The National Network for Children sent on August 11, 2014 an open letter to the President, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Minister of labor and social affairs, the Social Assistance Agency, the State Agency for Refugees, the State Agency for Child Protection, the UNCHR and the UNICEF – Bulgaria on the need to intervene to resolve the issue, regarding the termination of due monthly benefit grants to children from refugee families.
The Social Assistance Agency stopped to grant family benefits in the end of 2013 on the grounds of art.3, item 5 of the Family Allowances Law and the argument that there is no agreement on social cooperation between the State of origin of the person under protection and the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Republic of Bulgaria has ratified the UN Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC) and by the virtue of this document is obliged to monitor “child’s best interest…in all actions, regarding children, independently whether they are led by public or private institutions for social assistance, the courts, and the administrative or legislative authorities.”(Art.3 of the Convention). The benefits are allocated to children – refugees, for their palimony, integration and respect of their fundamental rights as the right to health services and education.
The deprivation of family allowances to children directly contrary to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Although they do not have the same status as the Bulgarian citizens, an element of the social assistance to the individuals, beneficiaries of temporary protection should be the support for child raise. This will be in consistence with our country commitments to the UNCRC.
Art. 28, par. 1 of Directive 2004/83/EO/ clearly defines that the EU member-states are obliged to concede to persons who have received status of refugee and a subsidiary support “necessary social assistance, as provided to citizens of that Member State”.
We demand for protection of the rights and minimal standards for foreigners with status of refugees and recognition of the rights of persons, who have received the status of refugee, humanitarian status or temporary protection to benefit family allowances for children.