E-News Sign Up  


Home > Women's Human Rights > Women's Human Rights Program > Where We Work > Work in Bulgaria
Women's Human Rights Work in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a country of approximately 7 million, located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea.  Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union on 1 January 2007 required the adoption of important changes to existing and new legislation which support equal treatment for women and men and the protection of women’s rights in general.
The Advocates has worked in partnership with the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (BGRF) since 1994, publishing a human rights report on domestic violence in Bulgaria in 1996, training court monitors in 2004, consulting on drafting and passing the 2005 Law against Domestic Violence, and training police and judges on effective implementation of the new law. (To read “The Law on Protection against Domestic Violence in Bulgaria: Insights and History,” by Genoveva Tisheva, Director of BGRF, click here.)
Since the law passed in 2005, thousands of victims of domestic violence have come forward to use the law to obtain protection against their abusers. In 2006, more than 2,000 cases of domestic violence under the new law were brought before the courts, resulting in 800 orders for protection. In 2007, The Advocates began a human rights monitoring project with BGRF to investigate implementation of the domestic violence law by the state, police, judges, prosecutors, and NGOs. The monitoring report, produced with the support of the Oak Foundation and UNIFEM, presents our findings and makes recommendations to improve implementation of the law.
In 2008, The Advocates and BGRF partnered again to organize the Regional Conference on Domestic Violence Legal Reform, held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on February 12-14, 2008. The Conference was sponsored by the Oak Foundation and the Open Society Institute’s Human Rights and Governance Program. The goal of the Conference was to strengthen the capacity of NGOs, advocates, and government officials to create and implement domestic violence laws that promote safety for victims and their children and accountability for violent offenders. Participants from 30 different countries provided expert consultation and a forum for discussion on drafting, passing and implementing effective domestic violence laws.
The Advocates continues to partner with BGRF on projects and initiatives in both Bulgaria and the region, inlcuding two regional conferences on domestic violence legal reform in 2010 and 2011, and on reports monitoring the implementation of domestic violence laws in the region.
For more information on Bulgaria, visit the country page on www.stopvaw.org, written by our partner, the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation.