We are proud to share a profound article written by our partners at Sapientia, which was recently featured in the “Regional Funds Online Magazine” on page 32. The piece, titled “When you are ‘invisible‘”, delves deep into the challenges faced by undocumented citizens in Romania.
The Importance of an Identity Card
An identity card is not just a piece of plastic; it represents one’s affiliation with a political and administrative body, typically a state. As Plájás (2023) highlighted, the ID card bridges the individual and the state institutions, influencing the holder’s daily life.
The Predicament for Citizens in Romania
In Romania, obtaining an ID card is contingent upon having a stable residence or someone willing to declare you into their household officially. This system inadvertently pushes those on the societal fringes into a shadowy existence devoid of legal documentation to prove their identity.
The Ramifications of Being “Invisible”
Being undocumented in Romania comes with a myriad of challenges:
- Census Count: There’s a high likelihood of being overlooked during a census, often reduced to mere estimates.
- Healthcare: Once of legal working age, the absence of an ID card means no eligibility for health insurance.
- Financial Aid: Official financial assistance is out of reach. While NGOs step in to help, their aid is contingent on available resources, leaving many potentially unsupported.
- Employment & Services: Without an ID, the formal job is unattainable, as is contracting essential services like water and electricity.
- Banking: Opening a bank account becomes impossible, pushing individuals towards a cash-based economy. This often leads them to loan sharks, the only available credit source.
- Childcare: As highlighted by Stativă (2005), the Roma community, in particular, faces the heart-wrenching decision of leaving their healthy children in medical institutions due to the lack of identity papers.
A Temporary Solution with Limitations
Plájás (2023) points out that Romania’s introduction of a temporary identity card can address some of these issues. However, it comes with its challenges, such as restricted movement within the EU and increased surveillance due to annual renewals.
The article by Balázs Telegdy, Ede Lázár, and Blanka Bálint sheds light on a pressing issue that many might be unaware of. At Lost Millennials, we believe in amplifying such voices and working towards a more inclusive society. We commend Sapientia for their invaluable contribution and urge our followers to read the full article here to understand the topic better.