Translating and interpreting the needs and requests of asylum seekers and aiding the communicating between UNHCR and PoCs
Mission and objectives
UNHCR Bulgaria assists the authorities and civil society organisations working directly or indirectly on the protection of refugees and supports the further development of the national protection system within the ever-evolving pan-European asylum system. On July 22, 1993, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria concluded a formal agreement under which the UNHCR's mandate in the country was launched. Previously, in the post-1990 period, around 20 people were granted status under the UNHCR mandate, through a procedure in which interviews were conducted by the Bulgarian Red Cross and status determination was carried out at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. Historically, the Bulgarian people are known for their traditional sense of hospitality and asylum to persecuted persons from other countries. At the beginning of the 20th century, people banished from Armenia, Russia and Eastern Thrace, as well as people from countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, fleeing repression during the anti-colonial and liberation struggle after the 1950s, were found refuge. Bulgaria laid the legislative foundations for the protection of refugees with the ratification of the 1951 Geneva Convention and the New York Protocol thereto in 1967 with the publication of the relevant texts in the State Gazette No 88 of 15 October 1993. In 2008 Bulgaria, together with Romania, joined the UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe. Today, the Regional Representation for Central Europe covers 7 countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The role of UNHCR in Bulgaria is to support, advise and advocate partnership with governments and NGOs to ensure: Effective access for asylum seekers to EU terr
Russia began an invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014. It is the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II. the conflict forced millions of people to flee and seek asylum in neighboring countries. The situation is very fluid and changing by the hour. It is impossible to have an exact overview of the displacement, but we believe that over a million people may be displaced inside the country and more than 1.7 million refugees have already crossed the international borders. The figure continues to rise and thousands of persons of concern on the territory of Bulgaria require urgent support.
The volunteers will need to perform the aforementioned tasks, namely translating and interpreting the needs and requests of asylum seekers towards UNHCR staff, UNHCR implementing partners, and local authorities staff (if needed), mainly through online communication (video and audio calls, messaging and other), which could be realized through a variety of communication platforms like Microsoft Teams or Skype, WhatsApp etc. The volunteers will, most likely, be engaged in such online communication during various hours of the day. It is quite difficult to predict when asylum seekers require our help. Sometimes, it is within the confines of the working day while we are monitoring SCTAFs and RRCs. Other times, however, they would contact us via WhatsApp or even in late evening hours. For this reason we are aiming to establish a pool of interpreting volunteers, so that we could obtain service at a mutual convenience.