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Human Rights

Belarus traditionally oppose the politicization of human rights, considering that an integrated approach to all categories of human rights and liberties, civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights should be the basis of international cooperation in the field of human rights.

All human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and complementary. Approach to all categories of human rights should have the same attitude and emphasis. 

Belarus’ approach to human rights issues, their place in present-day world is reflected in the article «Human Rights: What and Who Made Them Divide the World?» by Minister of Foreign Affairs V.Makei.

The President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the 26th session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (July 5, 2017, Minsk) stated: “The elaboration of the first in the history of independent Belarus National Human Rights Action Plan has become the most important element of systemic ensuring of the entire complex of citizens' rights and freedoms”.

International efforts to promote and protect human rights should be based on the principles of cooperation, equity and mutually respectful dialogue being aimed at strengthening national efforts of UN member states to implement their obligations in the field of human rights. 

Belarus and Universal Periodic Review

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, which represents an integrated and comprehensive overview of the situation with human rights in all countries of the world. 

Belarus passed the second UPR cycle in May 2015. This cycle is distinguished by significant increase of the number of recommendations for all countries. The Republic of Belarus received a total of 259 recommendations and accepted 168 relating to the whole range of human rights obligations and took note of 91. The National Human Rights Action Plan contains specific activities for successful implementation of UPR recommendations. 

The Republic of Belarus’ report consideration under the 3rd cycle of the UPR is scheduled in spring 2020.

Implementation of international human rights instruments 

Belarus being one of the founding members of the United Nations is a party to most international human rights instruments, including the six major human rights treaties: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2016 Belarus ratified Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  

Fulfilling its international obligations as a state party of these human rights treaties Belarus submits for consideration by the UN treaty bodies (bodies created in accordance with international human rights instruments) national periodic reports. In recent years the following reports have been submitted:

Combined Third and Fourth Periodic Reports on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (submitted in November 2008, considered by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in January 2011). Following the consideration of the report, the Committee made concluding observations. A fifth periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child has been prepared.

Fifth Periodic Report on the Implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (submitted in December 2015 and will be considered by the Committee Against Torture in April 2018). Following the consideration of the previous report, the Committee made concluding observations.

Fifth periodic report on the implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (submitted in March 2017 and will be considered by the UN Human Rights Committee in November 2018).

Eight Periodic Report on the Implementation of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (submitted in May 2016, considered by the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women in October 2017). Following the consideration of the report, the Committee made concluding observations.

Combined Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Periodic Reports on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (submitted in November 2010, considered by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in November 2013). Following the consideration of the report, the Committee made concluding observations.

Combined Twenty and Twenty One Periodic Reports on the Implementation of the International Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (submitted in June 2016, considered by the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination in November 2017). Following the consideration of the report, the Committee made concluding observations.

First report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities shall be presented in December 2018.

In addition, in 2015 Belarus updated its Common Core Document as a part of national periodic reports which reflects the overall situation in Belarus in the field of human rights.