Sofia, Bulgaria: A survey was being conducted which showed that there are more than 220,000 Bulgarians who have not made their identity documents. Hence, these citizens are not getting access to health and other social facilities.
The survey was being conducted as part of the National Advocacy Campaign “The Invisibles We See”. A significant number of these individuals in Bulgaria include the ones who never made their identity documents, and others are the ones who are not able to renew their documents.
Snezhana Kostadinova – the author of the conducted study, asserted, “The groups are quite large, about 100,000 and another 123,000, respectively, which was a surprise for most people, including us. To get a document, you need an address registration; in order to have an address registration, you must either have a document for home ownership or the individual who sheltered you, fill out a declaration, to agree and express a will and your consent that you can register there”.
This number of Bulgarians with no identity documents witnessed a hike in the last ten years, hence losing their civic identity.
Meanwhile, the coordinator Luba Batenberg in a statement speaking on the matter, stated, “You are well aware that the identity document is both a right and an obligation. If you do not contain an identity document, you cannot sign an employment contract; therefore, you are not eligible to pay taxes; at the same time, you can’t go to a doctor, you don’t have access to health services, you can’t enrol to university, you may have problems registering your child with a GP”.
As per the experts, to reduce this number, a law on civil registration must be enacted along with a change in the ordinance on the functioning of unified civil registration. Sharing her view on this, Kostadinova added, “Or, in fact, to provide some kind of business address at the municipal level, which serves for these purposes the citizens who are not able to provide for themselves. Simultaneously, according to the law on civil registration, this address serves some services for the citizens; therefore, the municipality cannot just give an address”.