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Information session for students from Hristo Botev Secondary School in the village of Dolni Tsibar

Submitted by admin on 19 September 2023

An IOM team, in collaboration with representatives from Consortium NNHM- BFPA-EMHPF, conducted an informational session with 12th-grade students from Hristo Botev School in the village of Dolni Tsibar.

school building

Dolni Tsibar is situated in Northwestern Bulgaria, a region characterized by its status as one of the least economically developed areas, with a notably high unemployment rate. Over half of the village's population belongs to the Roma community, many of whom are compelled to seek employment abroad in order to support themselves and their families. Despite the challenging economic circumstances in the region, the students from this village are renowned for their exceptional work ethic and enthusiasm for learning.

presenter in front of students

During the session, the presenters introduced the students to fundamental concepts related to migration, as well as crucial aspects of safe international travel and employment abroad. Additionally, the children were educated about the distinctions between human trafficking and smuggling. The presentation emphasized that human trafficking, which invariably involves violence, coercion, and false promises, constitutes a criminal activity that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable communities. It is also a highly profitable enterprise that poses significant challenges in terms of combating it. Regrettably, members of the Roma communities in Bulgaria are among the most frequent victims of human trafficking.

students during info session

Young people within the Roma community often have a relatively low level of awareness regarding the dangers associated with human trafficking. Therefore, it is imperative to employ various communication tools to elucidate the complexity of this issue. Consequently, the presentation was complemented by the screening of informative films that vividly depicted the grim reality of human trafficking, fostering a lively and engaging discussion among the students.

One of the presenters showing a brochure

During the info session, the students actively participated by posing questions and proposing topics for discussion. Many of them displayed high levels of awareness about the dangers of human trafficking and labor exploitation, which was a very pleasant surprise. Their engagement and understanding underscore the importance of these educational initiatives in empowering our youth with the knowledge needed to make informed choices