Information for unaccompanied children
Instructions about actions taken by the state authorities when identifying unaccompanied children from Ukraine on the boarder or territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
- “Unaccompanied” is a minor or minor foreigner who is on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and is not accompanied by his parent or another adult who is responsible for him under Bulgarian law or custom.
- People responsible under the law for an unaccompanied minor or minor alien outside the parents are the guardians or trustees, appointed or appointed by an act of a competent authority under the law of the respective state.
- Persons responsible by custom for an unaccompanied minor or minor alien are adult relatives in the ascending line without limitation in degrees (grandparents, great-grandparents, great-grandparents), as well as adult relatives in the lateral line up to and including the third degree (brother, sister) , uncle, aunt, uncle and uncle).
The following actions shall be taken against the minor or minor citizens of Ukraine entering or entering the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian, but are entrusted and accompanied by another relative or close friend:
Admission to the country
Admission to the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is allowed to minors arriving from Ukraine, in the presence of an identity document – passport, domestic passport, identity card or birth certificate and any other available document proving the identity of the child. , regardless of whether the child is accompanied by a parent, guardian or custodian within the meaning of Bulgarian law (unaccompanied child).
The access of unaccompanied children to the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is ensured in view of their best interests and their right to request and receive temporary protection in the Bulgarian state.
- In cases where the child is accompanied by an adult relative who is not a parent or guardian, or by another close family member to whom the child has been entrusted by a parent or guardian, this circumstance should be verified either by presentation of a power of attorney by a parent, or, in the absence of a power of attorney – by filling in and submitting by the accompanying person a sample declaration to the border / police officers to take responsibility and care for the child.
- Border / police officers should make sure that the child has actually been entrusted to the accompanying persons and that they are acting in his or her best interests.
- Border / police officers should indicate to the accompanying adult that they should submit the declaration of care immediately upon arrival at the address of destination in the Republic of Bulgaria to the Child Protection Department of the relevant Social Assistance Directorate.
- Border / police officers should inform the child and the accompanying adult about the possibility to immediately register for temporary protection in the Republic of Bulgaria. If the child and the accompanying person state that they wish this registration, they register immediately and the child is registered separately and issued a separate registration card to an unaccompanied minor / minor alien who has been granted temporary protection.
- In case of doubt about the relationship between the accompanying adult and the child and the observance of his / her best interests, border / police officers should immediately inform the Child Protection Department of the relevant Social Assistance Directorate in the area of the police authority (Border Crossing Stations/district police department) and to take actions under Art. 63k of the Regulations for application of the Law on Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Actions of the child protection departments at the social assistance directorate
- When submitting a declaration by an accompanying child or receiving a signal for a child located on the territory of a DSP, the employees of the CPD-DSP should undertake a social survey and assessment of the child’s situation.
- In case it is established that it is in the best interest of the child to stay with the accompanying adult, by the order of art. 26 of the Child Protection Act by order of the director of the respective NSP the child is temporarily accommodated by administrative order at the accompanying adult person at the address indicated by that person.
- The necessary legal actions for the protection of the child’s personal rights related to his health, education and civil status, as well as for the issuance of identity documents are carried out by the relevant DSP until the court rules on the placement of the child with the companion (Art. 137, paragraph 5 of the Family Code). These actions can also be performed by the attendant after confirmation by the court of the temporary accommodation order issued by the director of the DSP (Article 137, paragraph 4 of the Family Code).
- If it is established that the child does not have accompanying adults who have the opportunity and agree to take care of him, or if they do not meet the conditions for this, proceed to the placement of the child outside the family within the meaning of the Law on child protection and PPZCHRB. After the placement, the necessary legal actions for exercising the rights of the child shall be carried out by the persons under art. 137 or art. 173 of the Family Code. In case it is established that it is in the best interest of the child to be registered for temporary protection or the child explicitly wishes to do so, the respective NSP at his / her location shall organize his / her registration for temporary protection.
- If it is established that the child has unknown or deceased parents, after the registration for temporary protection should proceed to the establishment of guardianship and trusteeship by the mayor of the municipality of the child’s location under Article 155 of the Family Code, unless the child is accommodated in a social service for children. In such a case the necessary legal actions for protection and exercise of the rights of the child shall be carried out by the persons under art. 137 or art. 173 of the Family Code.
Guidelines for action in case of an unaccompanied child displaced from Ukraine, located at a border checkpoint, checkpoint (initial reception points), Migration Directorate, Regional Police Department or SAR registration center / place
A police body / State agency for refugees official who has found an unaccompanied foreign child from Ukraine located on the territory of a border checkpoint, checkpoint, Migration Directorate, Regional Police Department (RPD) or State agency for refugees registration centre / place should immediately notify / submitted a signal to the Social Assistance Directorate at the current address / residence of the child.
Directly involved in the activities and measures for child protection is the Department for Child Protection at the NSP – a structure of the Social Assistance Agency. The main function of the Social Assistance Directorate is the implementation of the current practical activities for child protection in the municipality. The signal can be received by the Social Assistance Directorate in writing or orally.
Measures for protection outside the family shall be taken against the unaccompanied child in accordance with the Child Protection Act. In cases where the establishment has taken place on weekends and holidays, joint actions (Ministry of the Interior Affairs and Social Assistance Directorate) are taken to provide police protection and accommodation in a social service for residential care. Police protection is an emergency measure that is provided within 48 hours and when the child is: the object of crime or is in imminent danger to his life or health, as well as when there is a danger that he may be involved in a crime; lost or helpless; left unattended. The specialised bodies of the Ministry of the Interior Affairs can place the child in social services for residential care, and if necessary he will be provided with security.
Upon receipt of a signal in the Social Assistance Directorate for an unaccompanied child, the police authority / State agency for refugees official who found the unaccompanied child should provide the necessary assistance for the verification and evaluation of the signal.
The Social Assistance Directorate., as a child protection body at the local level, undertakes the following activities and measures for unaccompanied children from Ukraine after assessing the child’s risk, situation and interest:
- Counselling services – pedagogical, psychological and legal assistance and social support;
- Accommodation in the family of relatives or friends / granting financial assistance;
- Accommodation in a foster family;
- Accommodation in a social service for resident or integrated health and social service for resident care – as a last resort.
The placement of a child in a family of relatives or friends, in a foster family and in a social or integrated health and social service for residential care is carried out by order of the director of the Social Assistance Directorate at the current address of the child.
In cases where the unaccompanied child is accompanied by persons close to the family who are “charged” with parental functions by the children’s biological parents, this commitment of the persons concerned should be documented by completing a declaration of responsibility and care for the child. The declaration must indicate the address / place of residence, where it will be possible to conduct a subsequent social survey and assessment of the situation of the child from DSP. In these cases, work is done in the direction of placing the child “with a relative”.
The Family Code (SC) contains provisions concerning the legal status of the person with whom the child is placed. The basic regulation is in art. 137 of the Family Code “Special cases of representation and care” and is expressed in the performance by the persons caring for the child of all those actions from the content of parental authority to guarantee the rights and protect the interests of the child. The persons with whom the child is placed in court shall perform the necessary legal actions to protect the personal rights of the child related to his / her health, education and civil status. Upon placement of the child by administrative order under Art. 27 of the Child Protection Act, the actions are carried out by the Social Assistance Directorate.
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