COFACE and the Bulgarian Center of Women’s Studies and Policies, organized the European conference “Families Beyond Borders” event in Sofia, Bulgaria on 5-6 November 2015. The event, focused on transnational families, aimed at exploring challenges and consequences of what it means to move to a different country for better economic prospects, but leaving ageing parents and sometimes young children in their countries of origin.
Economic migration is not a new phenomenon but, while studies and policies are focussed on the person who move, little attention is paid to those family members who stay in the country of origin and the impact that the migration process has on the family has a whole. The departure of a family member is always a difficult decision and sometimes a last resort for families living in poverty. The profile of economic migrants in some areas is changing, bringing changes also on roles within the family: more and more women move to become care workers abroad and become the family breadwinners.
The 2-day event was a great opportunity to foster exchange between researches, experts and policy makers from all around Europe to raise awareness of the difficulties that transnational families go through.
On November the 5th, a training “Designing and implementing your advocacy campaign for transnational families” was organized, followed by a networking dinner and the film projection “The town of Badante women”.
The training aimed at identifying needs and objectives, target groups and best tools. Participants worked in small groups to develop its own campaign idea and received feedbacks from other groups and trainers. The film, very touching, was followed by a question-answers session with the film screenplay writer.
On November the 6th, the European conference “Families beyond borders – What is the impact of migration on families?” took place, including a poster presentation.
The conference explored a variety of aspects of transnational families through three workshops:
1 Labour migration and transnational family life
2 Brain-drain, emigration and family formation
3 Migrant carers and global care-chain