Tax Freedom Day, Monitoring of Belarusian Students' Rights - Belarus Civil Society Digest

How much Belarusians work for the state and for themselves? – Liberal Club presents its findings in a special report. Student Council wants to monitor violations of the rights of students at the Belarusian universities.

Belarusian House (Poland) offers Belarusian unregistered or deprived of registration NGOs to register in Poland. Local festivals boom in Belarus.

New Initiatives

Tax Freedom Day in Belarus. On 6 June for the first time in Belarus Liberal Club presentes a research Belarus Tax Freedom Day 2014 Report. The study shows how many days a year the Belarusian society and every individual citizen work for the state, and when they begin to work for themselves. The study is performed according to the internationally recognised methodology that in an easy and clear way answer the most important questions about taxes and the tax system.

Citizens to organise local fests in Minsk. After the local festival At Grusheuka held on 1 May the activity of citizens hasn't been over: now Grusheuka every Sunday held a meeting of local residents. Moreover, the idea to hold such festivals are picked up by residents of the other three Minsk districts - Uruchcha, Malinouka and Slepianka. Now organisers of the Grusheuka fest are developing the web site grad.by, which is to collect contact data of active people - those who are willing to change Minsk for the better.

Online monitoring of violations of the rights of students in universities. Youth human rights group Student Council launches online monitoring, where each student who confronted the violation of students' rights can post information about it and mark the violation on the map. Monitoring results with the analysis of violations will be periodically posted on the organisation's website. To assist in gathering information, students need to fill an online application-form in the Internet.

Time to clean up! action. A large multimedia actions is to be held in Gomel dedicated to World Environment Day. The organisers are Gomel Democratic Forum and community sdelaem2012gomel. Anyone is invited to join the action on 7 June and removes garbage in any territory where it is needed. Also a participant is suggested to text sms with data about his/her location and the code word #chisto. A clear place is to appear on the map chisto.gdf.su - this should provide a picture how many people are involved in the action.

Monologue of Master Project is producing and posting at its website a collection of short documentaries that aspire to sketch out artistic and psychological portraits of some of the unique figures in traditional crafts, who live and work in Belarus today. Thus, the project aims to contribute to development of tourist trade in the country. The project is promoted and implemented as part of Budzma culture campaign.

Gender Component in a Project Proposal workshop. On 26 June a program Belarus-EU by the Office for a Democratic Belarus invites to take part in the workshop titled as Gender Component in a Project Proposal with a leading specialist, chairwoman of the Gender Perspectives NGO, Irina Alkhovka. During the event the representatives of NGOs and government agencies implementing or planning to implement international projects, will be able to verify whether a gender component is considered in their project applications.

Accessibility Week Goes On. Initiated by the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities, the Accessibility Week 2014 provides a space for a bunch of thematic events like a public discussion on universal design or a presentation of the city accessibility map in Zhytkavichy, Gomel oblast. Music Festival The Beatles invited all guests to try physical barriers faced by every person with a disability - everyone could use a wheelchair or wear masks and headphones to feel the related problems.

From the Life of Belarusian Civil Society

Registration of Belarusian NGOs in Poland. Belarusian House (Poland) offers Belarusian unregistered or deprived of registration NGOs to register in Poland. Belarusian House staff assists with registration documents and provides individual consultations on the activities of public associations and taxation in Poland. Organisers also compensate the costs of registration and both-way travel from Belarus to Poland. According to the belngo.info newsletter

Statement on signing of Belarus the treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC). The Belarusian National Platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum issued a statement where expressed a disagreement with signing by Alexander Lukashenka the EAEC Treaty – "The signing of the treaty causes significant harm to the national interests of the Republic of Belarus, as well as deprives our country some opportunities of geopolitical and civilisational choice, including more intensive and long-term oriented cooperation with the EU and using the potential of the Eastern Partnership".

Regular conference of the Belarusian National Platform (BNP) will take place on 21 June in Minsk. The conference is called "Belarus in conditions of regional crisis and stagnation of the Eastern Partnership" and aims to report of the Coordinating Committee for 2013-2014, discuss goals and future steps for the development of the BNP in today's difficult situation, etc. The conference can be attended by the BNP members, as well as other organisations (without the right for participation).

Educational Events

Week of educational events "Justice and People" to be held in Minsk. On 2-6 June the public campaign Non Mortal Penalty. Because We are People invited to the summer days of old movies in Belarusian, public lectures and round tables with experts. The Week aims to provide tools and neutral space where people can get complete information on the death penalty and non mortal, crime, justice, and decide what his/her true position on this issue.

IV Summer School of Flying University. In July, the Flying University holds summer school titled Shifts and Transformation of our Time: Challenges and Circumstances for the University and Society. This year Summer School is dedicated to understanding the social, cultural and humanitarian changes that occur in the world today. Deadline for applications is 10 June.

Academy of the First kicks off. In late May, the first session of the long term educational program Academy of the First gathered about 15 representatives of different CSOs - animal protection, cultural platforms, human rights defenders. The agenda includes educational sessions and implementation mini-projects to benefit a particular community or group. Youth Council RADA implements the course for the 14th time already.

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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