New report available

PDF download

PDF download

Trapped in Europe’s Quagmire: The situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria is Bordermonitoring’s report on Bulgaria. The making of the report was undertaken by four independent researchers and follows structural conditions in the country which place asylum-seekers and refugees in an extremely vulnerable position as well as their current precarious situation.

The themes covered in the report are as follows:

  1. Push-backs and violence at the Bulgarian border
  2. From overcrowded camps to the production of homelessness
  3. Integration in flux: a path to exclusion in a state of chaos
  4. Xenophobia and racists assaults: institutions, far-right, street violence
  5. Asylum procedures: the legal experts’ opinion
  6. Europe’s most unwanted: restrictions on free movement

It is available as of now: PDF download.

Bordermonitoring advises against the conduct of Dublin returns to Bulgaria until the country can ensure dignified treatment of all asylum-seekers and refuges on its territory. Bordermonitoring continues to closely follow the developments in Bulgaria.

New report available tomorrow!

The reports on stories collected in Bulgaria, while the journalist Andrea Rehmsmeier, visited the country in the months of April and May 2014. The broadcast covers the hardships that status-holders endure after the granting of their status. As a 19 year old Palestinian reports:

If you got this passport, than you have to leave the camp within a transition period of one month. Because the Bulgarian state is taking the view: From us you got what you wanted. Now go to work, or sleep in the street, this is not our problem anymore. From now on you are responsible for yourself!

Andrea Rehmsmeier shows the dangerous situation in Bulgaria that arises from the spread of extreme far-right tendencies. As one of her interviewees, a volunteer who helps asylum-seekers and refugees, shares:

On Facebook people write things that I don’t really want to say publicly. They also threaten me that they will send the “hooligans” after me.

Tomorrow, on July the 7th, Bordermonitoring is releasing a report of its findings in Bulgaria. Trapped in EUs Quagmire: The situation of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Bulgaria covers topics ranging from push-backs and racism in Bulgaria to the newest developments in regards to integration and the spread of homelessness.

Hungerstrike, revolt and xenophobia

The last refugee hungers strike in Bulgaria took part less than a month ago. As of currently new strike has swept the detention center in Busmantsi, near Sofia. A few days later, refugees went  on a hunger strike in Lyubimets and Harmanli, too. The main demand of the people in the detention centers concerns the slow proceeding of their asylum application. Yet, they also criticize the conditions in the facilities, the brutality of the security and nonetheless, the fact that they are being detained. For right now, the capacity of the camps that belong to  the State Agency for Refugees and the Bulgarian Interior Ministry in Sofia has been exceeded by 714 places. A number that is expected to grow.

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Europe is building a new wall at the external border

In the beginning of October 2013, the executive director of FRONTEX called the Bulgarian-Turkish border the „the most important land border in the EU„. In another interview, he admitted that – from time to time – the agency is involved in the Refoulement on migrants. The Interior Minister of Bulgaria said, that the agency will send 29 employees to deal with the situation at the border. He added that almost 100% of the people crossing the border are detained. The Bulgarian parliament just voted for a 30 km wall with 3 m high barriers on the Bulgarian-Turkish border. The Bulgarian Army began with the construction on the 24th of October 2013. UNHCR Bulgaria commented, that this may lead people to undertake more dangerous crossings.

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