Bulgaria Moves Up To Tier 2 in This Year’s State Department Report on Trafficking in Persons

For Immediate Release – June 29, 2018

Report Recommends Further Steps Needed

On June 28, 2018 U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo released the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in Washington, DC. As required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the TIP Report assesses governments around the world on their efforts to combat modern slavery. The 18th annual TIP Report includes assessments of 187 countries and territories, including the United States.

This year’s report finds that in 2017 the Bulgarian government demonstrated significant efforts compared to the previous reporting period and therefore Bulgaria was upgraded to Tier 2.  Specifically, the Bulgarian government demonstrated increasing efforts by allocating more funding for victim services and opening two new Sofia trafficking victim facilities, including a crisis center for child victims. Authorities identified more victims and convicted more traffickers. The government also approved a five-year national anti-trafficking strategy for 2017-2021.

The Embassy of the United States congratulates the Bulgarian government on efforts begun to meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking in persons.  The Embassy notes that sustained and further efforts are needed in order for Bulgaria to maintain a Tier 2 ranking, and notes that specific goals and objectives are recommended in the report to further the Government of Bulgaria’s anti-trafficking efforts over the next year, including prison terms for traffickers, further prosecution efforts, and increased financial support for anti-trafficking activities.

The U.S. Embassy in Sofia looks forward to continued partnership with Bulgarian authorities on further, sustained efforts needed to combat modern slavery.  Human trafficking undermines rule of law, robs victims of dignity and freedom, enriches transnational criminals and terrorists, and threatens public safety and national security everywhere.

The 2018 Trafficking in Persons report can be found on the U.S. Embassy Sofia website at: https://bg.usembassy.gov/