National LGBTI Legal Program

Project facts

Project promoter:
LGBT Youth Organization Deystvie(BG)
Project Number:
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:

More information


Bulgaria is at the bottom of the list in Europe in terms of protection of the rights of LGBTI people. Discrimination is institutionalized and the Penal Code does not recognize hate crimes against LGBTI people. The lack of political will to overcome the problem result not only in widespread homophobia and transphobia but also to politically incited hate speech which has led to an increase in hate crimes against LGBTI in the last year. The latter situation further results in closing of the LGBTI community and internalization of homophobia, failure to report out of fear of secondary discrimination and consequent self-isolation from social life of dozens of LGBTI people. The project aims at setting up National LGBTI Legal Programme covering the 5 district cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas and Veliko Tarnovo.  The project will contribute to solving the issue through empowerment of the LGBTI community and providing them with a direct access to legal aid from professionals in the field of LGBTI rights. Litigation leads to official national statistics and reporting of an existing problem which in turn will bring about legislative changes and improve the life of LGBTI people in Bulgaria. The target groups and direct users are civil society organizations (directly: 40 NGOs, indirectly: up to 200 NGOs); lawyers (directly: 5 lawyers, indirectly: 100); LGBTI community (directly: 300, indirectly: 5000)

Summary of project results

National LGBTI Legal Programme project builds the platform that provides information on cases of discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTI people, facilitates the process of reporting to the institutions, as well as the process of obtaining legal assistance. 200 hours of legal counselling were provided to LGBTI people, and 53 cases were filed to increase LGBTI people''s access to free legal aid and information on their rights. 30 awareness-raising events were held with the LGBTI community, lawyers, and the NGO sector.
11 personal stories of people who received legal counselling through the Legal Programme were collected and the "The Courage to Be" book was published in Bulgarian and English to mobilise the LGBTI community to report and take legal actions. Two short films on human rights ("The Second Mother" and "#HubavaRabota") were disseminated to raise awareness of the problems that LGBTI people face and their human rights violated on a daily basis.
A human rights event, Sofia Human Rights Forum, was organized, aimed at the general public and aimed at encouraging the presence of a wide number of human rights advocates such as NGOs, citizens, ambassadors, businesses, national and European politicians, local and national government, administration, police, judges, etc., where 20 memorable performances were presented in support of the protection of human rights in Bulgaria. 

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