A girl sits in a park in Bucharest, Romania. Children from vulnerable ethnic groups are sometimes trafficked into forced beggary.

Credits: Sheahen/Caritas

Adrian* is a 16-year-old boy in Romania who was abducted by traffickers as a baby.

The first thing I remember was when I was about six, in Spain. I would beg and steal. I would eat leftovers. I had to beg near a supermarket.

In Spain, I lived in a garage with my “false family.” Everyone else had a bed. I slept on the floor. Because I tried to run away so much, they chained me at night.

On some days, I made hundreds of euros each day. I tried to hide money, but they knew, so they beat me.

When I was 11, I went with my false family back to Romania. One night when they were asleep, I took the train to Bucharest. Then I found my real mother.

ADPARE (a Caritas Bucharest partner) helped me. If not for ADPARE, I wouldn’t have so much support. I wouldn’t have recovered so fast.

Now I live with my mother and her family. I go to school and play football. I like science. I was in the Physics Olympiad.

*Name has been changed.