Wednesday, 5 September 2012

´White Orphans´ The Dark Side of EU Migration

Tomorrow, Thursday September 6th, the Employment & Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament will vote to confirm a €2 million allocation for a study and analysis on the phenomenon of 'white orphans'

This term refers to children who have been left in the care of grandparents and others, as their parents both emigrate in search of employment in other parts of the EU. The Baltic states and Romania have been particularly affected, and it is now becoming apparent that this is causing serious problems for the children concerned. "These children are affected by physiological and social problems and may become involved in criminal activities. This situation can lead them to commit suicide." according to an official European Parliament paper that will go before MEPs tomorrow.

Independent MEP for the West Midlands Nikki Sinclaire sits on the Employment & Social Affairs Committee. "This is a tragedy" she says. "It is understandable that people will go in search of a better life, but the way in which the EU has managed this means that it is young children who will have to pay the price. It breaks my heart to think that the pressure placed on these children can lead them to take their own lives."

The UK and Ireland have been the destination of choice for many of the workers concerned, as they seek work predominantly in the service and agricultural sectors. In 2010 the Office for National Statistics revealed that 776,000 people from the EU's eastern states were resident in the UK.