The liquidation of the MHG is part of the systematic policy of the Russian authorities to suppress critical voices and eliminate independent civil society against the background of the aggressive war, started by Russia against Ukraine. These repressive actions are gaining momentum and include the persecution by the Russian authorities of other leading Russian human rights organisations such as the liquidation of the International Society “Memorial” and Human Rights Center “Memorial”, the imposition of huge fines and the seizure of the property of “Memorial” and the Sakharov Center, a significant tightening of the legislation on ”foreign agents“ at the end of last year, etc. // 30.01.2023
On 16 December 2022 Ekaterina Kouznetsova, an expert of the "Fifth Republic" project and international lawyer, met for an interview with human rights defender and chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak. This conversation was the last for the Belarusian lawyer - on the same day Aleh Hulak unexpectedly passed away at the age of 56. In his last public interview he explains whether human rights can be a subject of political debate, whether they should become the basis of the philosophy of the new Belarus, and whether it is possible to build a healthy society in a country where the term “human rights” has become an invective. // 20.01.2023
By the assessment of the BHC, such actions of the Belarusian authorities violate Article 2 of ILO Convention No. 87, which provides that workers have the right to establish organizations of their own choice without prior permission and the right to join such organizations, and Article 11, which provides that the state undertakes to take all necessary and appropriate measures to guarantee workers and employers the right to participate in trade unions. Finally, such treatment violates the right to freedom of association, including the right to form and join trade unions, as provided for in article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. // 11.01.2023
It is noteworthy that on November 8, 2022, the International Labor Organization (ILO) decided to apply Article 33 of the ILO Constitution to Belarus due to systematic violations against workers and trade unions and disregard of ILO recommendations for more than 17 years. This is only the second case in the more than 100-year history of the ILO after the application of such extreme measures to Myanmar in 2000, which once again emphasizes the exceptional gravity of violations of trade union rights by the Belarusian authorities. // 08.01.2023
This post was created to shortly discuss some of the important things that have been done in the past year, as well as to thank our partners, experts, interns, and volunteers.