Bulgaria has not done as much as it should to eliminate human trafficking, but is heading in the right direction, a US State Department report says.Bulgaria is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and children who are subjected to sex trafficking, as well as men, women, and children subjected to forced labour.
So concludes the Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 of the US State Department, which includes 185 countries.“The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so,” the report said.
The report said Bulgaria sustained a high conviction rate in 2011 and sent a larger percentage of convicted trafficking offenders to prison.
The government prosecuted roughly the same number of individuals for trafficking crimes as in 2010, having investigated fewer cases in 2011.
Recommendations for Bulgaria include continued efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking and trafficking offenders.
Bulgaria should also make efforts to ensure that no victims of trafficking are punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked and continue efforts to reduce human trafficking, including extending prevention activities to more schools with a majority of Roma children, the report said.