Bucharest is the capital and largest city in Romania. Situated in the south-east, it is also the cultural, industrial, and financial centre of the country.
The population of Bucharest has been growing as people move to urban centres in search of work. Currently, Bucharest is currently home to around 1.8 million people. More than 1% of the city’s population are Roma, who are badly affected by poverty.
Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bucharest.
Although the employment of children under the age of 15 is prohibited, an estimated 1% of Romania’s children are involved in child labour, equating to around 40,000. However, the actual numbers could be much higher.
Child labour deprives children of their childhood. It deprives them of their rights, and exposes them to violence, physical and mental harm.
More than 65 % of the children live in overcrowded houses. Among children at risk of poverty, the proportion is as high as almost 80%. Most of these houses leak, are damp or do not have a flush toilet.
The crowded conditions affect family relationships, negatively impact children's education and contribute to psychological problems. If children do not have enough space and privacy to develop, they will not escape the vicious cycle of poverty.