Human rights defenders present The Universal Periodic Review of Belarus

On February, 11 2010  Belarusian human rights defenders presented The Universal Periodic Review of Belarus (UPR)*. The data for the review was gathered in August-October 2009 by a group of Belarusian NGOs and passed to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in November, 2009.   

The UPR is a new mechanism within the UN Human Rights Council. In its framework the Council plans to hold regular reviews of the implementation by 192 states-members of the UNO of their responsibilities in human rights area. The UPR aims to improve the human rights situation in all United Nations member States. It assesses whether countries fulfill their human rights obligations and commitments and addresses human rights violations wherever they occur.

The following organizations prepared The Universal Periodic Review Belarus: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), “Viasna” Human Rights Center, Assembly of Belarusian Pro-Democratic Non-Governmental Organizations  and Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions. 

*The review is carried out on the grounds of three core documents.

The first one is the national report. It contains information, prepared by the state. There one can find data on the normative and institutional frames of human rights defense, on the implementation of international obligations in human rights area, the implementation of the national legislation and voluntary obligations; one can also find information about the national priorities and initiatives for the improvement of situation with the human rights, as well as the expectations of the state about the potential build-up and technical aid requests. The Council supports the information search and preparation by means of wide consultations on the national level with the participation of all the stakeholders.

The second document provides information, prepared by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This information is gathered from the reports of the conventional bodies, special procedures and other corresponding UNO agencies.

The third one- is a resume of the supplementary "reliable and safe" information, provided by other stakeholders, for example, NGOs, national human rights organizations, trade unions, religious groups. This resume is prepared by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as well.