UN Urges Bulgarian Government to Improve the Conditions in HarmanliDomestic | November 30, 2016, Wednesday // 09:58| views
photo: UNHCR/Gordon Welters
The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday voiced concerns over calls for expulsion, on national security grounds, of asylum - seekers after a protest at Bulgaria's largest and most overcrowded reception centre.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) urged the Bulgarian Government to improve living conditions at the Harmanli reception centre and establish a constructive dialogue with asylum - seekers staying there.
The agency also reports unsatisfying conditions at other reception centres and detention facilities in Bulgaria, including Elhovo detention facility, near the border with Turkey, which is occupied at 130% of its capacity.
According to William Spindler, UNHCR spokesperson, concerns over reception conditions remain unaddressed, causing tensions and even leading to acts of vandalism. Overcrowded centres also raise concerns over sanitary conditions, and challenges on provision of medical care and medicine.