About Euro Orphans


After the Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004 it led to an enourmous emmigration flow. Today millions of Eastern European children are left behind when their parents leave to work in another country. The press has dubbed them “euro orphans.” NGOs estimate that in EU member states like Romania, Bulgaria and Poland  500,000 to 1 million children are affected. In Ukraine, the Catholic relief charity Caritas estimates the number to be as high as 9 million. The family stories are similar, and usually take place in rural areas suffering from high unemployment. The money that parents earn there is not enough to provide the basic necessities for their families, not to mention a secure future.Many end up in EU member countries, often working illegally. The children are left behind, with one parent, or the grandparents, with friends or even alone.

Euro orphans learn that parental love is paid at regular intervals through a bank account, or by post with packages full of brand­name clothes and toys. But they lack a close relationship with their parents. Tinny voices and blurry Skype images are a poor substitute for hugs.

Deutche Welle, German International Broadcaster