The National Unified Register on Violence against Children project aims to support and improve data collection on violence against children in Bulgaria. It is implemented in partnership by the National Network for Children, the State Agency for Child Protection and the Institute for Mediation and Dispute Management. It will be worked on over the next two years, analysing the legal framework, trends in violence against children, indicators currently used by institutions and international good practice. The aim is to propose guidelines to serve as a basis for the establishment of a National Information System on Violence against Children in Bulgaria.

The project will also support the implementation of the National Programme for the Prevention of Violence and Abuse against Children (2022-2024). The development of a unified information system will allow institutions to have a unified view of violence against children and to better coordinate their joint activities to prevent cases of violence or in response to a child who is a victim of violence.

The National Network for Children has been advocating for years for the creation of a unified register of cases of violence and for a comprehensive zero tolerance policy towards violence against children.

As coordinator of the Childhood Without Violence Alliance, the Network has gathered dozens of examples of how violence against children can be prevented and how child victims of violence can be supported. See here:

There is no uniform data on cases of child abuse (including abuse, exploitation and neglect) in Bulgaria. They are collected by different institutions and according to different criteria. This blocks the possibilities for a meaningful analysis of the situation and the development of adequate prevention and protection policies.

There is no way to combat violence against children if we do not even know what is actually happening to children who have experienced violence.

In Bulgaria, not a single institution knows how many children are actually victims of violence. Even when it comes to the most serious possible form of violence against children - intentional homicide - the data from the institutions differ dramatically - according to the NSI for 2020 they are 2, according to the Ministry of Interior - 11, according to the Prosecutor's Office - 32.

This confusion exists when we talk about all forms of child abuse. In 2021, 1,649 children were victims of crime. The National Childline 116 111 received 738 reports of abuse. Child protection departments received 1 387 reports. At the same time, one in three children in Bulgaria says they have been victims of some form of violence. What is actually happening? This project aims to analyse the situation and propose the establishment of a National Information System, which will be the basis for more effective work on preventing and combating violence against children.

Funded by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission is responsible for them.

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