This is the first issue of the Academic bulletin “Refugees: Тoday and Тomorrow”. It aims to provide up-to-date information on various aspects of the forced migration phenomenon, including international standards of refugee protection; information about the asylum systems in Bulgaria and Europe; integration opportunities and practices for refugees, from one hand, and the political, economic and social consequences for host communities, on the other. The bulletin will contain data and statistics; brief legal explanations of the international protection regime; information on the activities of institutions and non-governmental organizations that support refugees in Bulgaria; interviews with field experts, lecturers; information about academic initiatives and published articles related to the topic, refugee stories, calls for conferences and publications, etc. The bulletin is published by the Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants within the project ‘Advocacy for the Integration of the Refugees in Bulgaria’ financially supported by the Representation of UNHCR in Bulgaria.
The topic of the first issue of the bulletin provides a brief overview of what happened in 2019 for those who are seeking or have received international protection in Bulgaria. The interest of the academic community on the forced migration topic is reflected through a short list of articles published in 2019. At the same time, a significant place in the issue is given to the COVID-19 pandemic, the measures taken by both institutions and non-governmental organizations in Bulgaria. Furthermore, the basic principles enshrined in the international and Bulgarian legislation regarding the access to territory and to procedure for the international protection for refugees are outlined. We also tell the personal story of a young refugee from Afghanistan who found a new home in Bulgaria. The first issue of the bulletin is enriched with welcome words by representatives of UNHCR, the State Agency for Refugees, and leading professors. The issue also presents two master’s programmes addressing refugees and migrations, as well as other opportunities and academic horizons. Last but not least, the first issue of the bulletin opens the door to the refugee situation in Greece and how the pandemic there evolves against the background of the existing humanitarian crisis.
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