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Humanitarian safe passages still a chimera in the EU

By Borislav Dimitrov, boryslav.p@gmail.com On March 7th, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in the case of X and X v État belge (Case C-638/16 PPU) that Member States are not required, under the Visa Code Regulation (the “Visa Code”) and European Union (EU) law in general, to grant a humanitarian…

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The 2016 Asylum Information Database report finds that detention of asylum seekers is systematically applied in Bulgaria

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) published its 2016 report on Bulgaria. The report documents thoroughly recent legislative reforms and policy developments in relation to the asylum procedure, reception and detention, as well as integration. AIDA is an initiative coordinated by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) that aims to provide up-to date information…

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NGOs report widespread push-back practices and denial of access to state territory to asylum seekers in Central and Eastern Europe

In the beginning of 2017 the Hungarian Helsinki Committee published the report “Pushed Back at the Door: Denial of Access to Asylum in Eastern EU Member States” describing push-back practices in 5 countries from Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The report found that the increased border control and…

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“Center for Legal Aid – “Voice in Bulgaria” begins new project on limiting detention and supporting migrants at risk

“Center for Legal Aid – “Voice in Bulgaria” (CLA), in partnership with Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights (BLHR), begins work on a new project focused on helping migrants at risk integrate into the community instead of being detained. The project is called: “Protecting migrants with precarious status: decreasing the use of detention and applying community-based…

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Final Report: “Who Gets Detained? Increasing the Transparency and Accountability of Bulgaria’s Detention Practices of Asylum Seekers and Migrants”

(the full text of the report can be accessed here: in English and in Bulgarian) Between August 17, 2015 and August 16, 2016, the Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria (CLA) completed the project “Who Gets Detained? Increasing the Transparency and Accountability of Bulgaria’s Detention Practices of Asylum Seekers and Migrants”.* Through an…

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DETAINED Website Featured in International Detention Monitor

(originally published in International Detention Monitor by the International Detention Coalition on May 11, 2016 at http://idcoalition.org/news/increasing-the-transparency-of-bulgarias-detention-practices/) Increasing Transparency of Bulgarian Detention: New Website How easy or difficult is it to find out information about immigration detention in Bulgaria?  One of members, The Centre for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria, is tackling this very issue…

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Recent Developments at the Bulgarian Border

By Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria* By virtue of its geography, Bulgaria is likely the most important land border of the European Union with regards to recent migration flows and Europe’s efforts to keep asylum seekers off the continent’s territory. It borders both Turkey, where millions of refugees reside and which is…

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Migrant Detention in Bulgaria: Numbers and Graphs

As part of the Who Gets Detained? project, over the course of 10 months starting in August 2016, the team of the Center of Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria collected statistics on the number and characteristics of the people who end up behind the walls of the closed centres for foreigners, and of those who are arrested and…