Special Representative praises Bulgaria for efforts to eliminate modern-day slavery

OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, concluded a three-day trip to Bulgaria on Wednesday with a visit to the Busmantzi Centre for irregular migrants, and commended the country's ongoing action to fulfil the Organization's anti-trafficking commitments.

The government-run camp serves as a detention centre for people on the move who are being returned to their home countries.

"We appreciate the support of Bulgaria to the work of the OSCE in addressing trafficking in human beings as a serious transnational threat, as an integral part of organized crime and a gross violation of human rights," Jarbussynova said.

During the visit, the Special Representative also met with a number of key officials and spoke at a Discussion Forum on migration and human trafficking.

Bulgaria is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. It is also affected by the ongoing migration crisis, with large numbers of refugees from Syria and elsewhere currently in the country.

"I know Bulgaria is under particular strain due to the influx of migrants and refugees through its border with Turkey, and recently Serbia, and I am glad to support the authorities in building their capacities to identify potential and actual victims of trafficking among migrants and asylum seekers, and provide adequate protection, in particular to children on the move, including unaccompanied minors," the Special Representative said.

She discussed these issues with the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Commission to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Interior Minister Tsviatko Georgiev, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Maria Shishkova, Chair of the State Agency for Child Protection, Ofelia Kaneva, General Secretary of the General Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency Georgi Milchin, and several others, including representatives from international organizations and NGOs. Further co-operation with the Office of the Special Representative, including in training initiatives, was welcomed by the Bulgarian authorities.

Source: OSCE