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Combating human trafficking

Trafficking in human beings is a serious violation of human rights, a grave crime against the person, personal liberty and dignity, and Bulgaria attaches priority importance to the efforts of the international community for closer cooperation between States in order to counter it effectively.

Our country was one of the first to ratify the UN Palermo Protocol (2000) and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005). Bulgarian national legislation on trafficking in human beings is harmonised with international legal standards, including those of the EU. Bulgaria is one of the few countries that have regulated these issues in a specific law - the Law on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (2003). The approach adopted nationally is based on the protection of human rights, with a special concern for victims of trafficking in human beings, especially the most vulnerable - children, women and girls. To achieve its objectives, five-year national strategies to combat trafficking in human beings (the latest for the period 2017-2021) and annual national programmes for their implementation are being developed. A national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking has been in place since 2016. The implementation of Bulgaria's national policy and strategy on combating trafficking in human beings is determined and administered by the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (NCATH) at the Council of Ministers.

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