Visit Romania

23 08 2007

Locul 3 la The Best of Photojournalism 2007

Spencer Platt, Getty images

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Mihaela looks up from a hole leading to underground steam heaters where she and other teenagers and children are temporarily living December 9, 2006 in Bucharest, Romania. Romania has had a crisis with homeless street children since the days of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu, in an attempt to increase the workforce, forced families to have more children than they could afford, resulting in tens of thousands of unwanted children living in state orphanages. Official statistics claim only 2,000 children on the street, but charities and Non Governmental Organizations are adamant that the number is much higher. As Romania prepares to join the European Union (EU) on the first of the year, authorities are increasingly putting pressure on the children to leave the capital as they fear it gives the country a tarnished reputation. The children spend their days sniffing glue, stealing, running from police and selling themselves to pedophiles.


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