Human Rights for Dummies, Belarusian Collegium - Belarus Civil Society Digest

A new project from "Human Rights for Dummies" campaign started recently. The Centre for European Transformation invites individuals for a series of analytical seminars. BEROC and the British Embassy in Minsk organise a student school for young economists.

Human rights

Human Rights for Dummies. On 16 September activists of the “Human Rights for Dummies” campaign presented a new project - the human rights school “Pcholka”. The event was attended by students from law faculties, journalists and volunteers of the human rights center “Viasna”. The human rights school “Pcholka” is organised with the support of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, Legal Transformation Centre Lawtrend and others. The project is aimed at young people under 35 years old who took part in human rights programmes before and want to deepen their knowledge in this sphere.

State-appointed expert labels Ales Bialiatski’s book as dangerous for the state. Ales Bialiatski’s book "Enlightened by Belarusianness" ("Asvechanyia Belaruschunai") "could damage the image of the Republic of Belarus”, reports the results of an expert examination ordered by the Ashmiany customs department. 40 copies of the book were confiscated from human rights defender Tatsiana Reviaka on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border on 3 July this year.

Lawtrend Digest. The Legal Transformation Centre Lawtrend and EuroBelarus released the sixth issue the Digest of international news on Human Rights. Release covers the July-August 2013 and includes a Belarus’ report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, decisions of the UN Committee on Human Rights on Belarus, a Russian version of the EU report by Justas Paleckis and other documents.

Seminars and lectures

Belarusian Collegium announces a new round of studies. Belarusian Collegium is a non-governmental platform for public lectures and discussions as well as a place for intellectual and cultural dialogue. The Collegium offers education in journalism, contemporary history and philosophy/literature. Senior students or persons with higher education are invited to participate. The classes are free of charge.

EuroCafe lectures in Minsk. On 7 September a public lecture by Professor Timm Beichelt "Germany and the EU face to face with its eastern neighbours" took place in the Minsk TUT.by gallery. The lecture was organised for the "European Café: open space in Europe" project. 80 people attended the event.

The Third BEROC School for Students. Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Centre (BEROC) in cooperation with the British Embassy Minsk will organise the Third School for Students on Modern Economics and Economic Research to be held in Minsk in September-December 2013. Among the lectures there are BEROC economists who have obtained PhD both from leading Belarusian universities and abroad, as well as a visiting professor. The working language of the school is English. Participation in the School is free of charge.

School of environmental lawyers. The Green Alliance invites senior students of law to participate in the legal service training of the Green Alliance. The series of trainings will address issues related to environmental law and developing strategies to protect it.

CET analytical seminars. The Centre for European Transformation opens a series of regular analytical seminars. Participants will analyse the situation in Belarus, to offer guidance and action strategies for cultural and political actors. The first seminar was held on 17 September. The lecturer is Head of CET, Andrei Yahorau.

Campaigns and projects

Belarusian politicians at Press Club Belarus. On 9 September Press Club Belarus in Warsaw hosted the initiators of the "People's referendum" Alexander Milinkevich, Uladzimir Niaklajeu, Andrei Dmitriev, and Yuri Gubarevich. At the Press Club Belarusian politicians spoke about the results of a meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski which earlier took place, as well as their vision of the situation in Belarus, the capacity of the "People's referendum", etc.  The Press Club Belarus was established by the Solidarity with Belarus Information Office in 2011.

Mova ci Kava gathered more 100 people. On 16 September the first session of the second season of the Belarusian language courses “Mova ci Kava” (Language or Coffee) brought together more than 110 people. About half of the participants were new students. The place and time of the classes have not changed - every Monday at the Minsk Gallery "Ў". The courses were started in late 2012 by a Belarusian journalist Katerina Kibalchich.

New student think tank. On 17 September in Minsk, a new student think tank - the Analytical Laboratory at the Centre for Student Initiatives Development - presented its activity and prospective work. The Analytical laboratory plans to focus on the study of the issues of higher education and student self-government in Belarus. The Laboratory will conduct research and develops policy papers, as well as organise public events on topical issues of the student movement and the academic community.

Belarus Future. Portal newspeak.by invites individuals to participate in the project "Belarus' Future" under the campaign "Citizens' Club." Belarus' Future is a project aimed at discussing which transformations are needed for Belarusian society, and how to implement them in practice. The organisers will select the best participants who offer the most profound, reasonable and attractive concept of transformation in Belarus.

Call for start-up battleBEL.BIZ, a coordinator of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Belarus, invites ambitious projects to take a stab at the Battle of pitches, which is to be held on 21 November 2013 at the 3rd International Entrepreneurship Forum. BEL.BIZ BATTLE is a competition aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and promoting a “start-up culture" in Belarus. The finalists will go on to the Baltic Bay Area Startup Roadshow.

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.

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