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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Bulgaria, the situation is particularly difficult for children from Roma families, as they often do not enjoy health care, have no access to education and are exposed to exploitation. Violence in various forms takes up a large part of the report and poses a threat to many children in Bulgaria. The living situation and the implementation of children's rights for children who suffer from discrimination, i.e., children who are not Bulgarian citizens or have a disability, are very poor.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee recommends to ensure unimpeded access to sexual and reproductive health services, including confidential counselling and modern contraception, and make the conditions for abortion less restrictive.

Pregnant girls placed in correctional facilities are often deprived of adequate living conditions, including a safe environment, adequate food and nutrition and a lack of access to appropriate medical care, and separation of mother and child after birth is apparently common place.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenHate speech against asylum seekers and refugees in the media as well as among high-ranking officials is on the rise.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State Party to give priority to measures that facilitate the full inclusion of children with disabilities, including those with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, in all areas of public life, including leisure activities, community-based care and provision of social housing with reasonable accommodation. Also, Bulgaria should guarantee all children with disabilities the right to inclusive education in mainstream school, independent of parental consent.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned that, owing to lack of space in reception centres, in some cases, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are placed in rooms with adults. In addition, reports suggest that overcrowding and poor hygiene place children at risk. There are also no administrative or financial arrangements in place to ensure free legal assistance for asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee urges the State party to develop a national programme to address violence in schools with support from the Ministry of Education and Science and teacher training agencies to establish standards, mentoring and peer review of violence in schools, and provide training, including for parents, on the risks of bullying, including cyber bullying.
physical health

The Committee is concerned at the high rate of infant mortality in some parts of the country owing to a lack of adequate health care, poverty, inadequate nutrition and the existence of harmful traditional practices.
To improve the situation, Bulgaria should ensure availability of and equitable access to quality primary and specialized health and dental care for all children, particularly those from socially and economically disadvantaged groups, including Roma children and children with disabilities. Further they need to strengthen efforts to ensure that access to adequate health care, including prenatal care for uninsured pregnant women, is extended to families living in the most vulnerable situations, particularly those living in marginalized and remote areas.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends that community-based mental health services be made readily available and preventive work in schools, the home and care centres be strengthened. It also recommends that the number of child psychiatrists and psychologists be increased.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned that children living in vulnerable situations, particularly Roma children, continue to be exposed to harmful and exploitative work in the informal economy, mainly in agriculture, tourism, retail and domestic work.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is deeply concerned at reports indicating that children in juvenile detention centres suffer from disproportionate punishment, including physical beatings, arbitrary periods in solitary confinement and limited food rations. In addition to that, children as young as 8 years of age continue to be deprived of their liberty in correctional facilities.

Specific observations

The Commission for the Protection against Discrimination does not have a special unit to deal with cases of discrimination against children.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 21 November 2016.
Last Updated (date)23rd of February, 2022