Children Left Behind Conference in Bucharest, 16-19 April 2019

Press release

Between 16-19 April, ChildPact convenes over 40 experts and practitioners from 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and South Caucasus to discuss the situation of children left behind due to the migration of parents for labour reasons. The intensive agenda aims to provide the space to facilitate a better understanding of the size, dynamics and effects of the labour migration of parents in the region on the rights and protection of the left behind children and to identify existing good practices in providing adequate support to the children and families affected by this phenomenon in our region. The exchange workshop will provide the participants the opportunity to visit two organizations offering services for children left behind in Romania. The main ideas and arguments will be summarized in a joint conference statement that will also include a set of recommendations to improve the support available to children and families affected by labour migration.

The initiative is supported by the Central European Initiative Fund and Oak Foundation.

You can download the Agenda here.



Hotel Marshal Garden, Calea Dorobanti 50B


TUESDAY, 16/04/2019

19:00 – 21:00 Opening Remarks & Networking Dinner

WEDNESDAY, 17/04/2019

09:00 – 10:30 Children Left Behind – Romanian Perspectives

Corina MARINESCU, National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption, Romania – Situation of Children Left Behind by Parents Migrating for Work in Romania

Alexandru GULEI, Alternative Sociale Iasi, Romania – Research on the situation of Romanian children left behind by parents migrating for work

Daniela BOȘCA, Federation of Nongovernmental Organizations for Children, Romania – Home Alone Children: a Concern for All

10:30 – 11:00 BREAK

11:00 – 12:30 Children Left behind – Regional Perspectives

Eduard PETRESCU, UNICEF Romania – The need of data and research about children left behind. Overview form Europe and Central Asia

Kirsten THEUNS, Terre des Hommes, Eastern Europe Delegation – Building blocks for a program intervention to improve conditions for Children Left Behind in Eastern Europe

Ina RADKOVA, National Network for Children Bulgaria – Children left behind: policies in Bulgaria

Carolina BUZDUGAN, APSCF Moldova – Situation of children left behind in Moldova

12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH

13:30 – 17:00 Field Visit to St. Dimitrie Foundation, Center for Education and Community Support and Terre des Hommes Foundation

19:00 DINNER

THURSDAY, 18/04/2019

09:00 – 10:30 Challenges for Children Left Behind and Professionals Working with Them

Silvia DUMITRACHE, Association of Romanian Women in Italy – Prevention of negative consequences of economic migration on children and the transnational family

Anna ARGANASHVILI, Coalition for Children and Youth Georgia – The Issue of Legal Standing and Decision-Making for Children Left Behind by Parents Migrating for Work in Georgia

Alexandru GULEI, Alternative Sociale Iasi, Romania – Methodologies, tools and training for the professionals working with children left behind

10:30 – 11:00 BREAK

11:00 – 12:30 Support and Intervention Models

Tamara BARBAKADZE, Child Protection Network Armenia / World Vision Armenia – Left-Behind Children of Labor Migrant Parents in Aragatsotn (Armenia): Interventions, Challenges, Results

Ina RADKOVA, National Network for Children Bulgaria – Children left behind: practices in Bulgaria

Voica TOMUS, UNICEF Romania – Model of integrated service delivery in 45 communities in Bacau county

12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH

13:30 – 15:30 World Café Session – Regional Cooperation Options to Tackle the Challenges of Children Left Behind

15:30 – 16:00 BREAK

16:00 – 17:00 Summary of World Café Session Thematic Rounds / Concluding Remarks

19:00 DINNER

FRIDAY, 19/04/2019

09:00 – 16:00 Follow-up Activity Planning for ChildPact Members



Corina Marinescu is Counselor within the National Authority for Child Rights Protection and Adoption in Romania for 11 years, working in the field of repatriation and international relations. The main activity is related to unaccompanied Romanian children abroad, child trafficking, migration, drafting documents, representing the institution at national and international meetings. Mrs Marinescu graduated the Faculty of Letters, Department of Romanian Language and Literature, French Language and Literature within the University of Bucharest and then the Faculty of Communication and Public Relations within the same university. She is experienced in the field of education, having studied for teaching at pedagogical high school and being teacher of Romanian Language and Literature and also of French Language and Literature.

Alexandru Gulei is the Executive Director of Alternative Sociale Association (Romania). He is a university trained social worker who dedicated over 15 years to developing effective interventions for tackling the negative effects of migration. He is an author and co-author of professional literature (over 20 national and international articles, publications, including award winning working methodologies for the social, psychological and legal assistance of different groups at risk), an accredited trainer and a researcher (coordinated the EU funded project that produced the first study on the negative effects of remigration on children) and advocated for the rights of children and families affected by migration on national and international level.

Daniela Maria Boșca (Gheorghe) is currently the Executive Director of the Federation of NGOs for Children in Romania. Specialized in child psychology and children rights, she has been working in this field for over 18 years. She was one of the first Romanian professionals to address cases of child victims of abuse and neglect in a multidisciplinary team. Mrs Boșca graduated the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, UBB Cluj, specializing in working with parents and children.  She is currently completing her PhD at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences, Doctoral School of Sociology.

Eduard Petrescu has been working with UNICEF since January 2013. His areas of expertise are: institutional development, strategic planning, project management, project monitoring & evaluation, communication for development, corporate social responsibility. Over 26 years of experience in working in the area of development with significant results in environment, social services, health and organizational development. Served as Director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and also as Director of 2 major Romanian Foundations: The Ecologist Youth of Romania and Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation. Background and experience in communication and journalism serving for more than 5 years as new producer in national public radio and television.

Kirsten Theuns is acting as the Head of Eastern Europe Delegation for Terre des hommes (Tdh) and responsible for the operations and teams in Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. Tdh is the leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid, and one of its focus areas is Children and Youth in Migration. Under this programme, Kirsten is chairing the internal Task Force on Children Left Behind. Kirsten has been working for NGOs for almost 15 years, in different countries in the world.

Silvia Dumitrache is the founder and president of the Romanian Women’s Association in Italy – ADRI. She voluntarily coordinates a transnational project in support of migrant families and is constantly involved in social solidarity, networking, facilitation and advocacy activities for assuming responsibility to safeguard the rights of children, women and the migratory families. Ms. Dumitrache is a member of the Romanian Women’s Lobby and of the ECLER’s Romanian Independent Working Group against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling. Ms Dumitrache has also worked with the Romanian National Television and the Italian RAI.

Tamara Barbakadze has more than 10 years of work experience in the field of child rights. Her interests are particularly laid in violence prevention, gender equality and non-discrimination. She managed projects related to the HIV/AIDS, Trafficking, Human Rights and Refugees. Currently she is development manager at World Vision Armenia and is also coordinating the “Share Love, Not Violence” five-year public campaign to combat violence against children which is the Armenian initiative of the global campaign of eliminating all forms of violence against children. Mrs. Barbakadze graduated the Faculty of Comparative Legal Studies of American University of Armenia and then got the advanced LLM degree in European Law within Ghent University, Belgium. She is experienced in the field of legal research, drafting documents, as well as lecturing on human rights topics.

Ina Radkova was born in 1989 in Ruse, Bulgaria. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Giessen, Germany, and her Master’s degree in psychology at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Currently, she works as a psychologist at the Center for Social Support in the Complex for Social Services for Children and Families in Ruse.  Her job is focused on supporting children from different social backgrounds whose wellbeing is at risk. She also works with adopted children and children in foster care.

Voica Tomus, MD, MBA, Child Protection Specialist, working with UNICEF for over 15 years. Trained as a medical doctor and working in child protection, she likes challenging boundaries of all kinds and therefore, dedicated considerable work for promoting integrated approaches in addressing multi-dimensional vulnerabilities and for reaching better outcomes for children. Working with various levels’ and sectors’ stakeholders, she always rely on partnerships and is permanently looking for opportunities to deescalate the conventional in finding effective and efficient solutions for children to be implemented in complex or changing contexts.

Carolina Buzdugan is the Secretary General of Alliance of Active NGOs in the field of Child and Family Social Protection (APSCF) from Republic of Moldova. APSCF is a network of 66 NGOs throughout the Republic of Moldova, that is working to create a coherent and functional development framework of the decision makers and public policies, while ensuring the respect and protection of children and families. Hoping for a better world for every child and family, APSCF protects the Moldavian children for over 15 years. Mrs. Buzdugan gratuated the Faculty of Psychology, Sociology and Social Assistance, Department of Sociology, and then Department of Organizational Psychology, within the Moldova State University. She has been working for more than five years in the NGO sector in fields such as child protection, education, gender equality and civil society empowerment.  She has a special interest in networking, involvement of networks in public policies and advocacy activities.

Anna Arganashvili is a practicing lawyer with the academic background in psychology and occupational therapy. She worked as the head of gender equality department at the Centre for Child Rights and the Center for Disability Rights at the National Human Rights Institution, office of the public defender of Georgia between 2007-2013. In 2013 she has moved to the NGO sector and is currently works as the Executive Director of “Partnership for Human Rights” as well as Chairwoman at “Coalition for Children and Youth”. Her research interests cover the following topics: gender-based statistics, rights of women with disability, gender-based violence, gender-based discrimination.

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