In a new report on Bulgaria published today, the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking group GRETA calls on the authorities to improve trafficking victims’ access to justice and compensation, and to ensure the sustainability of anti-trafficking measures through the allocation of appropriate funding. This third report on Bulgaria’s implementation of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings focuses on access to justice and effective remedies for victims of trafficking in human beings. It also assesses developments since the publication of GRETA’s second evaluation report on Bulgaria in January 2016.
GRETA acknowledges that progress has been made in some areas, such as amendments to the Law on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and the adoption of the first National Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for the period 2017-2021. Besides, the Bulgarian authorities have re-opened the two specialised shelters for victims of trafficking, run by NGOs, as well as opened a specialised crisis centre for child victims of trafficking. However, GRETA considers that the Bulgarian authorities should strengthen the systematic provision of information to victims of trafficking regarding their rights, the services available and how to access them. GRETA also calls on the authorities to ensure that victims of trafficking are appointed specialised lawyers who can represent their interests throughout the proceedings.