GA Resolution A/RES/69/158 of 18 December 2014
“Protecting Children from Bullying”
Bulgaria’s Implementation Review
The protection of children’s human rights is a national priority for Bulgaria.
According to the Child Protection Act of Bulgaria every child has the right to protection
against violence which could include but not be limited to actions harmful to his/her
physical, psychological, moral and educational development; educational methods which
violate the child’s dignity; bullying, etc.
The national legislation includes all relevant protection measures as stipulated in the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on the Exercise of Children's
Rights, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual
Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, and other relevant international treaties.
All policies of Bulgaria in the field of child protection are based on the National Strategy for
the Child adopted by the National Assembly and implemented through annual Programmes
of Implementation adopted by the Council of Ministers.
The National Programme for 2015 includes important activities aimed at preventing all forms
of violence against children in line with the Council of Europe’s Strategy for the Rights of the
Child (2012 – 2015). All Government Institutions are engaged with the implementation of
the Programme, particularly the State Agency for Child Protection, the Ministry of Education
and Science, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of
Justice, the Ministry of Interior and others.
The main goals of the National Programme are as follows:
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Increasing the effectiveness of the protection measures for children who are victims
of violence;
Increasing the access to services for children who are victims of violence;
Providing rehabilitation services for children who are victims of violence and their
families;
Taking special care of children in crisis centres;
Increasing the qualification of officials working with children and the quality of social
services for children.
A Coordination Mechanism comprising of representatives from different Government
Institutions has been set up for cooperation when working on cases of children who are
victims of violence or at risk of violence and for cooperation in times of crisis.
Any child who is a victim of abuse, violence, exploitation or any other inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment inside or outside of his/her family is a child at risk and the state
should take measures for hid/her protection – mainly by removing the alleged perpetrator
from the close environment of the child and prohibiting the perpetrator from getting in the
vicinity of the child. Assistance is further provided by the: Crisis Centres for Children (16 in
total in different parts of Bulgaria), “Mother and Baby” Community Support Centres (9 in
total), Centres for Social Support (110 in total) and the Centres for Social Rehabilitation (37
in total).
With regard to the education system and the protection of children against aggression,
bullying and violence the competent Government Institutions in Bulgaria have developed a
number of measures together with the civil society. Some of the main actions undertaken so
far are as follows:
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Adopt special measures for better protection of children from domestic violence;
Develop the necessary methodology for the implementation of the “Child Police
Management” Programme of the Ministry of Interior of Bulgaria;
Implement the Partnership Project entitled “Improving Child Protection and
Prevention of Child Crime” of the Ministry of Interior financed by the Bulgarian-Swiss
Programme of Cooperation;
Cooperation with the Permanent Expert Panel of the National Commission for
Combating Human Trafficking;
Organize trainings on human trafficking together with experts from the National
Commission for Combating Human Trafficking, school psychologists, teachers, etc.;
Implement the Strategy for Crime Prevention (2012 – 2020) and the Action Plan for
Crime Prevention;
Developed Guidelines for Prevention of Bullying in Schools which was introduced in
the education system in Bulgaria in 2012;
An Interdepartmental Working Group was established comprising representatives of
the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Agency for Child Protection, the
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Agency for Social Assistance, the Ministry of
Health, the Ministry of Interior, the National Council for Integration of Persons with
Disabilities, the National Network for Children and other NGOs working with children,
as well as experts and school principals of the public education system, with the aim to
develop guidelines for risk prevention in the education environment and improve care
and protection for children. The draft guidelines on combatting school bullying is
published on the Government website for public discussion after which it will be
proposed for approval by the Ministry of Education and Science;
A Working Group in the Ministry of Interior is currently considering new measures to
deal with aggression in schools;
Partnership with the National Network for Children for the implementation of a
project entitled “The school community centre”;
Partnership with the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation for the implementation of
a project entitled “Schools without violence and gender stereotypes”;
Training for school psychologists for identifying, registering and reporting cases of
abuse and neglect of children;
Training for experts from the Regional Education Inspectorates for the implementation
and monitoring of the implementation of the Guidelines for Prevention of Bullying in
Schools;
Conducting regular monitoring for every academic year on the application of the
Guidelines for Prevention of Bullying in Schools.
Sofia, 9 October 2015
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bulgaria_response - SRSG on Violence Against Children