January 2003 - present
town of Ruse, Bulgaria, on the border with Romania, lies
along one of Eastern Europe’s most popular human
trafficking routes. To serve this population so heavily
affected by trafficking, five local Bulgarian NGOs are
teaming up with BEPS on a pilot project using education
to combat child prostitution and trafficking in and around
this border city.
The project, launched in January of 2003, aims to raise youth, parent,
teacher, and local authority awareness about the dangers of prostitution
and trafficking. The project also seeks to improve the retention of economically
disadvantaged students, particularly ethnic minorities, through teacher
training and summer programs, and to provide vocational training, job
counseling, and life skills classes for at-risk youth. The development
of a model for the collection of data on child prostitution and trafficking
is also being considered.
The Women’s Alliance for Development, the Step by Step Program,
the Society for Neglected Children, the Open Society Club-Ruse, and the
United Nations Association are collaborating locally on the project.