Bulgaria’s 2011-2013 Refugee Integration Strategy Was Total Failure – Audit Office

Society | January 26, 2015, Monday // 15:56|  views

Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s National Audit Office has made clear that the implementation of the national program for the integration of refugees in the period 2011-2013 failed to produce any effect.

According to a newly published report by the NAO, the strategy fell short of its goals of “providing refugees with equal access to rights and giving them an opportunity to develop their personal potential, as well as encouraging their efforts for active and equal participation in the economic, social and cultural life of Bulgarian society.”

According to the NAO, as cited by Sega daily, the funding earmarked for the integration of refugees was insufficient, despite the 2013 refugee influx.

The report also identifies shortcomings in the work of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees.

According to the document, the new refugee integration strategy failed to deal with the problems of the previous one.

In the period 2011-2013, out of a total of 2831 foreign nationals who were granted a certain type of status by the State Agency for Refugees, a total of 256 people were included in the national integration program and 163 dropped out of it.

In the period during which the national integration program was in force, no coordinating mechanism for cooperation between the entities in charge of child protection was created.

No guidelines were drafted for the appointment of custodians/guardians of unaccompanied refugee children.

Besides, the authorities failed to initiate amendments to the Asylum Act, the Family Code, and the Child Protection Act in order to regulate the situation of children without parents or relatives, thereby failing to facilitate the integration of this particularly vulnerable group of refugees.

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Tags: National Audit Office, refugee integration, refugee influx, State Agency for Refugees


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