Children’s opinion about the migration of their parents (the case of the Republic of Moldova)


To develop effective social policies and social services for children left behind by migration in the communities, it is necessary to know the specific needs of children affected by migration and deprived of their family members’ care. The article offers the opinion of children left behind from the Republic of Moldova about their parents’ migration and, indirectly, how international migration influences modern families. Also, the article presents the impact of parents’ migration on children and children’s opinions on how to mitigate negative consequences. To do this, the author used the primary data collected from children left behind migration in the European Union project CASTLE (Children left behind as a result of labour migration: supporting Moldovan and Ukrainian transnational families in the European Union), coordinated by the Babeș-Bolyai University and the Terre des hommes Romania Foundation in collaboration with Terre des hommes Moldova and the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova. The data were collected through individual in-depth interviews (4 interviews conducted by child researchers and two by adult researchers) and focus group discussions (2 discussions moderated by adult researchers). The research results highlight children’s perception of migration, including their attitude towards parents’ migration, the communication with their absent parents, the psychosocial effects, and the migration impact on children’s physical and mental health, suggestions of children left behind by migration to peers in a similar situation, including authorities of the Republic of Moldova. The research reveals that peers and sometimes teachers do not understand children left behind. A support network for these children is less developed, proving the necessity to undertake new measures within the educational institution to reduce the negative impact.

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