Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, Romania experienced increasing flows of migrants, among them unaccompanied minors, from the border with Serbia.
Instead of holding face-to-face workshops, Save the Children Romania organized interviews with children on the move hosted in Romanian reception centres (they were 185 in 2019; data are not yet available for 2020). During the interviews, children were asked about their experience with the justice.
One of the critical issues raised by the children is the lack of availability of interpreters. Some of them had to go to court only with English translator although English was not their mother tongue and no one is proficient in English, especially children from Bangladesh.
There were children who said that they don’t have a legal representative, although they were familiar with the concept of what a legal representative should be; others know that they have a legal representative but don’t know who he/she is. For those legal representatives who are willing to cooperate, communication is made difficult because of the language barrier. They don’t speak foreign languages, not even English.
There are some children for whom their family reunification has been postponed due to Covid crisis but it was not explained to them why their trip was postponed, resulting in a feeling of frustration among these children.
Lack of interpreters, lack of information and lack of contact with public social services and guardians are the main critical issues identified by the children.
Although children have no contact with public social workers due to the Covid crisis, they can rely on social workers from NGOs like Save the Children Romania.