The document provides an opportunity for an external perspective to the politicians and experts working in the state institutions with regard to the direction we have taken in the development of children public policies and particularly child protection.
Bulgaria ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. The country inherited a child protection system from its communist past and prior to the adoption of the Child Protection Act and the first reform efforts undertaken in the late 90s, the situation was far from responding to the UNCRC requirements. There was neither legal framework related to protection of children’s rights, nor adequate capacity among state structures to work with children at risk. In 2000, the percentage of institutionalised children was among the highest in Europe, at 1.78 percent, with over 35,000 children being placed in public institutions.
15 years later, the number of institutionalised children in the country has dramatically dropped to 2721 as of December 2014. Despite state commitments however, the practice of the organisations-members of the National Network for Children shows that deinstitutionalisation policies and the child protection system are still struggling with the large number of children at risk, the insufficient number of social workers and the uneven distribution of existing community-based services.
What is the Index?
The Child Protection Index (the Index) is a comparative policy tool, organised and implemented by local and national level civil society organisations, that measures a country’s current child protection system against a common set of indicators. The Index uses specific child protection articles from the UNCRC and principles from a systems approach to child protection as the common foundation. The results from each country level index illustrate each government’s actions towards child protection through the lens of policy, service delivery, capacity, accountability and coordination.
The Child Protection Index is not meant to measure the well-being of children directly, rather, it measures government policy, investment, and services related to child protection.
This publication marks the first in a series of country-level indices that will be distributed over the next year to unpack and compare each country’s successes and challenges.
Child Protection Index Bulgaria 2015 (PDF, 8,39 MB)