What does the BHC do? Who are the people we help? We want to show you – through this campaign – who we are and what we fight for.
The protection of vulnerable groups from discrimination—groups that are unpopular in society and are therefore not only victims of systemic discrimination but also often do not receive the institutional protection they deserve—is one of the areas in which the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee focuses its efforts.
- Discrimination against Roma people (38%) and sexual discrimination (35%) are the most widespread forms of discrimination in Bulgaria;
- 30% of Bulgarians say that they would not feel comfortable if their child were to one day have a relationship with a person of Roma origin;
- 39% of Bulgarians say that efforts made to fight against discrimination in Bulgaria are ineffective or nonexistent;
BHC is one of the civil organizations that significantly contributed to the adoption of the Protection Against Discrimination Act and directly participated in the preparation for its implementation. When it went into effect in 2004, the act was one of the most progressive in Europe. It also led to the creation of the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination. The Protection Against Discrimination Act is the main antidiscrimination law prohibiting various forms of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnic identity, sex/gender, religion, belief, sexual orientation, disability, and age. It also establishes uniform standards and mechanisms for protection.
Today, BHC monitors the application of the Protection Against Discrimination Act and publishes its observations on the issue each year in its Annual Report. Through signals to the Commission for Protection Against Discriminatinion and the Prosecutor’s Office, BHC fights against acts of discrimination and hate speach in the media and in the community.
BHC also conducts strategic litigation and advocacy efforts for protection against discrimination based on race, ethnic identity, age, health, or other attributes.