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Bulgaria: Advocacy skills for Roma rights

26 June 2024

From April 21st to 23rd, Fund IGA held an advocacy training in Varshets, Bulgaria, empowering 20 advocates from Montana, Pazardzhik, and Sliven to promote changes to Bulgaria’s Civil Registration Act. The project, funded by the MARIO programme, aims to ensure the right to personal identification for all citizens.

240,000 Roma people in Bulgaria lack personal ID documents. Without ID, they are excluded from public services, depriving them of access to many fundamental rights like participating in elections, and magnifiying the high levels of discrimination and marginalization they face.

To combat this, the ‘Fund IGA’ Foundation is advocating for amendments to the Civil Registration Act to facilitate the issuance of identity documents in Bulgaria to Roma individuals.

In April, they brought together twenty advocates from marginalized Roma communities across Bulgaria to participate in an advocacy training. They learnt about key advocacy topics including understanding the legislative process, developing effective advocacy strategies, building coalitions, conducting research and policy analysis and utilizing the media for advocacy efforts.

Post-training, these advocates are engaging in public discussions with marginalized communities, local authorities and institutions to promote the legal changes necessary for undocumented Roma to access personal identification. This project is funded by MRG’s MARIO programme. The ‘Fund IGA’ Foundation is an independent professional organization engaged in lowering crime and increasing social engagement rates. It was founded in 1998 in Pazardjik, Bulgaria as a non-governmental organization.

An advocacy training session for advocates from marginalized Roma communities across Bulgaria. Varshets, Bulgaria, 21-23 April 2024. Credit: Minority Rights Group.

This content is a guest post from one of our partner organizations about their work as part of our ‘Minorities, Accountability, Rights, Independence and Organisational Development’ (MARIO) programme. Learn more >

MARIO is funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-27) of the European Union (ref: 101091387).

Author(s)

‘Fund IGA’ Foundation