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Bulgaria: Frequency of intermarriage between Roma and non-Romani Bulgarians; Whether it is more common for a Romani man to marry outside the Romani community than it is for a Romani woman (1999-2000)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 3 April 2000
Citation / Document Symbol BGR34106.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bulgaria: Frequency of intermarriage between Roma and non-Romani Bulgarians; Whether it is more common for a Romani man to marry outside the Romani community than it is for a Romani woman (1999-2000), 3 April 2000, BGR34106.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad4c7c.html [accessed 18 September 2014]
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.

Information on the frequency of intermarriage between Roma and non-Romani Bulgarians and whether it is more common for a Romani man to marry outside the Romani community than it is for a Romani woman is scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In a 21 March 2000 telephone interview, the Executive Director of Human Rights Project stated that intermarriage among Roma is not very common in Bulgaria. This information was corroborated by the Chair of the Minority Studies Society Studii Romani and the Chair of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee in two telephone interviews (27 Mar. 2000; 28 Mar. 2000). The latter added that a Romani man was more likely to marry outside the Romani community than a Romani woman, especially among the Muslim Roma. He made references to cases of Romani men married to Bulgarian women, and to a lesser extent, of Romani men to Bulgarian Turkish women.

The Chair of the Minority Studies Society Studii Romani also stressed how difficult generalizations were in this regard, given the heterogeneity of the Bulgarian Romani minority (27 Mar. 2000). However, she stated that intermarriages were more likely in educated circles (27 Mar. 2000).

Quoted in an 8 April 1998 article, the head of department at the Bulgarian Culture Ministry, who is also Secretary of the working group on Romani problems with the Council of Minister's National Council on Ethnic and Population Affairs, Antonii Gulubov, highlighted the small number of intermarriages in Bulgaria by stating that fewer than 50,000 out of 2.3 million families were mixed, that is with spouses from different ethnic groups (BTA 8 Apr. 1998).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

BTA News Agency [Sofia, in English]. 8 April 1998. "Bulgarian Government Sets Up Working Group on Romanies." (BBC Worldwide Monitoring 8 April 1998/NEXIS)

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Sofia. 28 March 2000. Telephone interview with the Chair.

Human Rights Project, Sofia. 21 March 2000. Telephone Interview with the Executive Director.

Minority Studies Society Studii Romani. Sofia. 27 March 2000. Telephone interview with the Chair.

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report 1999 1999

Country Report 1999.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

IRB Databases

Public Affairs International Service 1999-2000

Resource Centre country file on Bulgaria. 1999-2000

World News Connection (WNC)

Unsuccessful attempts to contact two oral sources.

Internet Sites Including:

European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)

European Roma Rights Centre

Minority Electronic Resources (MINELRES)

Minority Rights Group International

Minorities at Risk

OSCE Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues

Project on Ethnic Relations (PER)

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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