World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


In Bulgaria, Living Conditions For Asylum-Seekers Improves

In Bulgaria, Living Conditions For Asylum-Seekers Improves, But Gaps Remain - Un Agency

New York, Apr 15 2014 3:00PM

The United Nations refugee agency <"http://www.unhcr.org/534cfae69.html">applauded today the “significant efforts” made recently by the Bulgarian authorities and their partners to improve living conditions for asylum seekers in the country.

While planning to lift its January call to temporarily suspend the transfer of refugees from European countries back to Bulgaria (under the Dublin Regulation), the UN Office of the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) stresses that “serious gaps” in the system remain, and warns against transferring individuals or groups considered most vulnerable.

In the past three months, UNHCR noted improved conditions particularly in the Harmanli centre, a former military base near the Turkish border where refugees were living in tents just four months ago.

“Today, asylum-seekers living in the centres receive daily hot meals, are accommodated in renovated buildings or accommodation in the process of being renovated, with heating, and have access to health care,” said UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming at a press briefing in Geneva, adding that “with more staff, all asylum-seekers have been registered and progress is being made on asylum decisions.”

However, the UN agency says that accommodation and sanitary conditions in two Sofia centres, Vrazdebhna and Voenna Rampa, remain insufficient. “UNHCR is also concerned about the lack of identification, referral and support to individuals with specific needs; the barriers children face in accessing formal education; and the lack of a sustainable integration programme,” said Ms. Fleming.

Reiterating concerns expressed in January, the UN agency warned against measures implemented since Novembre 2013 by the Bulgarian authorities to restrict access to the territory along the Turkish border. “These have resulted in a marked decrease in the number of arrivals since December 2013, and could be preventing people in need of international protection from entering and requesting asylum in Bulgaria,” stressed Ms. Fleming.

According to UNHCR, an increasing number of individuals have allegedly been forcibly expelled from Bulgarian territory without being able to apply for asylum, which has resulted in family separations in some cases. UNHCR has received several reports of these alleged "push-backs" from Bulgaria concerning nationals of Syria, Afghanistan and Sudan, as well as Palestinians from Syria.

In 2013, 7,144 people sought asylum in Bulgaria, a sharp increase from an annual average of 1,000 asylum-seekers in the past decade. The recent influx, mostly due to the Syrian conflict, has put significant pressure on an ill-prepared system. Currently Bulgaria is hosting some 5,500 asylum-seekers. About 63 per cent are from Syria, with approximately 2,000 people from Afghanistan.

“UNHCR remains committed to working closely with the Bulgarian authorities, and other partners to address existing gaps and to continue the consolidation of the progress achieved,” said Ms. Fleming.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

ANZAC Commemorations - Scoop Team Coverage

Nepal Quake Response : NZ USAR team stood down

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says that the New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue team due to leave for Nepal overnight has been stood down. "“Our USAR team has been on stand-by since Sunday and was due to head to Nepal last night. Prior to their departure, the Nepalese Government informed us that they had enough USAR capability in-country and our team was no longer required." More >>

Earlier: NZ Govt. NZ USAR team to Nepal & Fire Service - USAR team leaves tonight for Kathmandu (Image Red Cross twitter)

 

United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news