[Bulgaria] The National Network for Children is protecting the rights of children detained in custody

15 Jan 2019
National Network for Children

The National Network for Children in Bulgaria condemned the statements of the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Evgeni Stoyanov during a morning talk show on the TV channel bTV. Mr. Stoyanov had insinuated that children detained by the law may be deprived of the "right of a third party to be immediately informed of their detention". According to Mr. Stoyanov, this is acceptable, as the detained children were not "obedient [or] good". The National Network for Children, bringing together 152 organizations, condemned this speech as unprofessional, showing incompetence on the part of the political leadership of the Ministry of Justice in regard to child justice issues and worthy of resignation.

The National Network for Children supported the decision of the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to veto the voted changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which deprive the parents of a child detained in custody of the possibility of being informed about his detention for 24 hours. A decision that is in direct conflict with the understanding of the rights of the child and the need for policies that would guarantee them. International standards strongly support the basic procedural right of a child under custody for his/her legal guardian be informed of his/her detention. This right aims to reduce the risk of torture or violence against the child, and allows the child to challenge the lawfulness of the detention. It also makes it easier for the parent, guardian or other relative to make sure that the detained child has access to a lawyer and medical assistance.

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