During the last months few reports from different organizations were written about the Bulgarian Asylum System. The Bulgarian government adopted the so-called “National Strategy on Migration, Asylum and Integration 2011-2020” in 2011. Since 2011 Bordermonitoring Bulgaria is monitoring the implementation of social and human rights of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in the Border region of the European Union, especially Bulgaria. On this blog we collect current news, press articles, literature, judicature and statistics. We are working together with the association bordermonitoring.eu, that has recently worked on reports in several countries as Malta, Hungary, Ukraine and Italy.
Asylum Process in Bulgaria
After being caught by the authorities and sentenced for “illegal border crossing”, most of the refugees are sent to the detention center in Lyubimetz. There, they are being checked, whether they are entitled to apply for asylum. The decision is taken by the ‘State Agency for Refugees’ (SAR). When there is a decision that the refugee in question has the right to apply for asylum, after several months the person is sent to the open transit center in Pastrogor. There, the refugees are registered in the EURODAC database.
In case EURODAC shows that the person has been seeking asylum in another country, the person is sent back to the respective country – that is basically what the Dublin II (now Dublin III) regulation is about. If they haven’t left their fingerprints in another EU-country, they have to wait. After some weeks or months, they are transferred to an open refugee camp in Sofia, Banya or Harmanli. During their stay in these centers, according to the guideline of the European Council, the final decision concerning the asylum application has to be taken.
The so called „refugee wave“
In October 2013, the situation changed when higher numbers of, mostly Syrian, refugees tried to enter the bulgarian territory. The Bulgarian State reacted with a temporally closing of the border and the erection of new camps in former abandoned military barracks. Bordermonitoring Bulgaria visited the new camps and works on an overview about the situation of asylum seekers in Bulgaria.