Childhood in the Roma neigbourhood – 1

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, by courts, administrative or legislative bodies. States Parties undertake to provide the child with such protection and care as it is necessary for their well-being, taking into account the rights and obligations of their parents, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for him/her, and for this objective they take all necessary legislative and administrative measures. (Article 3)

States parties to the Convention recognize the right of every child to a standard of living that meets the needs of his physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

States parties to the convention, in accordance with national conditions and within their capabilities, take the necessary measures to assist parents and other persons responsible for the child to exercise this right and, in case of need, provide material assistance and support programs, especially regarding food, clothing and housing. (Article 27)

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the two optional protocols have been ratified by the Republic of Bulgaria and, according to the Constitution, constitute part of the country’s internal law.

According to international and national law, children have the right to the best possible standard of living that meets the needs of their physical, mental and spiritual development. These photographs show the reality of the life of children in the Roma neighborhood in the city of Blagoevgrad.

Author: Ioana Velichkova, 12th grade student, EG “Acad. L. Stoyanov” from Blagoevgrad


Reflection Questions:

1/ Find texts from the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria and from the Child Protection Act that refer to the child’s right to a good standard of living, a clean environment, development and well-being.

2/ What are the barriers to improving the living standards of some children in the country? Why are the parents of some children and the state unable to cope with this task?