Romania faces record number of asylum applications in H1 2022: 7,525, including 4,359 applications submitted by Ukrainian citizens
In the first half of 2022, Romania faced a record number of asylum applications – 7,525, including 4,359 applications submitted by Ukrainian citizens – and in response, the Save the Children Romania organisation ran a project called “Social inclusion of migrants through the involvement of local communities.”
According to a press statement released by he Save the Children organisation, of all asylum applications submitted in the first half of 2022, 1,997 were submitted by minors – 1,504 aged 0-13 and 493 aged 14-17.
The organisation ran its project in order to respond to the most important problem faced by asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, namely high social exclusion, given that over 44% of Romanians have a negative opinion about immigrants, although the trend is decreasing.
Since the beginning of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, over 70,000 Ukrainians have received temporary protection.
In order to meet these needs, Save the Children Romania specialists have carried out a series of activities at the five main refugee centres in Romania (Bucharest, Galati, Radauti, Somcuta Mare and Timisoara), focused on providing consulting to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection and on facilitating collaboration between public institutions and NGOs for a safer and easier social integration of migrants.
Under the project, humanitarian and legal assistance was provided to over 2,070 people, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, who were counselled, whose rights and obligations were explained and who were helped get access to services that improve their lives.
For better collaboration and coordination of support actions for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, 5 local networks were created, made up of public administrations and private institutions involved in the support and integration of migrants.
Under the project, a proposal was made by NGOs that a psychologist should be present at the interviews to determine the form of protection, because the accounts of the applicants can often have an extremely high psychological impact.
“An important aspect highlighted in the project after discussions with migrants is Romania’s status as a transit country; according to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), Romania has become a major transit route for migrants seeking access to the European Union in 2021. Although asylum seekers are under an obligation not to leave the place of residence without notifying IGI, in practice it has been found that many times they leave Romania before the asylum procedure is over,” Save the Children Romania representatives mention.
Another difficulty encountered in practice is related to what the organisation calls the too long a time for resolving the asylum applications.
Since the outbreak of this crisis, Save the Children claims that it has provided 180,727 people, including 101,121 Ukrainian children and 79,606 adults (women, elderly, men with a medical exemption, extended families) with basic food, personal care products, clothing, shoes, diapers, pacifiers, bottles, strollers, baby carriers, hot water thermoses, toys, blankets and other immediate relief products, phone cards provided free of charge by mobile phone companies, emotional support, translation and informational counseling – information materials in Ukrainian (information about the asylum procedure, modes of transport, hospitals, map and addresses of centres for asylum seekers, etc.).
Photo: Facebook/Salvati Copiii Romania