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About the project

Project "Raising the awareness of local communities in areas with a significant Roma population on asylum and migration issues"

The project is funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism - 2014-2021.

Overall project objective:

The aim of the project is to contribute to raising the awareness of the Roma population regarding legislation regulating asylum and migration, as well as the risk of abuse and exploitation in Bulgaria, the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The target group will receive information on their rights and obligations when legally migrating to EU/EEA countries and increase their knowledge on asylum and migration related topics, such as human trafficking and smuggling, risk of labour exploitation in the EU/EEA and protection from exploitation, conditions of stay and work, access to social and health services, etc.

Project target groups:

Roma communities in Bulgaria characterized by lower educational level, lower understanding of legal issues, higher unemployment rates, lack of resources or lower income compared to the national average. These are all factors that combine to create segregated and marginalised neighbourhoods exposed to extreme poverty, discrimination, limited access to services, lack of security and high crime rates, thus encouraging high-risk ventures and delinquency. In addition, information campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the rights and obligations of asylum seekers in Bulgaria and the risks associated with facilitating smuggling and human trafficking will target Roma communities in areas close to the country's border zones or those located along internal migrant traffic routes from Bulgaria's southern to western and northern borders.

Project Activities:

  • Development of a comprehensive analysis/assessment of the situation of Roma communities in relation to migration in order to tailor the topics to be covered in project activities, accordingly;
  • Organisation of information campaigns to raise awareness among Roma communities on legal aspects related to the rights of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Bulgaria, including human trafficking and smuggling;
  • Organisation of information sessions, discussions, workshops, seminars, and other events to raise awareness of issues related to working in the EU/EEA, risk and protection from exploitation, including risk of trafficking for labour exploitation and smuggling, access to social and health services, etc.

Start date: 30 April 2020
Closing date: 30 April 2024
Implementation period: 48 months

Immediate tasks and upcoming activities for the period 06.12.2021 - 31.03.2022

1.    Finalizing the Communication Strategy.
1.1.    Communications messages and other elements of the strategy to be tested (January 2022), including engaging/involving local people of authority to support outreach and build trust with the community.
1.2.    A network of 'project communicators' is to be developed in conjunction with the forthcoming outreach campaigns.
2.    A one-day workshop on the preparation of the project outreach campaigns is to be held to discuss the outreach materials and timing of the outreach campaigns (February 2022).
3.    Information materials for planned information campaigns:
3.1.    900 posters, 900 brochures, 1200 stickers, 500 bags, 1000 calendars, 1000 T-shirts, 1000 mugs, 500 sports backpacks/bags.
3.2.    A video is to be produced - the proposal is to 'break it down' into several short videos on each of the sub-themes in the communications strategy, which can be used together and separately. These sub-themes will be accompanied by messages on TikTok and FB to reinforce the suggestion.
3.3.    Additionally, memes, banners, images will be developed that are suitable for sharing online and on social media. In this way, the means of reaching the target groups will be used more effectively and attention will be drawn to the campaigns with short messages.
4.    Continued information sessions by IOM in social services where persons from the target group are accommodated.
5.    Information sessions for Roma mediators are planned in the district commissions of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (schedule to be coordinated with the NCTHB).