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The Many Faces of Forced Labour in Belarus
On 12 July 2017, a Maladzečna District court tried two teachers for the death of 13-year old high school student Viktoryja Papčenia. Viktoryja died tragically last September under the wheels of a truck while harvesting potatoes for a local agricultural...
2 June 2015
Chinese Investment, Forgotten Vitebsk, Forced Labour Hunger Strike – Western Press Digest

As Lukashenka tries to improve ties with his Western counterparts, questions arise as to the merits of this thaw in relations for both parties. Despite the conciliatory tone of US and EU officials, their representatives at the UN Human...

30 December 2014
Lukashenka’s Decree No. 5: A New Blow to Belarusian Workers

On 15 December 2014, Belarusian President Lukashenka signed decree No. 5 "On Strengthening the Requirements for Managers and Employees of Organisations". The decree comes as an unpleasant New Year's gift for working people and the latest step in a general...

27 December 2013
Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk: Authorities Struggle With Challenges

The World Ice Hockey Championship will take place in Minsk on 9-25 May. Although not as extensive as those for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, preparation for this major sporting event is riddled with abuses and misteps. Belarusian authorities are accused of using...

9 November 2013
Will Christian Values Unite the Belarusian Opposition?

In recent months, two political prisoners, Źmicier Daškievič and Paval Seviaryniec, completed their incarceration and compulsory labour terms. Both promote Christian politics and are going to keep on struggling with the regime in the upcoming 2014 and 2015 elections. Belarus remains the least religious country...

13 December 2012
Why Belarusians Refuse to Work in Agriculture

Post-Soviet mass discourse often portrays Belarus as a country of villagers. A big deal of that comes from the image of president Lukashenka himself. He has been director of a farm in Eastern Belarus before going into high politics and is famous for...

12 December 2012
The New Serfdom in Belarus

The Belarusian government is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. It finds it more and more difficult to perform its daily tasks without resorting to administrative force. This is the major implication of the unprecedented decree that Alexander Lukashenka signed on 7 December. The...

11 October 2011
Belarusians Forced to Work on Weekends

At 10 am last Saturday an official "subbotnik" began for millions of Belarusians. The word "subbotnik" comes from the Russian "subbota" and means a Saturday of unpaid work for community needs. Subbotniks trace their history back to 1919 when...