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The Bulgarian state has developed an equivalent mechanism to the one of the National Rapporteur on THB - National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (NCCTHB). It was established by virtue of the Law on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (promulgated State Gazette, No. 46, 2003; amended SG, No. 86, 2005). The Regulation for the Organization and Activity of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was approved by Government Decree No. 40 of the Council of Ministers of March 1, 2004 (State Gazette, No. 19, March 9, 2004).

By virtue of the Law for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings five Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings have been established since 2007. They are structures of the National Commission, founded in the risk regions of Pazardjik, Sliven, Burgas, Varna and Montana. Two more are planned to be established in the beginning of 2009 in the towns of Blagoevgrad and Haskovo.

The role of the Local Commissions is to implement the national anti-trafficking policy on local level trough involvement and cooperation with all relevant state and municipal authorities and nongovernmental organizations.

By law The National Commission is responsible for the coordination of all activities undertaken in the field of counteraction of THB in Bulgaria by all state and non-governmental institutions and organizations.

In 2005, the Bulgarian state developed a Coordination Mechanism for Referral, Care and Protection of Repatriated Bulgarian UAM (including children victims of human trafficking). The complex character and the complicated structure of the problem impose the enforcement of a multidisciplinary and inter-institutional approach for its overcoming. As a result the responsible Bulgarian institutions joined their efforts for unifying practices and standards for working on cases of unaccompanied children as well as co-operation and due signalising for undertaking protection measures in the best interest of children.

In 2007, a Transnational referral mechanism for victims of human trafficking (TRM) was developed under a project of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). TRM regulates the necessary procedures that should be taken in cases of international trafficking - from the identification to the victim’s safe return, support and reintegration.

The collected experience from the development and implementation of those two mechanisms has been used in developing the National referral mechanism for victims of THB (NRM). When the victim is within the state borders, the National referral mechanism is the one that defines all relevant steps to be taken.

In order to provide access to programmes and services for protection and reintegration to the victims of human trafficking in Bulgaria, since April 2008 the National Commission together with Foundation “Animus Association” has been developing the NRM under a MATRA funded project (“Development of a National Referral Mechanism in Bulgaria to provide protection and support measures for the (re)integration and social inclusion of trafficked persons” implemented by La Strada International Bulgaria).

According to this, in cases of victim identification the activities under the existing NRM practices are coordinated by the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and its local structures.

As main governmental body, responsible for the development and implementation of the national policy on combating trafficking in human beings, the National Commission exercises the role of National Rapporteur. The Commission is a collective body with the Council of Ministers of Republic of Bulgaria. The Commission is chaired by a deputy prime minister, at present – Mr. Daniel Valtchev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science. The members of the Commission are representatives at a level of vice ministers or vice directors of the following institutions:

  • Ministry of Interior
  • Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Education and Science
  • State Agency for Child Protection
  • State Agency “National Security"
  • Supreme Cassation Court
  • Prosecution General’s Office
  • National Investigation Service
  • Central Commission on Juvenile Delinquency

The National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings has been established on the highest possible state level in order to ensure the implementation of the measures and actions taken on combating trafficking in human beings.

Additionally, the National Commission has established an expert group, consisting of - representatives of all institutions-members of the Commission, including other relevant institutions such as the Agency for Social Protection, the Labour Agency and three major NGOs that work in the field of victims’ protection. The participation of NGOs ensures the involvement of non-governmental actors into policy development and implementation.

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