Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) is an independent non-governmental organisation for the protection of human rights, established in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1992.
The objectives of the BHC are to promote respect for the human rights of every individual, including children, women, LGBTI persons, asylum seekers, ethnic and religious minorities and people with intellectual and mental health disabilities; to stimulate legislative reform to bring Bulgarian legislation in line with international human rights standards; to trigger public debate on human rights issues; to carry out advocacy for the protection of human rights; and to popularise and make widely available human rights instruments.
BHC is comprised of five programs: the Legal Defense Programme, the Monitoring and Research Programme, the Legal Protection of Refugees and Migrants programme, the Campaigns and Communications Programme and the Programming and Administration Programme.
The backbone of the committee's activities is systematic monitoring of the human rights situation in the country. It gives us information on the state and development of human rights in the country and supplies our legal defense program with cases of human rights violations for litigation before the domestic and international courts. In addition, the committee reports on human rights violations with a special emphasis on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, refugees and asylum-seekers, rights of the child, protection from torture and ill-treatment, freedom of expression and association, problems of the criminal justice system.
The BHC offers free legal help to the victims of human rights abuses. The committee also works in the sphere of human rights education, organises conferences, workshops, public actions and other forms of public activities aimed at bringing the concept of human rights to the attention of the general public. Part of this effort is the annual Human of the Year award for contribution to and promotion of human rights in Bulgaria.
In addition, BHC publishes an Annual Human Rights Report, special thematic reports and the monthly magazine Obektiv offering in-depth analysis on current political and social issues, interviews and cultural critique.
Tel.: +359 2 943 4876, +359 2 944 0670, +3592 943 4405