The report has been developed as part of the second phase of the project “Psychosocial support and protection emergency response for refugee unaccompanied and separated children in Bulgaria”, implemented under the lead of Terre des hommes (Tdh) in partnership with the Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) and from funding from the Swiss Solidarity (Chaîne du Bonheur).
Thanks to its experience in previous emergency projects supporting refugees, migrant children and unaccompanied and separated children in Central and South East Europe, Terre des hommes had identified the lack of information available on the situation of children on the move and other children affected by migration as one of the main challenges in providing proper protection to this vulnerable group. The lack of consolidated data in all areas of protection in children on the move cases (e.g. guardianship, reception, care, procedural rights, complaint mechanisms, referrals and durable solutions) makes it difficult for a range of relevant actors, including service providers and authorities, to have a clear picture of the situation and protection needs of children on the move in the region and also hampers targeted advocacy efforts, particularly at local and national level. Further, this lack of information also deeply relates to the situation of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) and greatly impacts the way their protection can or cannot be monitored.
The report presents the key findings from the data and information gathered based on a methodological guidance in three Reception and Registration Centers (RRCs) in Sofia, Bulgaria (Voenna Rampa, Ovcha Kupel and Vrazhdebna) during the months of December 2017, January, February and March 2018.
The data provided in this report has been obtained from a variety of sources, such as: a) monthly reports issued by the national authorities in Bulgaria - the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) and Ministry of Interior (MOI); b) responses received to Freedom of Information (FOI) request letters submitted to SAR, MOI, Ministry of Education and Science and the Communication and Information Systems Directorate (CISD); c) review of national legislation; d) information gathered directly from the residents (adults and children) and staff working in facilities accommodating migrants through the conducting of a survey with a developed Mobile Data Collection (MDC) tool.