Deputy PM: Bulgaria Is Increasingly Becoming Final Destination for Asylum Seekers

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | June 28, 2016, Tuesday // 09:42
Bulgaria: Deputy PM: Bulgaria Is Increasingly Becoming Final Destination for Asylum Seekers Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva. Photo: BGNES

Bulgaria is increasingly becoming a final destination for migrants seeking asylum.

This was stated by Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and chairperson of the National Commission for Combating Traffic in Human Beings Meglena Kuneva on Monday.

Kuneva was one of the participants at the international discussion “Enhancing multidisciplinary cooperation in the identification and support for victims of traffic among migrants and asylum seekers” organised by the commission.

In her words, it was important to closely monitor the migrant routes, take all necessary measures to tackle illegal migration, as well as to treat each personal story individually.

Kuneva explained that people fleeing war are inclined to take all kinds of risks to ensure their safety, while traffickers are making use of the hopes of people for finding stability, shelter and protection.

She called for distinguishing between the trafficking of people and their illegal smuggling across borders.

She pointed that some migrants are paying high price to smugglers to reach a place of safety, but they part ways after crossing the border.

Other migrants do not have the means to pay the high price and can be subject to sexual or labour exploitation.

Kuneva added that the commission focuses on improving the identification of victims of trafficking among migrants.

Together with the State Agency for Refugees (DAB), the commission organises training for the structures of DAB and the agency's interviewers working with asylum seekers to identify the signs of trafficking and exploitation.

She admitted that for a long time the problem with migration had been neglected in Europe.

In a video statement, Bulgarian MEP Mariya Gabriel estimated that human traffickers had earned between EUR 5 B and EUR 6 B last year.

Gabriel also pointed to Europol data, according to which 10 000 unaccompanied migrant children went missing in 2014-2015.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Meglena Kuneva, migrants, asylum seekers, trafficking, smuggling, Mariya Gabriel, Migration, DAB, traffickers, exploitation

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