Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 07:59 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bulgaria

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bulgaria, 5 June 2002, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Bulgaria (Tier 2)

Bulgaria is a source and transit country and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for women and girls trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. Victims trafficked to and through Bulgaria are predominantly from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Lithuania and Latvia. Women and girls trafficked from Bulgaria – a disproportionate number of Roma origin – and those in transit through Bulgaria are trafficked to Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Kosovo, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Turkey.

The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is constrained by limited resources. Complicity among law enforcement and other government authorities in trafficking is a problem, although the government has brought administrative charges against local law enforcement officers. Bulgaria does not have a specific law prohibiting trafficking, but criminalizes acts that may be related, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, coercion, debauchery, rape, inducement to prostitution, abducting a woman for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and illegally taking a person across a border. The government's anti-trafficking task force conducted operations against hotels and clubs, arrested many perpetrators, and submitted their cases for investigation and prosecution. It appears that few traffickers have been convicted, however. The government does not directly provide protection services to trafficked victims, as it is constrained by limited financial resources. It refers victims to several NGOs and an international organization which provide short-term shelter, legal counseling, medical and psychological treatment, and repatriation assistance, as necessary. The government does not provide relief from deportation or temporary residence status to victims. The government has no victim or witness protection capability. To prevent trafficking, the government has cooperated well with extensive NGO and international organization efforts to conduct information and education campaigns to combat trafficking. These efforts include distribution of informational posters, wallet-sized cards, brochures, informational advertisements on radio and television, and a documentary that was aired on Bulgarian national television. The government has cooperated with these efforts by distributing materials at border checkpoints, police stations, schools, and other government facilities. At the government document centers that reissue all passports and personal identity documents, the government distributed and displayed trafficking prevention information, including the advertisement of an NGO-operated twenty-four-hour hotline for potential victims of trafficking. The Education Ministry cooperated with an international organization to develop an educational curriculum on the dangers of trafficking for use in Bulgaria's secondary schools; this curriculum was incorporated into the national curriculum.

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