Judgment concerning Bulgaria

Human Rights building
28/11/23

In the case of Krachunova v. Bulgaria the Court held that there had been a violation of the prohibition of slavery and forced labour.

The case concerned the applicant’s attempts to obtain compensation for the earnings from sex work that her trafficker had taken from her. The Bulgarian courts had refused compensation, stating she had been engaged in prostitution and returning the earnings from that would be contrary to “good morals”.

The Court held that States had an obligation to enable victims of trafficking to claim compensation for lost earnings from traffickers, and that the Bulgarian authorities had failed to balance the applicant’s right to make such a claim with the interests of the community, who were unlikely to find the payment of compensation in such a situation immoral.

This was the first time that the ECHR had found that a trafficking victim had a right to seek compensation in respect of pecuniary damage from her trafficker.

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