Every year, thousands of juveniles and minors from Southeast Europe are trafficked and involved in different forms of exploitation, begging and committing pocket-picking thefts. Bulgaria remains a country of origin and transit and to a lesser extent a country of destination. This calls for implementation of activities which address needs related to provision of supportive environment, education and policy improvement.
This is the main focus of Child Trafficking Response Programme (CTRP) which is managed by a regional team based at Save the Children, Albania. Seven countries in South East Europe participate in this initiative: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. In Bulgaria, the programme is implemented by Partners Bulgaria Foundation (PBF) and Animus Association Foundation (AAF) in collaboration with local actors.
The focus of PBF's work is both on preventive interventions for children at risk and on advocacy to fill existing institutional gaps aimed at improving child protection policy.
Partners Bulgaria Foundation is engaged in a wide range of activities to prevent child trafficking and unsafe migration of children:
Direct support to children at risk through further development of the drop-in centre in Kjustendil, including elaboration of a comprehensive programme for children at risk based on child rights approach.
Capacity building for professionals directly working with children based on 3-module training programme, aiming at providing information on key issues of trafficking and positive changes in attitudes, perceptions and ways of working concerning children.
Peer to peer sessions delivered by trained adolescent volunteers to children at risk and awareness-raising sessions to wider groups of local children to support community participation of children/adolescents.
Monitoring and documentation of changes in the lives of targeted children through regular interaction and consultation.
Support to policy, advocacy and legislative reform for protection of the rights of trafficked children and children at-risk, by fostering closer links with national and local policy institutions and making children a priority among State authorities.