In November 2016 FAR and the the European Network on Statelessness published the report “Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention in Bulgaria”. It highlights the gaps and raises awareness about the extent of detention and its impact on stateless persons in Bulgaria. 

Report Bulgaria

Download the full report in English

Download the Summary Report: English or Bulgarian

In relation to the report, Mr. Chris Nash, director of the European Network on Statelessness, states: „Failure by governments to put in place effective systems to identify stateless persons leaves some of the most vulnerable individuals in society exposed to repeated and lengthy detention. This report shows how individuals, despite their cooperation with authorities, fall between the cracks, finding themselves denied either the opportunity to return ‘home’, because no country will recognise them, or to re-build their lives in Bulgaria. In order to prevent arbitrary and protracted detention, it is critical that the Bulgarian authorities systematically identify whether a person is stateless before making a decision to detain, and linked to this, that officials make a realistic assessment about the prospects of removal. In practice, this requires Bulgaria to have in place a dedicated statelessness determination procedure, crucially one which is accessible to everyone on the territory – including to detainees and others without lawful residence.“

On 17 November 2016 FAR and ENS carried out a seminar, dedicated on the recognition of status of a stateless person and protection against arbitrary detention. You can download the seminar presentation by Dr. Valeria Ilareva, read the case study that we discussed and see pictures from the seminar.

Seminar 17.11.2016
Seminar 17.11.2016

More resources:

Video with the voice of Christof, produced in the HEAR project

Article by Dr.Valeria Ilareva at the ENS blog: “Bulgaria is introducing a statelessness determination procedure. Or is it?“, September 2016

Article by Dr.Valeria Ilareva at the ENS blog: “Counting down the days in detention: the situation of stateless persons in Bulgaria“, 18 November 2016

1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

In the Media:

Interview of Streetwatch with Dr. Valeria Ilareva: “People in nowhere“, 18.11.2016 (in Bulgarian)

Marginalia, Study results: Bulgarian “assigns” citizenship to stateless persons, 18.11.2016 (in Bulgarian)

Darik radio, Why stateless persons in our country live in a vicious circle?, 18.11.2016 (in Bulgarian)

Bulgarian National Radio, Valeria Ilareva: Stateless persons are in a legal vacuum, 22.11.2016 (in Bulgarian)

Press Conference 18.11.2016
Press Conference 18.11.2016