Strengthen the System of Protection of Migrants and Refugees in Bulgaria
In a report , Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees , acknowledges that Bulgaria's efforts to address the challenges posed by the high number of migrant arrivals and refugees, but he underlines his concern about the difficulties they face in entering Bulgarian territory, especially on the border with Turkey, and for obtaining international protection.
"Bulgaria has made considerable progress in enrolling refugee children in school. However, the integration of migrants and refugees at the local level is slow, because it is not mandatory for municipalities and public opinion generally shows a negative attitude towards them, "said Special Representative.
He stressed that Bulgaria should set up a functional system for assessing the age and guardianship of unaccompanied refugee and migrant minors. It also recommended addressing issues such as the lack of available information on the rights of asylum seekers and the lack of interpretation and legal aid during the process of determining their status.
The report recommends concrete measures regarding the assistance that the Council of Europe could offer to Bulgaria, in particular to improve the access of foreigners to international protection, to strengthen the guarantees offered to migrants and refugees during the retention period. immigration and improve the protection of vulnerable people.
The Special Representative made a fact-finding visit from 13 to 17 November 2017, during which he visited migrant and refugee reception centers and met with representatives of relevant Bulgarian authorities and NGOs.
Source: Council of Europe
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