In 2010, the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings developed its activities and increased the capacity of Local Committees to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings in the cities of Varna, Burgas, Sliven, Pazardzhik and Montana. All mayors and municipal administrations supported developing local policies to combat trafficking in human beings through direct co-financing (Municipality of Varna) or provision of facilities (Municipality of Varna, Municipality of Burgas, Municipality of Pazardzhik).
In dealing with the challenges faced in the trafficking of human beings, the NCCTHB Secretariat focused on 3 main institutional and organizational measures:
1. Develop minimum standards for detection and maintenance of shelter for victims of trafficking
– The minimum standards were developed by the Secretariat of the NCCTHB and discussed by interested institutions and NGOs in the seminar ‘Standards of Management of Shelters for Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings’ (23-26 February 2010, Sofia) organized under the auspice of the international project ‘Traffic of Persons in Bulgaria and The Netherlands – Joint Efforts for Counteraction’.
2. Involve volunteers in the work of the NCCTHB and LCCTHB, and the development of volunteer activities
– ‘Roundtable on Project “Full 6”’ (8 June 2010, Sofia)
– Seminar on ‘Trafficking in Human Beings in Bulgaria’ (14 October 2010, Varna)
3. Strengthening the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Trafficking as an official mechanism for referral and assistance for victims
– Two regular meetings of the Working Group for the creation of the National Mechanism for Referral (21 January 2010 and 10 March 2010)
– Discussion and submission for adoption by Council of Ministers of the National Mechanism for Referral and Support of Trafficked Persons in Bulgaria (23 November 2010, Sofia)
– Conference ‘Presentation of the National Mechanism for Referral and Support of Trafficked Persons’ (25 November 2010, Sofia).
In addition to these core measures, further activities took place in 2010 with the purpose of preventing the trafficking of persons. These include:
– Creating and implementing a training module in relation to the risks and consequences of trafficking in human beings, aimed at teachers and pupils;
– Creation and distribution of information (printed, audio and video materials) for the prevention of trafficking in human beings with the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation;
– Conduct an information campaign on the prevention of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, aimed at users of sexual services;
– Printing and distribution of a comic book for children „You are not for sale“, developed within the preventive work of the Council of Europe;
– Conduct awareness campaigns on the rights of victims of trafficking and the opportunities for assistance and protection in Bulgaria and abroad among representatives of risk groups (especially among ethnic minorities and economically underdeveloped communities);
– Developing strategies and conducting joint initiatives with high risk communities to prevent trafficking in human beings on their territory;
– Dissemination of information materials in connection with the Transnational Mechanism for Referral and Support of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings;
– Promoting the Hotline for Child Victims of Violence (116 111).
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