Access to reception centres by third parties

Bulgaria

Country Report: Access to reception centres by third parties Last updated: 21/04/21

Author

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

The law does not expressly provide for access to reception centres for family members, legal advisers, UNHCR and NGOs. The law provides, however, that asylum seekers have the right to seek assistance from UNHCR and other government or non-governmental organisations.[1] Until the beginning of 2015, no limitations were applied in practice. However, in 2020 and up until the publication of this report, the access of third parties to the reception centers was fully prohibited as a prevention of COVID-19.

Presently, NGOs and social mediators from refugee community organisations who have signed cooperation agreements with the SAR are allowed to operate within the premises of all reception centres. Access to reception centres for other organisations and individuals requires a formal authorisation and is formally prohibited during the night. However, asylum seekers regularly report that traffickers and smugglers as well as drug dealers and prostitutes have almost unlimited access to reception centres, except for the Vrazhdebna shelter in Sofia (see Conditions in Reception Facilities).

 

[1]       Article 23(1) LAR.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation