Hunt or Be Hunted
Bulgaria is the geographic and political center of the European migrant crisis, which has the Bulgarian citizenry uneasy about its security. Bulgaria’s societal disdain for Middle Eastern migrants stems from hundreds of years of subjugation and non-Muslim Bulgarians’ second-class citizenship under the Ottoman Empire. Roving bands of civilian migrant hunters have begun taking the law into their own hands by capturing migrants and turning them over to the Bulgarian authorities for deportation. This Note discusses the illegality of such migrant hunting under Bulgarian domestic law. It then discusses how the impunity enjoyed by migrant hunters is an abdication of Bulgarian and European Union human rights obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, it offers a three-tiered solution that seeks to achieve justice for those wronged, assist in societal reconciliation, and ensure that Bulgaria and the European Union take their human rights obligations seriously.