Human Rights House Foundation insists on appointment of UN Rapporteur on Belarus
In a joint report, the Belarusian Human Rights House and the Human Rights House Foundation underline the lack of willingness by the Belarusian authorities to fully cooperate with the United Nations human rights system. The report also stresses the consequences.
In their report, the Belarusian Human Rights House and the Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) highlight that the Republic of Belarus on one hand is a proud founding member of the United Nations and that on another hand the Belarusian Government denounces the institution and its human rights mechanisms as being politicized and dismisses United Nations' conclusions in regard to the human rights situation in Belarus.
“The United Nations human rights system is ever more important for the Belarusian population than for any other European state, since Belarus is the only European state that is not a member of the Council of Europe,” said Anna Gerasimova, Director of the Belarusian Human Rights House. One does not enjoy the protection under the European Convention on Human Rights when living in Belarus. Hence, cases of human rights violations in Belarus cannot be brought before the European Court of Human Rights.
“In cases of lack of cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, the Human Rights Council needs to act. Unfortunately, in such cases, the Council only has a very limited mandate for action, mainly the establishment of a mandate of a special rapporteur reporting on the particular country situation,” underlined Florian Irminger, HRHF's Head of International Advocacy and Geneva Office.
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus will be able to report on human rights violations, assist victims, build capacity within Belarusian civil society and media, and cooperate with government officials if they are willing to do so. It will increase the attention given by the United Nations to the situation in Belarus and act as a focal point on human rights in Belarus. This need is indeed increased by Belarus’s lack of cooperation.
The present report gives an in-depth look into the qualitative side of the cooperation of Belarus with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. Cooperation is assessed from the perspective of the results achieved in the country, the recommendations implemented by the member state, the reaction to critics in the country by the government of the member state, and the general attitude of government officials towards the United Nations and international human rights law.