Human rights defenders in favor of equality and prevention of discrimination
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Network for Equality and Non-Discrimination in Belarus arranged on July 22 an international round table discussion entitled “Concepts of anti-discrimination legislation in Belarus”. More than 20 human rights defenders, journalists and civil society activists participated in the roundtable, novychas.info reports.
Natallia Kutuzava, an expert of the Network, presented the situation of discrimination in Belarus in 2013-2014. According to the survey, the period was marked by a great need for the adoption of specific legislation in Belarus, which could be an effective tool to prevent and respond to manifestations of direct and indirect discrimination against members of certain social groups.
Among other things, the study found greater frequency of using hate speech in the Belarusian media against LGBT people and people with disabilities.
Human rights experts from the UK, Estonia and Ukraine shared the experience of adoption and application of anti-discrimination laws in their countries. The discussion touched upon their terminology, mechanisms and institutions for protection against discrimination, as well as the possibility of applying existing international experience in the conditions of Belarus.
The event also focused on the need to develop a clear motivational base for making anti-discrimination legislation in order to launch a nation-wide dialogue with the participation of representatives of government and civil society.
Human rights activists called on the Belarusian journalists to contribute to the advocacy of anti-discrimination legislation in Belarus so that the Belarusian society could become more protected against acts of hatred and humiliation in relation to each individual.