Best Belarusian think tanks, death penalty, tourism accessibility - civil society digest
Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum (KEF) opens registration. Helsinki Committee and Danish Institute for Human Rights roll out the Human Rights and Business country guide for Belarus.
BRC presents results of the 2nd Think Tank Rating – BEROC ranks top. Sixth International Congress of Belarusian Studies takes place in Kaunas, 500 participants attend. Human rights groups hold a Week Against Death Penalty in Belarus. Regular BNP conference is scheduled in Minsk for late October. United Way launches a service to generate NGO registration documents. The state registered 53 new NGOs during the first six months of 2016.
This and more in the new edition of civil society digest.
Think tanks and academia
Belarusian Research Council (BRC) presents the results of the 2nd rating of think tanks. The first place went to Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center BEROC; the second – to Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) and the third – to the expert community Nashe Mnenie/ Our Opinion. The rating assesses the think tanks on three components: organisational capacity, information outreach and analytical and research activities.
Sixth International Congress of Belarusian Studies took place in Kaunas. The Congress was held on 7-9 October and gathered around 500 participants. This is the largest annual meeting of Belarusian and foreign experts, which are involved in studying Belarus. The event is organised since 2010 by independent think tanks, including Political Sphere Institute, EuroBelarus Consortium, BISS.
Cooperation of public and private sectors
KEF opens registration. Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum/October Economic Forum, KEF is to be held for the fourth time on 3-4 November in Minsk and gather experts for a professional dialogue on Belarus’ sustainable development within the context of global economic development. KEF is organised by the Research Centre IPM in association with BEROC and CASE Belarus. The topic of this year is state-owned enterprises' restructuring.
Half of the places in Public Advisory Councils go to the private sector. The government of Belarus has adopted a decree #802 stimulating public advisory councils at state bodies to the true work. The number of representatives of state bodies shall be not more than a half of the total number of a council. The opinion of state bodies will be considered on a par with the position of the business community, as well as other council members.
Kastryčnicky Kirmaš. On 21 October nonprofit agency Your Tomorrow invites on the Kastryčnicky Kirmash/ The October Fair - an event where employers will be able to get acquainted with the highly educated and talented young people. Agency Your Tomorrow was created to use the potential of young Belarusians, who graduated the international educational programs.
A new beginning for human rights and business in Belarus. The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), together with the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), created an easy to use a guide on the human rights and business situation in Belarus. The guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the ways in which companies do or may impact human rights in Belarus.
Week Against the Death Penalty. On 5 October the Human Rights Centre Viasna and FIDH presented a joint report on the death penalty in Belarus. This is the central event in a series of activities arranged in the framework of the Week Against the Death Penalty, which is held annually by the Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus on 5-10 October.
Eduard Paĺčys is a political prisoner. On 5 October, Belarusian human rights organisations issued a joint statement regarding the politically motivated prosecution of blogger Eduard Paĺčys, editor of the 1863x.com website, and called him a political prisoner. Paĺčys is accused of committing criminal crimes on incitement to racial, national or religious enmity and distribution of pornographic materials.
Belarus launches a tourism accessibility campaign. The initiative announced by the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, aims at promoting the right of persons with disabilities for equal participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. It is expected that up to 30 public facilities will be adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. The project is funded by the EU with the budget of 1.111 million euro.
9th call of humanitarian program Meeting Place: Dialogue. The program is implemented by the Understanding International NGO and funded by the German Federal Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future. The program aims at social support of citizens who suffered from Nazi persecution during WWII, as well as other members of the war generation. The project budget can be 5K-20K euros per year. Deadline is 30 November.
News of NGOs
Conference of the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) of the EaP Civil Society Forum is to be held on 22 October in Minsk. The conference aims at the adoption of regular reports, election of the Coordinating Committee, and discussion of the action plan for 2016. For the first time, the conference plans to discuss the contribution of organisations-participants to the activities of the BNP.
United Way launches a service to generate CSO registration documents. Ngo.by portal suggests a free service for Belarusian CSOs – a system of generation of official documents required for the creation of a CSO. By filling out a few lines with an actual data, users receive a complete registration package. The system generates documents using statutes and protocols of the registered CSOs.
53 newly-established NGOs were registered during the first six months of 2016. For the same period, authorities also registered 1 trade union, 2 unions of NGOs, and 5 local funds. As of 1 July 2016, as many as 2,695 NGOs and 41,327 NGO organisational structures were on the record. According to the Ministry of Justice of Belarus, majority of the NGOs are engaged in physical training and sports (722).
DzedLINE in Minsk. Belarusian public association of elderly and Gallery TUT.BY start a series of events called DzedLINE/Granddad LINE. The program aims to raise public awareness and talk in a clear language about what aging is, when it starts, and whether it is possible to slow down the aging. The first event will take place on 12 October. The aging topic is also raised in a photo fashion-project about active seniors.
Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.