Receiving or Rejecting Refugees?
AUBG graduates have a tendency to come back to their alma mater to be nostalgic, take a look on how the campus has changed or give lectures. Radostina Pavlova, alumna from the class of 1999, visited BAC on Dec. 4 to share her knowledge about the issue of immigration in Bulgaria.
For several years, Pavlova worked in media and advertising in Sofia. Then she moved to Canada to pursue a master’s degree in Russian and East European studies as well as immigration and settlement studies. Pavlova also holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto. Later she worked there as a Policy Analyst and a Program Adviser at the Federal Department for Citizenship and Immigration. She mentioned that policy was something that she was interested in, and she decided to specialize on immigration because “a very few people have an actual understanding on the basis of how it works: who is an immigrant, who is legal, who is illegal, how you become a citizen, and what you get when you are a refugee,” Pavlova said.
Maria Altergot, a second-year AUBG student, said, “It is an important question: on the one hand we shall remain humane and provide help to those in need. On the other hand, there still remains the problem of illegal immigration, so mechanisms aimed at controlling the flows of people need to be implemented.”
Nowadays, Pavlova works in a Center for Legal Aid in Sofia providing legal consultations to immigrants, primarily to asylum seekers. During her lecture, Pavlova introduced the legal framework internationally, focusing on several conventions and directives, and nationally, focusing on the law on asylum and refugees. She also shared the steps for claiming a refugee status in Bulgaria, talked about the changes in legislation, mentioned two examples where the population showed hostility toward the refugees, and provided current statistics regarding refugee flows.
The lecture was organized by BLIMUN 2015 team to help future participants do the research and prepare for the conference. During this year’s event, the topic for the human rights council will be: “Refugees: the issue of security and integration.”
“The lecture gave an excellent insight of the issue of refugees and its political, social and legal implications.” Nelly Ovcharova, President of BLIMUN 2015, said. “It offered very interesting up-to-date information that provoked questions and discussion in the end. Radostina posed very interesting questions that will definitely be focus of the committee throughout the conference and that we hope they will manage to find resolutions for.”