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 Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik 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-time manager of the Crisis Center for children, victims of trafficking or violence, as well as of the Centre for family-type accommodationin Veliko Tarnovo. She has high professional expertise and has numerous publications in the field of effective communication techniques for inactive youth.Representatives from different social services from Veliko Tarnovo region took part in the workshop. The Crisis Centers participated with short presentations and presentations on the issues raised for discussion.
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 a COVID-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.
The main goal of the initiative is to become a means for intensive exchange of ideas, proposals, as well as established so far good, effective practices between professionals in the social sphere.