For centuries, the Roma community has endured societal marginalization and harsh discrimination. Many have been forced to resort to begging and theft merely to survive. However, over the past two decades, organized crime has seized control, leading to a surge in the trafficking and exploitation of Roma children, particularly following Romania’s entry into the European Union in 2007.

In Spain, the sight of eight-year-olds robbing grown men at cash machines has sadly become commonplace. Similarly, a major police investigation in Italy uncovered the horrifying reality of enslaved children locked away in squalid conditions, akin to animals in a shack.

This disturbing trend is only the tip of the iceberg, representing a phenomenon that demands urgent attention and concerted efforts to combat. Liviu Tipurita, a filmmaker who grew up in Romania, has dedicated years to shedding light on the plight of the Roma community and the pervasive issue of child trafficking. In his latest endeavor, he embarks on a journey to delve into the closed world of the Roma community, exposing the rampant racism and exploitation faced by these vulnerable children.

These children are tragically caught in a cycle of crime and exploitation, abandoned by society and left to fend for themselves. Liviu’s quest raises a poignant question: will anyone step up to rescue them from the clutches of their exploiters?

As Liviu traverses the streets of Madrid just before Christmas, he is confronted with the harsh reality of Roma children from Romania engaged in criminal activities. Amidst the bustling city center, he observes young beggars, but beneath the surface lies a more insidious operation. Spotting a young girl, no older than 13, lingering near a cash machine, Liviu witnesses her sophisticated tactics as she targets unsuspecting customers, utilizing distraction techniques to steal money.

This encounter underscores the urgent need to address the plight of Roma children, who are disproportionately affected by exploitation and criminality. Will society muster the resolve to intervene and protect these vulnerable youths from further harm?

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