Follow up Bulgaria 2010 (2)

Q. Has there been a UPR report by one or more national NGOs coalitions in your country?

A. Yes.  In Bulgaria 3 citizen coalitions presented reports addressed to UPR.

Q. Have authorities in your country favorably welcomed NGO interventions on the UPR?

A. Yes. There was no campaign focused on UPR opportunity in my country and a lot of citizen activist, NGOs and even representatives of public institutions are not familiar with. The authorized institutions was Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is open toward work with non-governmental organizations.

Q. Do the recommendations by the Human Rights Council reflect those submitted by NGOs?

A. Yes. 95% of recommendations that we together (Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and Alliance for Protection against Domestic Violence) resented and advocated in Geneva. This is due to the opportunity to attend to the training, access to Human Rights Council and to lobby. Me and my colleagues are thankful to all partners from Geneva for their professional advices, training and all technical and financial support.

Q. Have you had the opportunity to contribute to an NGO or NGO coalition report for the UPR? If yes, please state the name of the NGO or NGO coalition.

A. Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation in cooperation with Alliance for Protection against Domestic Violence and Minnesota Human Rights Advocators presented a shadow report focused on Bulgarian situation of women’s rights (equal gender opportunity), domestic violence, media stereotypes toward women and access to health care.

Q. Have you been able to follow the session of the Working Group of the Human Rights Council reviewing your country? If yes, how? If no, why?

A. Yes. Bulgarian UPR session was on 4th November 2010 and due to the EIP support we had the opportunity to observe the Working Group session.

Q. Have you taken part to activities in your country to present the results of its UPR? If yes, briefly describe how. If no, shortly explain why.

A. Yes. I presented the mechanism UPR and the result of the campaign in the International Women’s Rights Institute last week in Varna (19-23 May, 2011) and I am in the process of preparation of an article about that would be published in Bulgarian and in English.

Q. Have you incorporated UPR and its results for your country in your sensitization, information or human rights and peace education activities? If yes, briefly describe how. If no, shortly explain why.

A. In regular publication of the BGRF and provided detailed information to foreign diplomats in Sofia – especially to those of them who supported our causes.

Q. In your country and relating to the implementation and follow-up of UPR, dou you exert some influence ? If yes, briefly describe how. If no, shortly explain why.

A. a) On my circles. Yes. Among my closed friends who are jurists and colleagues from NGOs.

b) On decision makers Yes. In serial of working meetings with a member of the Parliament in Bulgaria, who is from the ruling party in Bulgaria. Now we are working on interdisciplinary research focused on equal gender opportunities in Bulgaria and in mid of September we are going to organize a round table focused on implementation of accepted UPR recommendations toward gender equality and also accepted EU strategy for Gender Equality (2010-2015) and members of parliament, diplomats and experts will be invited.

Q. Did you ask your country’s competent authorities that human rights be included in school programs and other educational activities ? If yes, briefly describe how.

A. No

Q. Do you actively participate to sensitization activities in your place of work in order to promote human rights education ? If yes, briefly describe how. If no, shortly explain why.

A. No. I wouldn’t do that but I am opened to start such initiative because I am supporter of the idea that human rights education has to be part of civil education in every one school.

Q. CIFEDHOP’s resources and its network of experts are useful for my human rights education and UPR follow-up activities.

A. Very often. I am very thankful for that opportunity to be among all trainees and appreciate the opportunity to discuss with expert and to share the experience.