Activists of the non-governmental organizations of Belarus launch a plan of action aiming to amend the legislation on public associations.
This is the information provided by the NGO Assembly portal www.belngo.info. The round-table meeting that discussed this plan occurred on 19 March. It made yet another step of the Belarusian NGOs toward protecting their interests – Our Solidarity.
We'd like to remind you that on 10 January last year they started broad discussions of the proposals of amending the public associations legislation within the Our Solidarity campaign launched by the NGO Assembly in 2003. At the round-table discussion on 19 March, conclusions were made regarding the elaboration of the public activists' requirements on the legislation and on the law-makers.
As regards changes to the legislation, the activists got the backing of the democratic deputies of the local soviets. It is believed that today first appeals will be made to the current deputies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, and applications will be sent in, requesting meeting with law-makers. Public activists guided by the analysis of the Belarusian legislation argue that "the current legislation is an obstacle preventing citizens from exercising their right of association in Belarus, and is in conflict with the international human rights undertakings of our country".
Civil sector representatives have pointed out several options of restoring the right of association in Belarus. They include: bringing the currently employed enforcement procedures in line with the effective legislation, removing provisions that prevent creation and activity of civil associations. The file attached below will give you an idea of the appeal to the deputies of the House of Representatives.
Also, the civil sector activists decided to ask the Constitutional Court to use all of the powers it has to restore the legal safeguards guaranteeing the right of association for the citizens of Belarus. Participants of the round-table discussion appealed to the international structures requesting assistance in the cause of getting the legal climate for the Belarusian NGOs liberalized, and of bringing the demands to the attention of the country's government.
The conclusions of the campaign aimed to initiate changes in the public associations legislation of Belarus will be made at the beginning of summer after the results of the personal meetings with the deputies of the House of Representatives and the written appeals to the law-makers and to the Constitutional Court have been reviewed.