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Bulgaria's Abandoned Children

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Bulgaria's Abandoned Children

Mogilino is a village in Ruse Province, northern Bulgaria. It became well known internationally after several reports about the institution for children with physical and mental disabilities. In 2007, the BBC showed the film "Bulgaria's Abandoned Children". The British public were deeply disturbed and started a petition to the Prime Minister to intervene and put pressure on EU institutions and the Bulgarian government to solve the problem. Many British, Bulgarian and international charities intensified their work effort to solve the problem with abandoned children in the country. The case of Mogilino resembles the campaign publicising the conditions in the Romanian orphanages in the early 1990s. Bulgaria has been criticised for having one of the highest numbers of children in state institutional care in the EU.The Molilino childrens institution finally closed on the 11th of October 2009 following further pressure from the BBC and EU.

On January 30, 2008, Bulgarian National Television presented its answer to the BBC documentary in the form of a documentary called Dom (House or Home). "It is not right that the whole of Europe be antagonised against Bulgaria because of a well-manipulated and skilfully edited documentary on a home being prepared to close down, such as Mogilino,” the makers said.

On the same day, Bulgarian Members of the European Parliament signed a declaration in which they called for "a common European policy on the upbringing and education of underprivileged children."

On February 22, 2008, Labour and Social Policy Minister Emilia Maslarova repeated a promise that the Mogilino home, along with six similar homes, would be closed .

At the initiative of Irish member of the European Parliament Kathy Sinnott, Kate Blewett's documentary was screened in the European Parliament on March 4 2008.

On June 27, 2008, The Sofia Echo reported that some of the children from the Mogilino home had been relocated to other homes around Bulgaria, and that the Agency for Social Assistance and UNICEF were working, ultimately, to close the home. 

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