, an average of 200,000 children is born each year. However, 2016 was the year with the lowest birth rate since 1990, with less than 190,000 new born babies.
- According to a 2017 report of the National Authority for the Protection of Children Rights and Adoption, 12,895 Romanian children come from families where the sole financial supporter is working abroad.
- 89% of them remain under the supervision of relatives. The total number of children left at home in the special protection system amounted to 3,931, out of which 2,237 live with relatives, 866 in placement centers, 580 with a foster parent, and 248 with other people.
- Currently, the Romanian diaspora represents 17% of the total population of Romania.