Bulgaria’s Cabinet, at a meeting on May 22, approved a draft protocol on co-operation between the government of Bulgaria and the government of the Republic of North Macedonia on combating trafficking in human beings.
The draft will serve as a basis for negotiations between the two countries on a final document to be signed, the Bulgarian government information service said.
“The protocol will contribute to more successful countering of trafficking in human beings in the region, the exchange of good practices and, above all, more effective support and care for potential victims of trafficking,” the statement said.
The co-operation between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia is in line with the stated priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2018, the European Commission in its strategy for accelerated integration of the Western Balkans and the priorities of the Republic of North Macedonia, Bulgaria’s government said.
The project provides for the scope of co-operation to include issues related to the identification, targeting, protection and voluntary return of victims or potential victims of trafficking in human beings.
“It is necessary to improve efficiency in preventing and combating all forms of trafficking in human beings by increasing the exchange of information between the relevant authorities of both countries in order to help identify, protect and target victims and potential victims of trafficking in human beings; joint public awareness campaigns to prevent trafficking in human beings, especially child trafficking, and joint actions to uncover new trends in trafficking in human beings and to create appropriate mechanisms for adequate response.”
The draft says that Bulgaria’s National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and the Republic of North Macedonia’s National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration will be designated by the Republic of Bulgaria as the monitoring bodies for the implementation of the protocol.