"Challenges and current trends in direct casework for children and individuals in a pandemic situation caused by Covid - 19, in the context of social isolation and increased risk of involvement in a situation of trafficking in human beings" was the topic of today's online workshop, aimed at teams working in social or integrated health and social services for residential care in the regions of Veliko Tarnovo, Montana, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv - regions with a rich palette of well-developed social services. Virtual hosts of the event were the secretaries of the LCCTHB - Veliko Tarnovo, Montana, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv.
In the role of moderator was invited Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mariela Todorova - Koleva - a lecturer at VTU "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ”in Veliko Tarnovo, long-term manager of the Crisis Center for Children, Victims of Trafficking or Victims of Violence, and Centre for family-type accommodationin Veliko Tarnovo, municipality V. Tarnovo, with numerous publications in the field of effective techniques for communication of inactive young people - a guide to motivational training of inactive young people; sex education in the , social integration of inactive youth from the Roma community, etc.
The idea for today's event came as a result of the publication of GRETA's Third Monitoring Report for Bulgaria. Although the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet fully measurable, it is nevertheless clear that the crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable victims of trafficking, particularly women, children and the vulnerable, and that it has forced many shelters to close or suspend their services as a result of reported infections, leaving human trafficking victims without housing, healthcare and legal assistance. In this context, GRETA stresses that access to care and social services should be guaranteed, recalling that the root causes of the trafficking in human beings have been exacerbated by the spread of the pandemic, which has exposed vulnerable populations to a higher risk of trafficking, increased the number of cases of online sexual exploitation and the demand for child pornography.
20 participants attended today’s event. It highlighted the main challenges during the last pandemic year that the service teams have faced and successfully addressed, as well as the current/new trends they have identified in their work during this pandemic period.
The workshop upgraded the knowledge and professional competences of the participants by gaining actual experience and personal experiences. The role of teams working in social or integrated health and social services for residential care is an important part of activities related to the prevention, protection and protection of victims of trafficking in human beings, especially in pandemic conditions. Despite serious pressures on the system, service teams in all four regions have responded flexibly and innovatively in their direct work, carrying out their duties with dedication and responsibility.