On the 20th of May 2021, IOM organized an online conference that launched the implementation of the project “Awareness raising of local communities in areas with significant share of Roma population on asylum and migration issues”. The main activities of the project were presented during the event. This project aims to provide support to the Roma population in Bulgaria. The citizens of this group of Bulgarian society will receive relevant information about the rights and obligations related to their legal migration in the EU/EEA countries, and will enhance their knowledge on asylum and migration issues such as trafficking in human beings, the sale of false registrations addresses, labor exploitation and other challenges related to the migration to the EU/EEA that put the Roma population in a vulnerable position and under an increased risk of abuse.
Among the participants in the conference were various NGOs and state institutions, including key experts from the Program Operator International Projects Directorate - MoI, the Bulgarian Red Cross, the State Agency for Child Protection, the Council of Ministers‘ Central Coordination Unit, the National Commission for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings, the Bulgarian Platform for International Development, the National Network of Health Mediators, Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation and others, as well as from the donor of the project – the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.
The event started with opening remarks from Mr Radoslav Stamenkov, IOM Bulgaria’s Head of Office. The participants were introduced to IOM’s project partners – the Consortium “BFPA-NNHM-EMHPF”. The various stages of the project and information about the methodology and field work that includes a comparative analysis of the information needs of Roma communities were presented in detail.
After the end of the presentation, a discussion on the project was held, during which representatives of the General Directorate “National Police” and the Agency for Social Assistance participated.