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					Bulgaria Trafficking Routes Bulgaria is primarily a country of origin for trafficking in women and children. To a lesser extent, it is also a country of transit and destination. According to a recent United Nations (UN) report, Bulgaria is one of the top 10 countries of origin for trafficking for sexual exploitation in the world. 1 Countries of destination or transit for trafficked women and children from Bulgaria include the Western European countries of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland; the Central and Eastern European countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, and Ukraine; and other countries such as Cyprus, Lebanon, and Turkey. Most victims travel from Bulgaria through Macedonia and Greece, or through Romania or Serbia, to destinations in Hungary and Western Europe. 2 Women from the Czech Republic, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine have been trafficked to Bulgaria. 3 Women from Moldova, Russia, and other former Soviet republics transit through Bulgaria. 4 Internal trafficking also takes place in Bulgaria. Factors That Contribute to the Trafficking Infrastructure Organized crime plays a key role in trafficking of persons in the Balkan region, and crime bosses operate with impunity in the region, where elected leaders are sometimes complicit in their crimes. 5 Lack of economic opportunity makes Bulgarian women and girls vulnerable to trafficking. Women constitute 65 percent of the long-term unemployed. 6 In the past few years, Bulgaria has become a country of transit and destination in addition to being one of origin. This shift is caused by the comparatively better economic situation in Bulgaria, the introduction of new and more secure travel documents, stricter border controls, better organization of law enforcement agencies, comparatively low corruption among law enforcement officials, and information campaigns to raise awareness. 7 Despite these improvements in law enforcement, Bulgaria has still been criticized for its failure in fighting corruption. The European Union (EU) has repeatedly
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―UN Maps Human Trafficking,‖ Associated Press, 14 May 2003. First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 63. 3 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 57. 4 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 50. 5 ―Balkan Traffic in Women and Girls ‗on Rise,‘‖ Financial Times, 18 December 2003. 6 Juliette Terzieff, ―Bulgarian Trafficking Victims Face Hard Homecoming,‖ WeNews, 26 September 2004, http://www.womensenews.org. 7 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Current Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, June 2002), http://www.unhchr.ch/women/trafficking.pdf.

warned Bulgaria that it must fight corruption and organized criminal groups. 8 Two Interior Ministry officers were found to be involved in a trafficking ring in 2002. However, from 2002 to 2004, the Interior Ministry has fired 124 staff members for suspected corruption. 9 Forms of Trafficking Of foreign women working in the sex industry in the Balkan countries, 90 percent are victims of trafficking, and 10 to 15 percent are under 18 years of age. 10 According to a recent report, international efforts to curb trafficking in Southeastern Europe have led to ―no actual decline‖ in trade. 11 Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania are the primary countries of origin in Southeastern Europe for trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia are the primary transit destinations and entities for trafficking. To a lesser but increasing degree, women and girls are trafficked internally within their own countries in the region, 12 especially in Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania. 13 An increase in the number of minors trafficked within their home countries was most notable in Bulgaria and Kosovo. 14 Although the Bulgarian Interior Ministry has claimed that the situation regarding trafficking is under control, according to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), trafficking is not decreasing. Information gathered from assisted victims and through telephone hotlines indicates that trafficking is still ongoing but organized differently, with different destination countries. 15 Bulgarian women and girls are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation. Trafficking has also occurred for the purpose of childbearing and illicit adoption. According to a 2004 report, 15,000 Bulgarian women have been trafficked abroad since 1992.16 Judging from the number of Bulgarian women and girls assisted in the Balkan countries and the number of trafficking victims from Bulgaria who receive assistance
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―EU Critical of Bulgaria‘s Record on Fighting Corruption,‖ Irish Times, 25 August 2004. ―Bulgaria Sacks over 120 Interior Ministry Staff for Corruption in Two Years,‖ BBC Monitoring International Reports, 20 January 2004. 10 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 189. 11 ―Balkan Traffic in Women and Girls ‗on Rise,‘‖ Financial Times, 18 December 2003. 12 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 9. 13 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 190. 14 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 15. 15 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe 2004: Focus on Prevention in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, the UN Administered Province of Kosovo (Belgrade: UNICEF, March 2005), p. 106. 16 Juliette Terzieff, ―Bulgarian Trafficking Victims Face Hard Homecoming,‖ WeNews, 26 September 2004, http://www.womensenews.org.

after returning to Bulgaria, trafficking in women and girls from Bulgaria is decreasing. However, this fact cannot be confirmed. Furthermore, new trafficking patterns are emerging from Bulgaria: first, trafficking to Bulgaria, and second, internal trafficking in Bulgaria, especially of children. 17 A 2002 report indicated that the majority of persons being trafficked to the Netherlands originated from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Russia—the bulk of them from Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. A quarter of the victims are of Bulgarian nationality. Social workers and police officers working in the field have confirmed the rise of victims originating from Bulgaria. 18 In 2002, 811 victims of trafficking were recorded in Germany. The top three countries of origin (in decreasing order) were Russia, Lithuania, and Bulgaria. 19 In 2002, 117 trafficking victims were identified in Bulgaria, according to police. Of these, 30 percent were Bulgarian nationals who had been sent back to Bulgaria; the rest were internal victims of trafficking. Of the victims, 61 percent were minors. 20 In 2003, 104 victims of trafficking were assisted, and all except for 6 were Bulgarian— either victims of trafficking who were returning from abroad or victims of internal trafficking. Of the 86 women assisted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 39 were returned from Western Europe and 25 from Macedonia and Kosovo. 21 According to a recent study, among identified female victims of trafficking in Bulgaria, all were trafficked for sexual exploitation. At the time of their identification and referral for assistance, 48 percent were minors. They are mostly lured by false promises of jobs.22 A significant number of victims come from Bulgaria‘s southern mountainous region bordering Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey, as well as from other border areas. 23 Women are lured into the industry through false job advertisements offering jobs as models, dancers, and au pairs. Many of the girls recruited are orphans or come from disadvantaged families, making them more vulnerable to the promises of traffickers

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Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 65. 18 Ruth Hopkins and Jan Nijboer, ―Country Report: The Netherlands,‖ in Research Based on Case Studies of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings in 3 EU Member States, i.e., Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands (Brussels: Commission of European Communities, 2001). 19 Bundeskriminalamt, Trafficking in Human Beings (Wiesbaden: Bundeskriminalamt, 2002). 20 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 59. 21 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe 2004: Focus on Prevention in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, the UN Administered Province of Kosovo (Belgrade: UNICEF, March 2005), p. 106 22 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 50. 23 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 63.

offering them work abroad. 24 Teenage girls are often kidnapped and, among the Roma minority, frequently sold to traffickers by their families.25 In June 2004, Paris police busted a racket in which Bulgarian mothers allegedly sold their babies to childless couples. Police have evidence that at least 2 and possibly as many as 10 babies born to Bulgarian women in a Paris hospital were sold in this way.26 In August 2004, French police cracked a baby trafficking ring in Bobigny, a city on the outskirts of Paris. Investigations began after a young Bulgarian mother said her baby had been kidnapped. According to investigators, she had, in fact, sold her baby. By approaching the police, the woman hoped to take revenge on the baby traffickers, who had paid her less than promised. 27 Also in August 2004, Italian police broke up a gang taking pregnant Bulgarian women to Italy to give birth and selling their babies. Traffickers offered pregnant Bulgarian mothers the chance to give birth in a clean Western European hospital, sell their children into a supposedly better life, and return home with money. The gang charged a starting price of €5,000 for a newborn girl and up to €17,000 for a boy, a small part of which went to the mothers. 28 In October 2004, a Bulgarian couple was arrested on the island of Crete for attempting to sell a newborn child to undercover police for €5,000.29 In December 2004, Greek police busted a suspected baby-trafficking ring on Crete. The mastermind, a Bulgarian woman, ran a ring that brought Bulgarian women to Crete and sold their babies to childless couples for €10,000 to €12,000.30 Trafficking networks may target Bulgarians for their kidneys to use in transplants for Westerners. 31 Government Responses In 2003, the Bulgarian parliament passed the Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings. 32 The law establishes commissions for combating trafficking in human beings. 33 It further provides for the establishment of shelters for temporary housing of victims of illegal trafficking and of centers for support and assistance to victims of illegal trafficking. The shelters are to be established both by the National Commission and by private entities that have received a special license, and they may provide
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―Bulgarian Police Crack Down on Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation,‖ Southeast European Times, 1 January 2002. 25 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Current Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, June 2002), http://www.unhchr.ch/women/trafficking.pdf. 26 ―French Police Detain Four in Baby-Trafficking Enquiry,‖ Agence France Presse, 23 July 2004. 27 ―France—Ring Trafficking with Newborns Cracked,‖ ANSA English Media Service, 3 August 2004. 28 Sophie Arie, ―Italian Police Crack Baby Smuggling Ring,‖ Guardian (London), 2 August 2004. 29 ―Two Bulgarians Arrested in Crete over Baby Trafficking,‖ Agence France Presse, 23 October 2004. 30 ―Police Bust Baby-Trafficking Ring,‖ Athens News Agency, 5 December 2004. 31 Jeremy Laurance, ―Crime Syndicates Profit from Poor to Supply Kidneys for Transplant,‖ Independent, 30 September 2003. 32 Law No. 46/20.05.1002, which entered into force in January 2004. 33 Chapter II, article 4. The law establishes a national commission for combating trafficking in human being, which has authority to establish local commissions for combating trafficking in human beings.

accommodations to the victims of trafficking for up to 10 days, with a possible extension to up to 30 days. 34 In addition, if a victim declares his or her willingness to cooperate in detecting the perpetrators, the term of his or her stay at the shelter may be extended until the entire criminal proceedings are over 35 The shelters ―provide civilized conditions for stay and personal hygiene; provide food and medications for the persons sheltered; provide emergency health care and psychological assistance; support the sheltered persons for contacting their relatives as well as the relevant agencies and organizations.‖ 36 The centers are to be established by the local commissions for the purposes of providing ―simple language information regarding the procedures administering victims support and protection, providing specialized psychological and medical assistance, and supporting the reintegration of the victim in the family and social environment.‖ 37 The Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings provides for special prevention measures that specifically target persons from high-risk groups. The measures involve provision of equal opportunities and access to labor markets for such persons, awareness-raising campaigns, and special educational programs that target parents and children, unemployed and illiterate individuals, high-risk groups and regions of the country, and victims of trafficking. 38 The Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings requires that the government and the NGOs provide the full range of protection and assistance to victims of trafficking. 39 In particular, it requires that victims be treated with confidentiality and that their identity be protected. 40 The law provides for special protections when a victim of trafficking is a child. These special protections include informing the State Agency for Protection of the Children about such cases so that the agency can provide proper protection and support to the child victims, 41 accommodating child victims in separate premises from adult victims of trafficking, 42 providing education in state and municipal schools,43 and assisting the child victims with searching for their family. 44 The Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings also requires Bulgarian diplomatic and consular offices abroad to provide repatriation assistance to Bulgarian national victims of trafficking, 45 including assisting them with ―speedy and timely issuing of identity documents.‖ 46 The law provides for granting temporary residency permits (under special protection status) for long-term stay in Bulgaria to foreign victims of trafficking if they have declared their willingness to cooperate in detecting the perpetrators. 47 However, if a
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Chapter III, article 9. Article 25. In addition, see article 29. 36 Article 10. 37 Article 11. 38 Article 14. 39 Article 15. 40 Article 19. 41 Article 21. 42 Article 22. 43 Article 23. 44 Article 24. 45 Article 16. 46 Article 17. 47 Article 25.

victim does not possess any identity documents and refuses to cooperate in establishing his or her identity, the government may not issue the temporary residency permit. Although the law does not state the period of maximum duration of temporary residency permits granted to the victims of trafficking, it does state that during the validity of such permits, victims of trafficking can enjoy almost the same scope of rights as foreigners residing permanently in Bulgaria. 48 The new law does not contain specific provisions related to criminal sanctions for trafficking in persons. Rather, it defines the means and purposes of trafficking and leaves the aspect of penalties to the Criminal Code. The illegal means include ―means of coercion, abduction, deprivation of liberty, fraud, abuse of power, abuse of a state of dependence, or by … giving, receiving or promising benefits to obtain the consent of a person who has control over another person.‖ 49 The general purpose of trafficking is exploitation of a trafficked person, which is defined as ―illegal use of hu man beings for debauchery, removal of organs, forced labor, for slavery or servitude.‖ 50 The Criminal Code of Bulgaria imposes imprisonment for 1 to 8 years and a fine on any persons who ―select, transport, hide, or receive individuals or groups of persons for the purpose of using them for acts of debauchery, compulsory labor, removing their organs, or keeping them in forceful subordination, irrespective of their consent.‖ 51 Punishment is enhanced to imprisonment for 2 to 8 years and a fine under certain aggravated circumstances, such as trafficking minors; using force or misleading the victim; abducting or unlawfully depriving the victim of liberty; taking advantage of the victim‘s state of dependency; misusing authority; or promising, giving, or receiving benefits.52 Anyone who commits the offense described above and takes the victim across the borders of the country for the purposes of debauchery, compulsory labor, or removal of organs or keeps the victim in forceful subordination, irrespective of whether the victim has consented to such treatment, is subject to punishment of imprisonment from 3 to 8 years and a fine. If any of the aggravated circumstances described above are involved, punishment is enhanced to imprisonment for 5 to 10 years and a fine. 53 In addition, punishment of imprisonment for 5 to 15 years and a fine is imposed if the crime is repeatedly committed or is committed as a part of organized criminal group. In such a case, the punishment may include confiscation of the offender‘s assets that lie within the discretion of the court. 54 The Criminal Code contains a number of articles that criminalize activities that could be related to trafficking, such as kidnapping, 55 false imprisonment, 56 rape, 57 inducement to prostitution, 58 abduction of a woman for the purposes of sexual

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Article 28. Transnational Provisions, section 1, para. 1. 50 Transnational Provisions, section 1, para. 2. 51 Article 159a. 52 Article 159a. 53 Article 159b. 54 Article 159c. 55 Article 142. 56 Article 142a. 57 Article 152. 58 Article 155.

exploitation59 or for the purposes of forced marriage, 60 and illegally transport of a person across the border. 61 The Bulgarian Code of Criminal Procedure provides for witness protection measures if there are ―sufficient grounds to believe that due to the [witness‘s] testimony there has arisen or may arise real danger to the life, health or the property of the witness, his relatives of ascending or descending line, brothers, sisters, spouse, or persons with whom he is in very close relationship.‖ 62 Witness protection in such cases may include keeping the identity of a witness secret, interrogating the witness in secret, or providing guards to a witness or his or her relatives. 63 Victims also have the right to compensation of civil damages if they file a separate civil complaint with the court of first instance. 64 Bulgaria has enacted the 1998 Law on Measures against Money Laundering. The Bureau of Financial Intelligence was established to implement the law. In addition, the Criminal Code prohibits money laundering as a separate offense and provides for the confiscation of the proceeds of a crime. 65 The Immigration Law prohibits the entry of a foreigner when there is reason to believe that such a person intends to enter the country to commit crimes or violate the public order. 66 The law imposes a fine on a foreigner who makes use of an invalid or false travel document. 67 The Criminal Code imposes imprisonment of up to 6 years and a fine on any official ―who requests, or accepts a gift, or any benefit which he is not due, or accepts an offer, or a promise for a gift or benefit, in order to perform, or fail to perform, an act within his/her duties, or because he/she has performed, or failed to perform such an act.‖ 68 On 22 December 1998, Bulgaria ratified the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Bulgaria has also ratified the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. On 18 June 2001, the Interior Ministry has established a task force to combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation. This task force is intended to address the issue within the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) framework. 69 In 2003, the National Action Plan against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children was adopted. 70

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Article 156. Article 177. 61 Article 280. 62 Article 97a. 63 Article 97a. 64 Articles 60 and 61. 65 Article 253. 66 Article 7(1)(c). 67 Article 34. 68 Article 301. 69 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 55. 70 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe 2004: Focus on Prevention in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,

The Council of Ministers of a national commission to fight illegal trafficking in human beings and of local commissions was established to coordinate and oversee the actions of the state institutions dealing with trafficking as mandated by the Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings. 71 Bulgaria‘s State Agency for Child Protection must be notified whenever an agency comes into contact with a child victim of trafficking. The agency began operations in January 2001 and is within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. 72 IOM, local NGOs, local health care NGOs, and a few state shelters provide most of the direct assistance and protection services to minors trafficked in Bulgaria. 73 In February 2005, the government approved a national program for trafficking prevention and protection of victims. 74 A total of 30 organized criminal groups involved in human trafficking, trade in women, and document forgery were broken up in 2002. 75 Thirty new criminal groups involved in trafficking in persons were identified in 2003. Twenty-five of those criminal groups were dismantled; 22 trafficked in women for sexual exploitation. 76 In May 2003, a popular Bulgarian singer was charged with trafficking Bulgarian women to other European countries, including Belgium, France, and Italy. 77 Nongovernmental and International Organization Responses Animus Association conducts assisted voluntary returns according to informal cooperation agreements with NGOs in Western and Eastern Europe. It has signed a formal cooperation agreement with the border police. 78 Since 1998, Animus Association has been the Bulgarian counterpart in the La Strada international program. 79 Animus runs the Center for Rehabilitation of Women Adolescents and Children Victims of Violence.80
Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, the UN Administered Province of Kosovo (Belgrade: UNICEF, March 2005), p. 132. 71 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 56. 72 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 70. 73 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 53. 74 ―Bulgaria Approves Programme to Tackle Human Trafficking,‖ BBC Monitoring International Reports, 17 February 2005. 75 ―Bulgarians Report Successes in Fight against Human Trafficking,‖ BBC Monitoring International Reports, 11 September 2003. 76 ―Bulgarian Interior Ministry Official Views Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking,‖ BBC Monitoring International Reports, 15 December 2003. 77 Juliette Terzieff, ―Bulgarian Trafficking Victims Face Hard Homecoming,‖ WeNews, 26 September 2004, http://www.womensenews.org. 78 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 64. 79 Tanya Mangalakova, ―Bulgaria: Trafficking e Reintegrazione,‖ 8 October 2002, http://www.osservatoriobalcani.org/article/articleview/1331/1/43/. 80 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Current Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the

The Nadia Center helps women who have suffered from various forms of violence. It runs a shelter that houses, among others, victims of trafficking. It also runs a hotline with information on violence, sex abuse, street violence, rape, and trafficking.81 The Nadia Center works in cooperation with IOM in the field of reintegration, providing safe accommodation, psychiatric counseling, and long-term posttrauma treatment and care as well as case management. 82 Other active local NGOs in the antitrafficking field are the Neglected Children Society, SOS Families in Distress in Varna, the Demetra Association in Burgas, the Open Gate Foundation in Pleven, the Youth Counsel Center in Blagoevgrad, the National Family Planning Association in Sofia, and the Triaditca Youth Center in Sofia.83 The most active NGO in Southeastern Europe in the arenas of preventing trafficking in persons and assisting and reintegrating trafficking victims is the La Strada Foundation. It operates as a network of independent NGOs in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine.84 In April 2003, Save the Children launched the European Network against Child Trafficking project, coordinated by Save the Children Italy in cooperation with Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The project will facilitate the exchange of information, research, documentation, and technical support to combat child trafficking. 85 The Regional Empowerment Initiative for Women was a 2-year project administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). It promoted the empowerment of women in selected Eurasian and Southeastern European countries. The initiative aimed to prevent trafficking of women before they were lured or smuggled out of their home countries. IREX partnered with local NGOs in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Serbia and Montenegro to provide services such as basic

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, June 2002), http://www.unhchr.ch/women/trafficking.pdf. 81 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 62. 82 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Current Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, June 2002), http://www.unhchr.ch/women/trafficking.pdf. 83 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Current Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, June 2002), http://www.unhchr.ch/women/trafficking.pdf. 84 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 25. 85 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 27.

job-training skills, a crisis hotline, awareness raising, and support and training for female entrepreneurs. 86 International organizations active in the region include the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Specifically, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is at the forefront of international efforts to combat and prevent trafficking in persons. OSCE field missions play a vital role in carrying out antitrafficking efforts in host countries. 87 The Council of Europe and IOM are active in the arenas of prevention, assistance, and protection.88 UN agencies include the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Children‘s Fund, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Development Fund for Women, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 89 Other organizations are the International Labor Organization, International Center for Migration Policy Development, and Europol. 90 Local NGOs and IOM provide most of the assistance and protection services for Bulgarian and foreign victims of trafficking. Most service providers are located in Sofia, although Bulgaria does possess more diversified groups of service providers than other countries in the region. 91 Most identified and assisted voluntary returns from transit or destination countries are conducted by IOM under the memorandum of understanding signed in 2001 between the government, SECI, and IOM Sofia.92 IOM Sofia is the principal referral agency that assists Bulgarian victims of trafficking in returning to Bulgaria and foreign nationals in returning to their home countries from Bulgaria. The organization supports only those victims who agree to participate in its return program. In 2003, IOM Sofia assisted 124 trafficking victims, of whom 3 were foreigners; the remainder were Bulgarians. 93
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IREX can be found on the Internet at http://www.irex.org. Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), pp. 14–15. 88 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), pp. 15–16. 89 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), pp. 17–23. 90 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), pp. 23–25. 91 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 63. 92 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 64. 93 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the

In July 2002, IOM opened a shelter for victims of trafficking in Sofia. The house provides accommodation and medical services for up to 15 repatriated victims or women awaiting repatriation to their home countries. 94 There are five shelters for victims in Bulgaria: three in Sofia, one in Sliven, and one in Blagoevgrad. Local NGOs manage three; IOM manages two. All accept minors, Bulgarians, and foreigners. 95 IOM provides assistance for prevention, prosecution, and protection of trafficking victims. Some of IOM‘s more recent projects are a multiagency model of cooperation for combating trafficking in persons in Bulgaria; a capacity-building program between Bulgaria and Greece on prevention, protection, and return and reintegration assistance for victims of trafficking; a secondary school education program for prevention of trafficking in persons; and a program offering assisted return and reintegration of unaccompanied minors and victims of trafficking in Bulgaria. 96 Multilateral Initiatives The Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe was adopted in June 1999 at the initiative of the European Union. It includes the EU member states; countries in the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro); other countries (Canada, Japan, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States); financial institutions; and several international organizations, such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and several UN agencies. 97 The Stability Pact addresses the problem of trafficking in persons through the Stability Pact Task Force on Human Trafficking (SPTF). SPTF was established in September 2000 and is ―dedicated to promoting collaboration and integration of antitrafficking activities in [countries in Southeastern Europe] to improve their long-term effectiveness and sustainability in the fight against human trafficking.‖ 98 SPTF focuses on seven areas: awareness raising, training and exchange programs, law enforcement cooperation, victims‘ protection programs, return and reintegration assistance, legislative
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 59. 94 ―IOM Opens Safe House in Sofia,‖ IOM News, September 2002. pp. 18–19. 95 First Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (Geneva: Counter-Trafficking Regional Clearing Point, 2003), p. 51. 96 Donor Relations Division, International Organization for Migration, Migration Initiatives Appeal 2005 (Geneva: International Organization for Migration, 2005), p. 80, http://www.iom.int/DOCUMENTS/PUBLICATION/EN/Migration_Initiatives_2005_Final.pdf. 97 Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, ―About the Stability Pact,‖ February 2005, http://www.stabilitypact.org/about/default.asp. See also Stop Violence against Women, ―Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe: Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, 21 April 2004, http://www.stopvaw.org/Stability_Pact_for_Southeastern_Europe__Task_Force_on_Trafficking_in_Huma n_Beings.html, and Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 10. 98 Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, ―The Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings,‖ December 2004, http://www.stabilitypact.org/trafficking/info.html.

reform, and prevention. 99 In December 2000, at the first SPTF Regional Ministerial Meeting in Palermo, Italy, all countries of the region signed the Palermo Antitrafficking Declaration of Southeastern Europe, thereby committing themselves to ―implement effective programs for prevention, victims‘ assistance and protection, law enforcement, legislative reform, and prosecution of traffickers.‖ 100 Among its activities, SPTF achieved the adoption of the Multi-Year Antitrafficking Action Plan for Southeastern Europe; provided the countries of the region with guidelines for developing national plans of action; and, in June 2002, initiated a Countertrafficking Regional Clearing Point, managed by IOM with assistance from International Catholic Migration Commission and located in Belgrade, to promote improved victim assistance and protection programs. 101 The SECI Center is the regional center for combating organized crime. The SECI Illegal Human Beings Trafficking Task Force was established in May 2000.102 In September 2002, the SECI Center organized a regional antitrafficking and antismuggling action known as Operation Mirage. SECI member countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey, and Ukraine. The main goals of the operation were to identify trafficking victims and ensure their repatriation, identify smuggled people, identify involved criminal groups, and conduct a joint investigation against those groups. The operation raided or checked 20,558 establishments, interviewed 13,000 women and children, identified 237 trafficking victims (14 percent of suspected victims), and assisted 63 victims (4 percent of suspected victims) through IOM and NGOs.103 For Operation Mirage 2003, law enforcement authorities identified 696 trafficking victims; detected 831 suspected traffickers; checked 20,629 places such as border crossings, bars, and nightclubs; and ran identity checks on 11,170 people. They began criminal procedures were begun against 499 suspects and arrested 194 of them. 104 Operation Mirage 2004

99

Stop Violence against Women, ―Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe: Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings, 21 April 2004, http://www.stopvaw.org/Stability_Pact_for_Southeastern_Europe__Task_Force_on_Trafficking_in_Huma n_Beings.html. 100 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 10. 101 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 12. 102 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 14. 103 Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: 2003 Update on Situation and Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo and Romania (Belgrade: UNICEF, November 2003), p. 29. 104 David Binder, ―12 Nations in Southeast Europe Pursue Traffickers in Sex Trade,‖ New York Times, 19 October 2003.

took place in June; 601 people were identified as trafficking victims, 545 people were identified as traffickers, and 302 people were charged with trafficking.105 In 2002, an international task force was established within the SECI Center to deal with trafficking in persons. It is composed of specialized officers from SECI member states. 106 In May 2005, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Convention goes beyond the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and enhances the capacity of member states to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and protect the human rights of victims of trafficking. The 46 member states of the Council of Europe represent countries of origin, transit, and destination for victims of trafficking. 107

105

―Albanian Police Announce Success in Anti-Trafficking Operation,‖ Dita, 12 July 2004. See also Greek Ministry of Public Order, ―International Cooperation,‖ June 2005, http://www.ydt.gr/main/Article.jsp?ArticleID=22230&LanguageID=2. 106 ―Fighting against Trafficking in Human Beings in Romania,‖ PC.DEL/643/02, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Council of Europe and Human Rights Department, Bucharest, 2 September 2002. 107 Council of Europe, Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and its Explanatory Report, Warsaw, 16 May 2005, http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human_Rights/Equality/PDF_Conv_197_Trafficking_E.pdf.


				
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