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Bulgaria Issues - 2024


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Disputes - international

none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 22,226 (Syria) (mid-year 2022); 72,775 (Ukraine) (as of 8 March 2024)

stateless persons: 1,129 (2022)

note: 106,227 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-January 2024); Bulgaria is predominantly a transit country

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Bulgaria does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials convicted more traffickers, informally adopted new National Action Plans for 2022 and 2023, and utilized seized assets to supplement shelters and service centers assisting victims; the government mandated specialized training for investigative prosecutors and magistrates and required assignment of trafficking cases to those individuals; the National Investigative Service established a cyber unit, focusing on internet-based exploitation, including trafficking; Bulgaria and Germany cooperated on a bilateral program to combat labor trafficking, information campaigns targeting the large number of Bulgarians seeking jobs in Germany, and a referral mechanism for trafficking cases between countries; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared with the previous reporting period, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; courts continued to issue suspended sentences for most convicted traffickers; officials did not adequately screen for trafficking indicators or identify victims, particularly among vulnerable groups such as Roma; the government provided limited funding to NGOs for victim services and a national commission for capacity building and implementation of anti-trafficking activities, limiting the sustainability of the government’s anti-trafficking systems; a lack of resources, legal authority, and training impeded law enforcement; corruption in law enforcement and the judiciary hindered progress, and alleged complicity in trafficking crimes persisted; therefore, Bulgaria remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year (2023) 

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Bulgaria, and traffickers exploit victims from Bulgaria abroad; Bulgaria remains one of the primary source countries of human trafficking in the EU; vulnerable groups include Bulgarians with little education and income, the unemployed, children in residential care, homeless individuals, individuals working in commercial sex, migrants, and Roma; most victims are Roma or individuals with disabilities or mental health conditions; Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity and Romani women and girls account for most of the sex trafficking victims in Bulgaria; family- or clan-based organizations and independent traffickers are overwhelmingly of Romani ethnicity and usually know the victims, who are also Roma; sex trafficking rings typically consist of Bulgarian traffickers who cooperate with foreign nationals in destination countries but do not have direct ties to organized crime groups; traffickers exploit Bulgarian women and girls in sex trafficking throughout Western Europe and in Bulgaria, and exploit Bulgarian men and boys in forced labor across Europe, predominantly in agriculture, construction, and hospitality industries; Romani children are exploited in forced labor, particularly begging and pick-pocketing in Austria, France, and Sweden; child trafficking cases reportedly are increasing; thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and seeking sanctuary in Bulgaria are highly vulnerable to trafficking; corruption among law enforcement and judiciary officials continues to enable some trafficking crimes (2023)

Illicit drugs

source country for amphetamine tablets

NOTE: The information regarding Bulgaria on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bulgaria 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bulgaria 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.