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Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considers report of Bulgaria

Committee to the United Nations on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considers report of Bulgaria Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights                                             20 November 2012


The Committee to the United Nations on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today considered the combined fourth and fifth periodic report of Bulgaria on that country’s implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Committee Experts inquired about the reasons for which Bulgaria was holding out on the ratification of a number of international instruments, including the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant.

One Expert wondered about the impact of the economic and financial crisis on the State’s budget and about the measures taken to mitigate negative consequences for the most vulnerable social groups. The strategy for equal opportunities for persons with disabilities had been in place since 2007 and Experts asked about its impact on the employment of persons with disabilities in both the public and private sectors. Other issues raised included unemployment, especially chronic and youth unemployment; measures to address trafficking in persons and regional cooperation to combat it; the strategy to address the phenomenon of feminization of poverty; and policies adopted with regard to housing, particularly low-cost housing.

Questions from Experts

ROCIO BARAHONA RIERA, Committee Rapporteur for the Report of Bulgaria, commended Bulgaria for ratifying a number of human rights instruments and asked about the reasons for which Bulgaria had not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of Migrants and the International Labour Organization Convention on Indigenous Peoples.

What was the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on the State’s budget and what measures were being taken to mitigate it?

The progress in the area of gender equality was commendable, said the Country Rapporteur and asked about the national legal framework for the protection of women’s rights and the strategy to address the phenomenon of feminization of poverty.

What was the minimum pension for the elderly and did it allow them to enjoy a decent standard of living?

What policies were adopted in terms of housing, particularly low-cost housing?

The figures for maternal mortality were still high and there was a need to understand why.

What specific programmes in the Government economic policies were being designed to help disadvantaged people?

Another Expert took up the issue of Bulgaria’s reasons to postpone the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and asked about the establishment and the workings of the Working Group to study this ratification. Turning to the National Commission for Protection against Discrimination of Bulgaria, Experts asked how many of the Commissioners were women or belonged to minorities and requested disaggregated data on the people who had actually used the Commission’s services in 2011. There was no separate legislation on gender equality in Bulgaria, all the provisions were included in the general Anti-discrimination Act; what was being done to change gender role stereotypes in the society?

The delegation was asked about specific programmes for refugees and asylum-seekers in Bulgaria; the National Commission for Anti-Discrimination, who could bring a case before it and the binding nature of its decisions; accreditation of the national human rights institution with the Paris Principles; and anti-discrimination measures, particularly with regard to Roma, and the role of mediator. At whom was the hate speech crime directed and what was the genesis of this crime?

What were the new grounds for discrimination introduced in the amended Penal Code? More information was requested about cases in which the National Strategy for Gender Equality was applied and what was its overall success; and the existing obstacles to the integration of the Roma people and Turkish communities.

Response by the Delegation Continue reading

Human rights values

Human rights have intrinsic values but also instrumental values in terms of driving development: the realisation of rights directly increases human development, which builds capacity (such as knowledge or good health) that in turn enables people to better claim other rights.*

Recognition and implementation of universal human rights can be seen both as a goal and a driver of human development.**

Human rights have intrinsic value, and achieving them is seen as an objective in its own right. But human rights are also a critical factor for the long-term sustainability of development.***


*Source: Clark, D.A. (2005), The Capability Approach: Its Development, Critiques and Recent Advances. GPRG-WPS-032, Global Poverty Research Group, University of Manchester, UK.

**Conflict and fragility analysis – © OECD 2011

***OECD DAC Action-oriented Paper on Human Rights and Development (2007)

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