In the Republic of Moldova, for many children, the first experiences with the street take place at a very early age, when they are of three or four years old. The main reasons children leave their homes are: parents’ alcohol abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and lack of child supervision. Most of the children constantly run away from placement centres and from their families where they are taken by representatives of social services and/or police. At the same time, professionals have little knowledge about the specifics of children in street situations. For some, this translates into fear or reluctance towards the children.
These are the main results of the Qualitative Study on Children in Street Situations in the Republic of Moldova developed during 2017 by Terre des hommes Moldova with the support of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, the Chisinau Department for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, the General Police Inspectorate and UNICEF Moldova.
This study represents a first attempt of scientific analysis of children in street situations in Republic of Moldova.
The aims of the research are: (a) to analyse the phenomenon of children in street situations in order to know and understand the nature and the evolution of the phenomenon and to identify the mechanisms for protection of these children and for preventing other children to be in street situations and,(b) to create a profile or profiles of children in street situations by analysing factors contributing to this phenomenon from individual, family and social perspectives.
The report is divided into six chapters.
The first chapter includes a brief introduction into the literature together with a review of the main national and international documents that constitute the legal framework regarding children’s rights in general and the rights of children in street situations in particular.
The second chapter is dedicated to describing the research instruments, the participants and the research procedures.
The following three chapters present the study results. These include: (a) professionals’ perspectives on children in street situations, (b) parents’ perspectives and (c) children’s perspectives.
The last chapter presents the conclusions of this study comprising the description of three categories of children in street situations, namely: (1) children for whom placement was established after a minimum contact experience with the street; (2) children with a street experience longer than six months and (3) children from the former National Hotel.
The description of the three categories is followed by 11 recommendations that emerged from this study. These refer to preventing the phenomenon, working with the child in street situations and social policies.
The report ends with some thoughts and reflections about children’s participation in this study.
About author: Liliana Foca, psychologist and PhD candidate in criminology. Liliana Foca has experience of over seven years of research in the area of child protection. The main topics of interest include: children affected by parental labour migration, children with imprisoned parents and children in placement centres.