Bulgarian to Sue State in Strasbourg over Gender Error

Society | April 4, 2012, Wednesday // 13:37|  views

Photo by dariknews.bg

An administrative error has turned a 43-year-old woman from the southern Bulgarian village of Karabunar into a man.

In the beginning of 2012, Lyubka Rakova was surprised to learn from the office of ESGRAON (Unified System for Civil Registration and Administrative Services to PopulatioN) in Pazardzhik that her birth certificate was invalid and that she had to appear in court to prove that she was a woman to get a new one.

Lybka Rakova has a 24-year-old son.

On February 06, she received a letter asking her to appear immediately at the ESGRAON office at the Pazardzhik Municipality.

Rakova was told that documents identified her as a man.

The error in her papers was found after the launch of the new electronic national register of civil status.

The municipal officials told the woman that her birth certificate had already been declared invalid.

As a result, she does not figure in the ESGRAON database and cannot get new ID documents.

As it turned out, an official of ESGRAON had entered Rakova's gender as "male" by mistake in her original birth certificate.

Although the local administration admits that the problem occurred after a mistake of their employee, the woman still needs to file a claim with the Pazardzhik Regional Court and to pay all court expenses.

Rakova is determined to file a complaint against the state at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg over the stress triggered by the situation, the waste of time and efforts at institutions and the fact that she is made to look like the guilty party and to pay for somebody else's mistake.

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Tags: ID card, ID papers, civil status, Pazardzhik, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, birth certificate, gender

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