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Identity Papers and Citizenship for stateless and abandoned Romanian Children

Requested by

Archway Inc.

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

We are trying to help abandoned children and young families in Bucharest, Romania who have no papers, are not registered with the government, and are not considered citizens.

The context is: Currently there are 2,000+ of these young people were left to fend for themselves after the fall of the dictator Ceausescu, and Roma children who ran away from unimaginable living conditions. The government hasn’t done anything as they used to think these ‘street children’ would just die and be forgotten.

The problem is : On the streets and with no papers, they are shunned, persecuted, unrecognized, beaten, and sold into sexual and labor slavery. Without papers or citizenship they cannot go to school, enter an emergency room in a hospital, seek employment or housing, marry, vote, seek protection under the law or travel abroad to look for work.

We need to get these children identity papers for protection and the meager rights they should be afforded by the government.

What is your project and how will it help?

Fundatia ARCHWAY, Romania is proposing an Identity Papers Program (IPP).

Until now…
We have succeeded on a limited basis in getting papers for some children but in most cases their birth records were never applied for or filed so their history is difficult to verify. Some of these children do not know what their names are and so they make up their own – among them Cola, Capone, and Elvis. Most do not have a last name.

The urgency to act…
The IPP is urgency now with the Arab Spring encroaching, because Romania has set itself up as a resettlement country for political refugees. This bankrupt government cannot take care of its own citizens and abandoned children – who will be pushed further down the list of priorities as Romania tries to act on the world stage.

The way we want to act…
In order to procure identity papers we have envisioned and developed a program that will streamline the application process and draw volunteers from the University of Bucharest to get involved in the identity research. We are in negotiations now with Social assistance and Sociology Departments at the University to get students involved with the outreach and engagement portion of the program. We have also garnered the interest of Child Protection in Sector 5 where our office has relocated.

How IPP will help..
The greatest advantage we bring to this program is the trust of the children we seek to legitimize. They know us through our operation, our care, and our empathy. We have been in the trenches with them (literally) for the past 14 years and we intend to stay there until these children are recognized and given the same opportunities and protection to which every human being is entitled.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

We are looking for collaboration with agencies who can help us move this project forward.

Fundatia ARCHWAY is supported by large groups of American, Canadian, and Western European citizens. We also have affiliations with the University of Bucharest and, of course, Child Protection, two more enlightened state entities.

Partnership with agencies or organisations would help us find ways to make this project sustainable and to make the cause of these children heard.

In fact, during our research for funding we have learned that the world at large does not know of the plight of these children -that is how the government of Romania wants it to be. If people do not know these children exist, there are no funds and efforts to help them. If they are not registered, there is no one held accountable when they disappear, are sold, or get murdered.

Please detail the resources that you need.

We need…

ADVOCACY for recognition of these children in the world forums that champion human rights (i.e. UNICEF, The UN Foundation, the huge NGOs, religious charities, and any corporate sponsors) that feel that they can get involved. If these children are not recognized and acknowledged then they will never get the help that they need. They will always be denied.

To IMPLEMENT THE IDENTITY PAPERS PROGRAM which costs 60,000 USD for the first year.
The funds are needed to…
- Hire assistants for research
- Create and implement more comprehensive and user-friendly registration papers
- Pay for government processing
- Upgrade the computers that we have in Bucharest
- Keep our car in good working order
- Petrol for our research trips to the hometowns of our children

Contact details

Only organisations who have exchanged contact details may view this.


Partnership types

Advocacy of global issues; Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Europe: Romania

Global issues

Anti-corruption, illicit drugs and law enforcement; Children, youth and family welfare; all (9)


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