The Ministry of Interior and UNICEF will strengthen co-operation for the protection of children in Bulgaria
The main objective of the joint work is to guarantee the rights for every child
On 25 July 2023, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria between the Minister of Interior, Mr. Kalin Stoyanov, and the UNICEF representative in Bulgaria, Ms. Christina de Bruin, in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Stoyan Temelakiev, representatives of the main directorates of the Ministry of Interior and UNICEF Bulgaria staff working together on various projects related to children's rights.
The Minister welcomed Ms. De Bruin and her team and expressed his appreciation for UNICEF's support in the activities of the Ministry of Interior in the priority area of child protection. He highlighted the role of the organization throughout the process of amending the Protection from Domestic Violence Act, the reception and response to refugee and migrant children, including in the context of the refugee wave from Ukraine, and a number of other areas of joint work.
Ms. de Bruin thanked for the warm welcome and for the excellent results achieved so far in UNICEF's work with the Bulgarian side. She presented the new programme of cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and UNICEF for the period 2023-2027 and the two-year work plan for 2023-2024, in which the main priorities are related to early childhood development and child protection; quality inclusive education and youth empowerment; and social inclusion and monitoring of children's rights.
The two sides welcomed the results of the long-standing partnership aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Ministry of Interior authorities to work with children, sharing good practices and introducing innovative services for children victims of violence and crime and their parents - "Zona ZaKrila", improving the care and protection of refugee children from Ukraine and other countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to the prevention and protection of children from online sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as to police training.
At the end of the meeting, Minister Stoyanov and Ms. De Bruin signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and UNICEF, together with a work plan for the period 2023-2024.
The main objective of the cooperation is to guarantee the rights of all children in Bulgaria and to provide support to children at risk; children victims and witnesses of violence and crime; children in conflict with the law, as well as migrant children and children seeking or granted international protection. The activities in the plan are aimed at strengthening the legal and institutional framework regarding children at risk; improving inter-institutional and inter-agency cooperation in the field of children's rights and protection; innovative models for child-friendly procedures and specific coordination and interaction mechanisms; developing and disseminating good practices and strengthening the capacity of those working in the justice system to work with children and families.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org/Bulgaria