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HRC41: Ensure scrutiny and meaningful cooperation on rights in Belarus

In a statement at HRC 41, HRHF calls on the UN Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus, support Belarus in implementing its recommendations from human rights treaty bodies, and encourage Belarus to expand on its meaningful cooperation with civil society.

We thank the Special Rapporteur on Belarus for her first report. Her findings relating to juvenile justice particularly deserve the attention of Belarus in relation to its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We ask the Rapporteur what recommendations she would give to Belarus on children deprived of their liberty?

The mandate for the Special Rapporteur on Belarus was created seven years ago. It came about as a response to widespread human rights violations in the context of national elections, including state-sponsored violence and arbitrary arrests, mass detentions and prosecutions.

There is concern within Belarusian civil society that upcoming Parliamentary and Presidential elections may again provide the backdrop for a crackdown on civil society and an increase in human rights violations.

We therefore strongly urge Belarus to provide assurances that it is putting in place safeguards to prevent such violations from occurring.

We also ask the Special Rapporteur what would be her recommendations to Belarus to safeguard against an increase in human rights violations during the upcoming elections?

We welcome modest steps taken by Belarus to follow up its review by the Human Rights Committee and Committee Against Torture. We urge Belarus to build on this by moving toward implementation of the recommendations it received by the Committees, and meaningfully involving civil society in this process.

We urge to the Human Rights Council to:

  1. Renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur
  2. Support Belarus in implementing their recommendations from human rights treaty bodies
  3. Encourage Belarus to expand on its meaningful cooperation with civil society.

Thumbnail photo: HRHF

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