Social services from the city of Plovdiv took part in a workshop

А workshop on "Challenges and current trends in direct work on cases of children and persons in a pandemic situation caused by COVID – 19, in the context of social isolation and increased risk of involvement in trafficking in human beings" was held on the Zoom videoconferencing platform with a focus on teams working in social and/or integrated health and social services, including residential care in the cities of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Veliko Tarnovo and Montana.

The event is organized by the Local Commissions in the cities of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Veliko Tarnovo and Montana and is held with the support of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. The moderator of the event was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mariela Todorova - Koleva, lecturer at VTU "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ” in Veliko Tarnovo. Assoc. Todorova is a long-standing manager of the Crisis Centre for children, victims of trafficking or violence, as well as of the Centre for family-type accommodation in the town of V. Tarnovo. She has high professional expertise and has numerous publications in the field of effective communication techniques for inactive youth.

The workshop took place in two modules: main challenges in the process of working during a pandemic and presenting up-to-date trends in work on the case of trafficking in human beings.  At the beginning, the secretaries of the Local Commissions commented on the latest monitoring report of GRETA on Bulgaria's progress in counteracting and preventing crime, familiarized the participants with the structure and functions of the Commissions, reviewed the National Mechanism for referral and assistance victims of trafficking, as well as the need for interaction with the NGO sector.

The second part of the online event continued with the active participation of the representatives of the social services. During the meeting, the specialists shared the difficulties they faced in the conditions of aCOVID-19 pandemic. As such were mentioned:restriction of group activities andvisits from children's relatives and friendsthe switch to online learning for the youths; requirements related to consumer accommodation, etc.