ENS Advisory Committee member, Cynthia Orchard (Legal Policy Officer at Asylum Aid), delivered a presentation on ‘Establishing Statelessness Determination Procedures – Key Elements and International Standards’ while representing ENS at a conference "Improving the identification and protection of stateless people in Bulgaria" organised by UNHCR in Sofia, Bulgaria on 24 November 2016.
Other speakers included Inge Sturkenboom of UNHCR’s Bureau for Europe, Professor Vesselin Tsankov, and Iulian Popov (Head of Asylum and Integration Directorate, Ministry of Interior, Republic of Moldova). The conference was moderated by Petya Karayaneva of UNHCR Bulgaria and benefitted from comments by various Bulgarian Government officials and Mathijs le Rutte, UNHCR’s Representative to Bulgaria.
UNHCR organised this conference to assist the Bulgarian Government as it establishes a statelessness determination procedure and to ensure that the Government has the information and support it needs to introduce an effective procedure. The conference came at a critical moment, when the Bulgarian Parliament was considering new legislation introducing the foundation for a statelessness determination procedure.
Representatives from various Bulgarian Government agencies attended, including the Migration Directorate, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Statistics Office, the President’s Office, and others. Representatives from local non-governmental organisations also attended, including Dr Valeria Ilareva of the Foundation for Access to Rights, our member organisation in Bulgaria.