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…

“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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

The Fate of Unaccompanied Children Refugees in Bulgaria

by Maria Cheresheva “There is no life for us – neither in Bagdad, nor anywhere else. The Islamic State rape girls and force them to convert to Islam. They have taken over 500 girls already. It was unbearable at this point. I dropped out of fifth grade and left.” This is how the story of…

A Legal Victory: Detained Migrants in Bulgaria Can No Longer Be Subjected to Body Searches or Solitary Confinement

by Radostina Pavlova A landmark decision of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) from January 2016 may improve substantially the state of human rights for detainees in the closed centres for foreigners awaiting deportation, sparing them the humiliation and pain of body searches and solitary confinement. The ruling in successful lawsuit against the Ministry of…