General legal framework

AuthorGenoveva Tisheva
2 General legal framework
2.1 Constitution
2.1.1 Constitutional ban on sex discrimination
The Bulgarian Constitution of 1991 prohibits sex discrimination, among other
discrimination grounds.
Article 6 of the Constitution7 addresses these issues. This provision proclaims that all
people are born f ree and equal in dignity and rights, and that all people are equal before
the law. No limitations or privileges are allowed based on race, nationality, ethnic origin,
sex, origin, religion, education, belief, political affiliation, personal and social status, or
property status.
2.1.2 Other constitutional protection of equality between men and women
Article 14 of th e Constitution stipulates that the family, maternity and children are under
the protection of the state and society.
Article 46 of the Constitution stipulates that spouses have equal right s and obligations in
the marriage and in the family. Marriage is a voluntary union between a man and a woman.
Another relevant provision is Article 47 of the Constitution, which declares that the care
for and education of children until they reach the age of majority repr esent a right and
obligation of their parents, with the support of t he state. Special protection is ensured for
mothers who are granted paid leave prior to an d after giving birth, free obstetric care, an
alleviation of working conditions and social assistance.
All citizens have the right to work and the state creates the conditions for the realisation
of this right. Everybody has the right to choose freely his/her profession and workplace.
Workers and employees have the right to safety and health at work, to the minimum wage
and to remuneration correspondent to the work implemented, as well as the right to a
break and a right to a period of leave under the conditions defined by law (Article 48).
Article 51 of the Constitution guarantees the right to social security and social assistance.
The provisions of the Constitution have direct/immediate and horizontal effect (Article 5
paragraph 2 of the Constitution).
2.2 Equal treatment legislation
Bulgaria has adopted a Law on Protection fro m Discrimination8 in force since 1 January
2004. The Law on Protection from Discrimination (LPFD) contains a prohibition of
discrimination on a broad range of grounds, includin g on the ground of sex. Besides a
prohibition of discrimination based on this gro und, the ban encompasses the grounds of
race, nationality, ethnicity, human genome, citizenship, origin, religion and b elief,
education, conviction, p olitical affiliation, personal or social status, disability, age, sexual
orientation, family status, property status, or any other ground, defined by law or in an
international treaty to which Bulgaria is a party (Article 4 paragraph 1 o f the LPFD).
7 Constitution of Bulgaria,   , S.G. No. 56/1991, Bulgarian version available at:
8 Law on Protection from Discrimination,     , S.G. No. 86/2003, in force
since 1 January 2004, last amended by S.G. 7/2018.

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