Commissioner Hammarberg visits Bulgaria to discuss the rights of children and minorities

Strasbourg, 30.10.2009 – The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, will visit Bulgaria from 3 to 5 November for high-level talks on protection of children's rights and on the respect of minority rights.

The programme of the visit includes meetings with the Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Social Policy, and with the Acting Minister of Education, Youth and Science. The Commissioner will also meet with the Ombudsman, the Chairman of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, the Head of the State Agency for Child Protection, as well as members of the Bulgarian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Further meetings are scheduled with non-governmental organisations and experts in the field of children's and minorities' rights, as well as representatives of the Roma community. The Commissioner will also visit a children's institution and a Roma settlement in Sofia.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Hammarberg will take part in the roundtable "Right to education of children with mental disabilities" organised in Sofia by the Mental Disability Advocacy Center and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.