Human Rights Activists Demand to Abolish Forced State Assignment of Graduates
This year 65 criminal cases have been brought against the high school graduates who failed to get to the places of work assignment. The present legislation treats such behavior as evasion from duties and demands from the people to pay off the costs that had been already spent by the state for their education. The numbers differ, but in general it is about 3-5 thousand US dollars, the average wage being about 200 dollars.
This situation made the members of the republican human rights organization Belarusian Helsinki Committee apply to the Constitutional Court.
‘We need to know whether the obligatory state assignment of the graduates who receive free education at the state high schools corresponds to the Belarusian Constitution’, stated the human rights activists.
Their arguments are quite logical: ‘The Constitution guarantees to citizens the right to receive higher education free of charge. However, if you must either pay money to the state or work for two or three years at a place to which you have been directed, it is no free education! Then it is necessary to either amend the Constitution to abolish this right, or liquidate the obligatory assignment,’ comment the BHC lawyers.
Besides, according to them, the forced assignment to the place of work can be considered as a kind of forced labor. Belarus is one of the signers of the ILO Convention #105 Concerning the Abolition of Forced Labor. In this case Belarus violates the convention.
Do Belarus’ neighbors have forced assignment?
No, there is no such practice in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. In Russia and Ukraine forced assignment exists only for graduates of special high schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Bureau and Ministry of Emergency Situations. But, those who enter these universities are well aware where they will have to work and what kind of specialists they will become.