UNHCR to Update Position Paper on Bulgaria in April

Society | January 8, 2014, Wednesday // 09:51| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: UNHCR to Update Position Paper on Bulgaria in April Some 10 000 refugees are currently in Bulgaria - the migration wave is unprecedented for the country as it has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000. Photo by BGNES

UNHCR is about to publish a new report, assessing the reception conditions and asylum procedures for asylum-seekers in Bulgaria, at the beginning of April.

This was announced by Boris Cheshirkov, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Bulgaria, in an interview for Darik radio.

He pointed out that the government is working hard to improve standards in Bulgaria’s reception centers and the UN refugee agency review in April will take this into account.

In the first days of the new year UNHCR urged states participating in the Dublin Regulation to temporarily suspend transfers of asylum-seekers back to Bulgaria, saying they risk inhuman or degrading treatment.

"Asylum-seekers in Bulgaria face a genuine risk of inhuman or degrading treatment due to systemic deficiencies in reception conditions and asylum procedures," the agency concluded in a position paper, issued on January 2.

UNHCR's assessment shows that asylum-seekers in Bulgaria routinely lack access to basic services, such as food and healthcare; face lengthy delays in registration which subsequently deprive them of their basic rights; and are at risk of arbitrary detention. In addition, there are serious challenges to access fair and effective asylum procedures alongside ongoing reports of push backs at the border.

The Dublin Regulation provides for a system to determine responsibility for examining asylum claims lodged in EU Member States and other States that are party to the Dublin regulation according to specific criteria. It aims to ensure that each claim is fairly examined by a State to deter multiple applications and enhance efficiency.

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