• IOM Moldova - Communications and Protection Desks

(Larisa asked to protect her identity)

Chisinau - The story of Larisa, a Russian Roma who feld Ukraine while pregnant and who entered Moldova with her family. They had no place to live and a 2 years and 6 months old baby with no documents.
IOM Mobile Team’s lawyers together with social assistants, and Roma cultural mediators, assisted her to find an apartment and to obtain the identity documents for her son.

At the time of entry in Moldova in March 2022, Larisa, a young Russian Roma living in Ukraine for years, was pregnant and accompanied by her mother, father, brother and her 2 years and 6 months old son who had no documents.

When she entered in Moldova due to the war, Larisa only had a medical birth certificate issued by the maternity hospital in Ukraine, but any identity document for her son. 

"I could not demonstrate he was my child”. 

It was an additional problem together with the urgent ones of finding an house, food and basic necessities to survive. Moreover, she could not count on the help of her husband who is in Ukraine and can’t leave the country.

As a refugee in a vulnerable situation, Larisa, her son and family members have been initially accommodated in a refugee centre located in the Moldovan town of Carpineni, close to the Romanian border. The center is among those costantly monitored by IOM Protection Team and IOM Roma cultural mediators. 

The sensitive case of Larisa immediately draw the attention for a prompt and operational assistance. The mobile Team asessed the family’s needs and looked at ways to help, starting by referring the case to IOM Airbnb programme. 

"We had no money to rent an apartment and they provided us an apartment in Chisinau for one month, which was extended for second month due to my pregnancy and to give birth my daughter now. IOM Team also provided us transports. IOM took us there, all free of charge”.

The lack of documents for the child persisted. For him, it was not possible to leave Moldova and to be enrolled in educational institutions. They also tried to go to Romania, but at the border the authorities did not allow them to enter. 
Her child was born in Ukraine, and Larisa tried to approach both the Ukrainian and Russian Federation embassies, but she only received refusals. 
Larisa was promptly legally assisted by IOM Mobile Team’s lawyers who analyzed the legal case and assisted her to process the documents and approach the embassies.

In January 2023, Larisa obtained the birth certificate and a passport for her son.

"Your organization is necessary. I also realized that if you write ’help for refugees, for Ukrainians’", it is easy to find your website. For us, everything is fine now, we like Moldova and people helped us a lot at the beginning. Yet, when the war is over, we will return to Ukraine”.

SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities