BG- Report on Children left behind: between labour migration, institutional standards, and extended family

Many Bulgarian parents, whose absence from their homes is most often due to short or longer-term labour migration, leave their children in the care of other adults or include children in pendulum migration. The phenomenon is widespread throughout the country and is observed among all communities regardless of social and economic status or ethnic origin. The economic benefits brought by this phenomenon to the country seem to overshadow the issue of the left-behind children, while hundreds of children (including Roma) are severely affected by it.

The legal framework in Bulgaria does not consider the children left behind by their migrant parents as children at risk, these not being considered abandoned children, although a wide range of their needs usually remain unmet. In the period November 2020 - January 2021, ROMACT Programme experts conducted a study in order to outline the problems of children left behind in the municipalities it covers in Bulgaria.

The report also contains a number of specific recommendations to various stakeholders - parents, guardians and relevant institutions – aiming at minimizing the negative consequences on the left-behind children.

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