NATIONAL REPORT 2007

OVERVIEW

In 2007 a number of meetings were held with the municipal administration of the towns of Pazardzhik, Sliven, Bourgas and Varna with the aim of establishing Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in these communities in accordance with the decision made by the National Commission members at their meeting. The towns were selected in view of the information provided by the Ministry of Interior and the Supreme Court of Cassation about the regions reporting the highest risk of involvement in human trafficking and regions with the greatest number of successfully disclosed cases of this crime. As a result of the discussions held, the good will and understanding of the importance of this issue in the relevant communities, Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings were set up in Bourgas, Sliven, Varna and Pazardzhik.

The NCCTHB prepared a form which was sent to be filled by all NGOs in the country with the aim of collecting information about the organizations providing shelter to victims of trafficking and to gather and summarize information about the services and activities offered by these NGOs in the field of combating trafficking in human beings.

An internet website of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was designed at the end of 2007 – www.antitraffic.government.bg

In February 2007 a Permanent Working Group was affiliated to the National Commission, consisting of experts representing the institutions within the membership of the National Commission, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and nongovernmental organizations.

A project of the International Organization for Migration and the US Agency for International Development called “Partnership model for cooperation in counteraction to trafficking in human beings in Bulgaria” provided valuable support to the National Commission during 2007. The major objective of the programme is to support the efforts of the Bulgarian government in strengthening the institutions for combating trafficking in human beings, as well as to improve their partnership with the civil society.

The cross-border trafficking in human beings has remained to be among the priorities of the National Investigation Service throughout the year 2007. Among the most typical cases, solved in 2007, is Case No. 193/2006 against a group of three procurers and traffickers from Varna.

Requests for judicial cooperation were received by Turkey (38), Germany (23), the Netherlands (19), Poland (14), France (12) , Belgium (8), Serbia and Romania (7 each), UK and Ukraine (6 each) Czech Republic (5), Italy, Greece, Austria and Moldova (4 each), FYROM, USA and Hungary (3 each). Most often the assignments concern cases of fraud – 39, then come drug related crimes – 32, and in the third place is trafficking in human beings – 26.

The full report can be downloaded (in English) here: download (extension .pdf)