Our team

Chair of the board

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Krasimir Kanev

Krassimir Kanev was one of the founders of the BHC in 1992. Between 1992 and 1994 he was a secretary of the organization, and after 1994 – its chairperson. He graduated in philosophy and defended his doctoral dissertation at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". He majored in human rights at Columbia University in New York.

Krassimir Kanev has taught human rights at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and runs several online human rights courses for the American organization Human Rights Training Partners for professionals and activists from around the world. He has taught at Paisii Hilendarski University in Plovdiv, as well as at the Central European University, the University of Sarajevo, and the University of Eugene, Oregon. From 1998 to 2007 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, based in Vienna, Austria. Since 2015 he has been a member of the management board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). Between 2005 and 2011 he was a member of the board of the UN Fund for the Protection of Victims of Torture, and between 2008 and 2010 he was its chairman. Since 2006 he has been a member of the board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Geneva. Between 2008 and 2018 he was a member of the board of the Institute of Public Interest Law, New York. Between 2007 and 2010 he was a member of the board of the European Roma Rights Center, Budapest. Since 2018, he has been a member of the board of the International Partnership for Human Rights, Brussels. He has participated in dozens of international human rights monitoring missions in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

Kanev is author and editor of numerous books and articles in the field of international human rights law, sociology of interethnic relations, law and education, aesthetics, and logic.

  • Monitoring and Research

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    Krasimir Kanev

    Program director

    Krassimir Kanev was one of the founders of the BHC in 1992. Between 1992 and 1994 he was a secretary of the organization, and after 1994 – its chairperson. He graduated in philosophy and defended his doctoral dissertation at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". He majored in human rights at Columbia University in New York.

    Krassimir Kanev has taught human rights at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and runs several online human rights courses for the American organization Human Rights Training Partners for professionals and activists from around the world. He has taught at Paisii Hilendarski University in Plovdiv, as well as at the Central European University, the University of Sarajevo, and the University of Eugene, Oregon. From 1998 to 2007 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, based in Vienna, Austria. Since 2015 he has been a member of the management board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). Between 2005 and 2011 he was a member of the board of the UN Fund for the Protection of Victims of Torture, and between 2008 and 2010 he was its chairman. Since 2006 he has been a member of the board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Geneva. Between 2008 and 2018 he was a member of the board of the Institute of Public Interest Law, New York. Between 2007 and 2010 he was a member of the board of the European Roma Rights Center, Budapest. Since 2018, he has been a member of the board of the International Partnership for Human Rights, Brussels. He has participated in dozens of international human rights monitoring missions in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

    Kanev is author and editor of numerous books and articles in the field of international human rights law, sociology of interethnic relations, law and education, aesthetics, and logic.

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    Antoaneta Nenkova

    Senior researcher and coordinator on children projects

    Antoaneta Nenkova was one of the founders of BHC in 1992. She is a Member of the General Assembly and the Board of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. Nenkova received her master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Sofia University. She has 15 years of experience as a correspondent of the Bulgarian service of Deutsche Welle (DW) Radio in Sofia.

    As a senior researcher for children’s rights, Antoaneta Nenkova has been involved since 2010 in the monitoring and analysis of the process of the deinstitutionalization of children’s institutions. Antoaneta Nenkova is a member of the expert group Family and Deinstitutionalization of the National Network for Children. She serves as a country expert for the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project – a collaboration among the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, USA.

    Antoaneta Nenkova is author of the publication Children in institutions – Homes for Children with Special Needs; and co-author of publications: The Archipelago of the Forgotten - Social Care Homes for People with Mental Disorders in Bulgaria; and Metamorphosis of the homes for children aged 0 to 3 years, 2014. She is also the author of many articles in the press and radiobroadcasts of the Bulgarian National Radio and Deutsche Welle on Human Rights of the disadvantaged minority groups in Bulgaria. Nenkova has been awarded numerous prizes: prize of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); German – Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce; Paniza Prize for Bulgarian Journalists. She was nominated for the Robert Schuman Award, given by the European Commission. Her radio documentaries are included in the Golden Fund of Bulgarian National Radio.

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    Stanimir Petrov

    Project coordinator, general coordinator on oversight of closed institutions

    Stanimir Petrov holds a Philosophy degree from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. He has worked as a researcher of closed institutions at BHC since 1997 and has been carrying out monitoring of the rights of the deprived of liberty in prisons and detention facilities, as well as children in correctional institutions and persons with intellectual disabilities. He works towards initiating reform in the practice of penitentiary institutions and lobbies for change of relevant legislation to ensure compliance with international standards for the treatment of those deprived of liberty.

    As a result of his projects, he has co-authored a total of 10 books, which focus on the state of human rights in different closed institutions. He has also contributed to the preparation of a large number of special reports and articles, including BHC’s annual reports and Obektiv magazine.

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    Dilyana Angelova

    Researcher

    Dilyana Angelova has graduated with a law degree from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” in 2009. Then she specialized in European Human Rights Law in Aarhus and International and European Public Law in Rotterdam. Alongside, Dilyana worked actively in the NGO sector, developing expertise in the fields of rule of law, human rights protection, and access to justice. In the period from 2010 to 2012 she was the coordinator for Bulgaria of a regional project for Roma rights protection, prevention, and promotion.

    Dilyana joined Bulgarian Helsinki Committee in 2013 where she currently works as a researcher of closed institutions for children. Besides, she conducts legal researcher and analysis on other topics, cases and projects related to the work of the Monitoring and Research Program.

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    Slavka Kukova

    Coordinator, senior researcher

    Slavka Kukova is the coordinator of the Legal Studies for EU Fundamental Rights projects. She has been researching children’s institutions since 2000. She monitors living conditions and opportunities for wholesome emotional, mental, and intellectual development of all children who live in homes. Kukova lobbies for the establishment of conditions for raising children from institutions in the family or close-to-family settings. She has contributed to the drafting legislation and policies, related to the protection of the rights of the child. She is a legal graduate, with a number of publications on the rights of the child, the rights of persons with mental or intellectual disabilities, and the rights of prisoners. She believes that the recognition of and support for diversity leads to more wholesome life within all societies.

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    Zhenya Ivanova

    Sociologist

    Zhenya is a child rights researcher in the Monitoring and Research Programme of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and one of the main researchers in a project “Children deprived of liberty in Central and Eastern Europe: between legacy and reform”.

    She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Political Science at Plovdiv University, Bulgaria with additional professional qualifications in Journalism. She further specialized in Leisure and Environments in Wageningen University and Research Center, the Netherlands, where she received her M.Sc. The topic of her diploma is a sociological research-experiment which concerns the perceptions of human relations of children growing up in social homes. At the moment she is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Panteion University, Athens, Greece, and her dissertation topic is also connected to children growing up in residential care.

    Zhenya has worked with children growing up away from family and placed at social homes. She has created leisure programs and activities as a precondition for a better quality of care. Later on she obtained additional professional qualifications in Group Dynamics of Education – Мediation and Child and Youth Development Disturbance (symptomatology-valuation-intervention). She is interested in European Union policies concerning children’s problems, rights, and practices for their successful personal development. She is a member of Quality for Children (Q4C), quality standards for out-of-home child and youth care in Europe, Greece. Zhenya takes part in scientific conferences concerning children at risk and she is an author in a number of articles about children and youth. She created several qualitative sociological types of research, one of which is an international research, case study with the participation of social homes for children from Bulgaria, Greece, and The Netherlands.

  • Legal Defense Program

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    Adela Katchaounova

    Attorney-at-law, director of the program

    Adela Katchaounova received her LLM from Sofia University in 2002 and in 2003 she got a master’s in international and comparative law from Uppsala University, Sweden. She has worked in the European banking law field but due to her personal convictions and social commitments she joined BHC in 2012.

    She started her work in BHC as a volunteer to the Legal Programme and continued to work as a lawyer in the program where she participated in the work of several applications with ECHR for ill-treatment of children in closed institutions. As of October 2014 she joined the Monitoring and Research Programme where she leads cases in the fields – conditions of imprisonment, rights of the child in closed institutions, juvenile justice.

    She is a lecturer in seminars for equal rights of LGBT couples and an author of human rights law articles.

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    Iveta Savova

    Attorney-at-law

        

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    Diana Dragieva

    Attorney-at-law

        

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    Radoslav Stoyanov

    Paralegal expert

    Radoslav Stoyanov is an activist for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) since 2008. He has litigated a series of public interest cases concerning discrimination against LGBTI people, ethnic, religious, and age minorities. He is the founder of a now-discontinued long-standing blog on LGBTI issues, where he promoted educational and analytical works related to this community, stigma, and prejudice. In 2012 he became a laureate of the Human of the Year Award of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee as an Activist of the Year. Since March 2013 he is part of the BHC's team. Since 2017 he has been a student majoring in Law.

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    Rilka Gergichanova

    LLM

         

  • Communications and Campaigns

    Nadejda Tsekulova

    Director of the program

          

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    Bosilena Melteva

         

     

     

    Angelina Genova

          

     

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    Yana Buhrer Tavanier

    Advisor

    Yana Buhrer Tavanier started work at the BHC in December 2009, when she headed the newly founded Campaigns and Communications Program. Since March 2014 she is Advisor to the Chair, responsible for the special projects of the organization. Previously Yana was "Social Issues" editor of Capital Weekly (2003—2008). She has won numerous Bulgarian and international journalism awards. Yana is a TED Senior Fellow (2014—1016) and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (2012—2017).

    Андрей Гетов

    Мултимедия продуцент

    Андрей Гетов завършва Първа английска езикова гимназия-София, а впоследствие - „Международни отношения” в Софийския Университет „Св. Климент Охридски” и магистърска специалност „Филмово и телевизионно изкуство” в НБУ.

    Късометражните му игрални филми „Фокусници” и "На Улица Нула" участват в редица международни филмови фестивали, като "Фокусници" печели наградата на Kodak за най-добър български късометражен филм на Филмини 3.0 и наградата за най-добър игрален филм на Black & White Audiovisual Festival (Порто, Португалия). Андрей е режисьор и на документалните филми "Гьоч - да прекрачиш границата", "Че сме се видели", “Пет години и пет месеца”, както и на десетки правозащитни видеа.

    Понастоящем работи над пълнометражния игрален филмов проект “Бо Нан За”.

     

  • Legal Aid for Refugees and Migrants

    Iliana Savova

    Attorney-at-law, director of the program

    Iliana Savova has been working on issues of housing and migration at BHC since 1996. Since 1997 she is the coordinator of the National Legal Network for Refugees, while in 2001 she became the director of the legal protection of refugees and migrants program. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and has studied human rights and refugee law at the European Court of Human Rights and New College, Oxford. She is a member of the Sofia Bar Association.  Savova lectures refugee and immigration law at the Krastio Tsonchev Centre for lawyers’ training of the Supreme Bar Council.

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    Valentina Nilsen

    Attorney-at-law

    Valentina Nilsen has been attorney-at-law in the legal protection of refugees and migrants program since 1999 and is responsible for conducting monitoring of legal standards in the administrative proceedings for granting international protection. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University for National and World Economy and has specialized refugee law at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

    Georgi Voynov

    Attorney-at-law

          

    Dimitar Slavov

    Attorney-at-law

          

    Адв. Елена Кръстева

    Елена Кръстева е адвокат към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2017 г. Преди това е работила като юрист в Правната програма на БХК. Завършила е „Право“ в Юридическия факултет на Софийския университет „Св. Климент Охридски“.  Има специализации по основни права на човека и правата на жените. Член е на Адвокатска колегия – София.

    адв. Мариана Андреева

    Мариана Андреева е адвокат към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2001 г. и в това си качество осъществява дейности по застъпничество и процесуално представителство по стратегически дела. Завършила е Юридическия факултет на СУ "Свети Климент Охридски" и има специализации по международна закрила на бежанците и презаселване към Европейския съвет за бежанци и изгнаници (ECRE) и Churches Commission for Migrants.

    адв. Мариана Николова

    Мариана Николова е адвокат към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 1999 г. и отговаря за наблюдението на роизводствата по предоставяне на международна закрила. Завършила е Юридическия факултет на Университета за национално и световно стопанство и има специализации по международна закрила на бежанците и основните права на мигрантите към UNICRI. Член на Сливенската адвокатска колегия.

    адв. Мартин Христов

    Мартин Христов е адвокат към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 1997 г. От 2016 г. отговаря за наблюдението на местата за задържане на чужденци и достъпа до производство по пердоставяне на международна закрила. Завършил е Висшия институт за подготовка на офицери и научно-изследователска дейност. Има специализации по производствата за определяне на държавата, отговорна за разглеждане на молба за закрила при Върховния комисариат за бежанците към ООН.

    адв. Пламен Божилов

    Пламен Божилов работи към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2006 г. като консултант по наблюдение на границите и достъпа до територия. Завършил е Юридическия факултет на Пловдивски университет „Паисий Хилендарски” – гр. Пловдив. Член на Ямболска адвокатска колегия от 2001 година.

    Plamen Zhelev

    Attorney-at-law

    Plamen Zhelev has been attorney-at-law in the legal protection of refugees and migrants program since 1997 and is responsible for the trial proceedings of refugee cases. He graduated from the Higher Institute for Instruction of Officers and Research. He has specialized in the proceedings of determining the state, responsible for reviewing the claim for protection before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Antoaneta Dedikova

    Deputy director of the program

    Antoaneta Dedikova is a legal advisor and deputy director of the legal protection of refugees and migrants program. She joined BHC in 2000. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the Moscow State University M. V. Lomonosov. She specialized in the issues of separated children and is the Bulgarian coordinator for Separated Children in Europe. She participates in national and international research projects on the right to healthcare of migrants and the basic standards during voluntary return.

    Адв. Борис Рафаилов

    Борис Рафаилов е адвокат към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2017 г. и в това си качество отговаря за съдебните производства по бежански дела. Завършил е Юридическия факултет на СУ "Свети Климент Охридски" и е специализирал в областта на регулиране на съобщенията. Работил като експерт в дирекция „Правна“ на Комисията по регулиране на съобщенията. Член на Софийската адвокатска колегия от 2014 г.

    Борислав Димитров

    Борислав Димитров работи към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от ноември 2017 г. като профайлър към центъра от закрит тип на Държавната агенция за бежанците. Завършил е Юридическия факултет на Софийския университет „Св. Климент Охридски”. По време на следването си работи като доброволец в инициативи, подпомагащи бежанци и мигранти.

    Елица Секулова

    Елица Секулова е счетоводител на Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти при БХК от 2005г. и отговаря за въпросите, свързани с административната и финансова отчетност и управление. Завършила е Факултета по счетоводство и контрол при Университета за национално и световно стопанство и има специализации по международните счетоводни стандарти (IASs).

    Елка Христова

    Елка Христова е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2017 г. Отговаря за Регистрационно-приемателния център в гр.София, кв. „Враждебна“. Завършила е Техническия университет – гр. София.

    Десислава Тянева

    Десислава Тянева е правен консултант към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2014 г. Отговаря за наблюдението на центъра за задържане на чужденци в гр. Любимец. Завършила е Юридическия факултет на Югозападния университет „Неофит Рилски” – гр. Благоевград.

    Дияна Христова

    Дияна Христова е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2014г. Отговаря за Регистрационно-приемателния център в гр.София, кв. „Овча купел“. Завършила е международни икономически отношения в Университета за национално и световно стопанство и публична администрация в Софийския университет „Св. Климент Охридски“.

    Здравко Иванов

    Здравко Иванов е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти и отговаря за Регистрационно-приемателния център в гр. Харманли. Завършил е стопанско управление/бизнес мениджмънт в Пловдивски университет  „Паисий Хилендарски” – гр.Пловдив. Става част от екипа през 2015 г.

    Зорница Чакърова

    Зорница Чакърова е правен консултант към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2015 г. Завършила е Юридическия факултет на Югозападния университет „Неофит Рилски” – гр. Благоевград.

    Катя Димитрова

    Катя Димитрова е правен консултант към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти. Завършила е Юридическия факултет на Варненския свободен университет „Черноризец Храбър“. Става част от екипа през 2013 г.

    Милен Христов

    Милен Христов е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2017 г. Отговаря за Регистрационно-приемателния център в гр. София, кв. „Военна Рампа“. Студент по право в Юридическия факултект на Нов български университет.

    Омедхан Ниязай

    Омедхан Ниязай е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти от 2017 г. и отговаря за Регистрационно-приемателния център в гр. Харманли. Завършва средно образование в Пакистан. Владее английски, пущунски, дари, фарси и урду езици.

    Христо Адамов

    Христо Адамов е профайлър към Програмата за правна защита на бежанци и мигранти и отговаря за Транзитния център – Пъстрогор. Завършил е Икономическия факултет на Аграрния университет – гр. Пловдив. Става част от екипа през 2016 г.
     

    Elitsa Sekulova

    Accountant

    Elitsa Sekulova has been an accountant in the legal protection of refugees and migrants program since 2005 and is responsible for administrative and financial book-keeping and management. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Accountancy and Control at the University for National and World Economy and holds international accountancy standards certifications (IASs).

  • Programming and Administration

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    Dessislava Simeonova

    Director of the program

    Dessislava Simeonova has been the director of the fundraising and administration program of BHC since 2008. Before that, she was the administrative director of the organization. She develops a broad base of support working with foundation partners and supporters and is also responsible for monitoring the committee’s various programs. Other than that, she has partaken in fact-finding missions in prisons, child and elderly care homes. Simeonova has contributed to research on Roma social inclusion and the operation of equality bodies. Since 2010, she has been a member of BHC’s general assembly and between 2009 and 2010 she sat on the jury for the annual Human of the Year award.

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    Северина Петкова

    касиер-счетоводител

    Северина Петкова работи в БХК като касиер-счетоводител от юли 2008 г. Северина има икономическо образование и магистърска степен по финанси от УНСС - София. Има интереси в сферата на финансите и международните отношения.