OSCE major meeting to discuss human rights situation in Belarus ahead of elections
The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Europe’s largest annual human rights and democracy conference, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), is taking place in Warsaw, Poland, from 16 to 27 September.
The OSCE Conference agenda features a side-event with the participation of representatives of the Belarusian civil society.
On September 26, the Belarusian non-governmental organizations will brief European policy-makers on the human rights situation in Belarus on the eve of the parliamentary elections set for November 17.
The discussion entitled “Civil Society and Human Rights in Belarus on the Eve of Parliamentary Elections” is organized by the Assembly of Democratic NGOs of Belarus in cooperation with the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, the Legal Transformation Center Lawtrend, and the Committee Salidarnasc. As expected, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Belarus Ms. Anaïs Marin will join the debate.
The event will take place on September 26 from 1:30 to 2:30 at the Warsaw National Stadium (PGE Narodowy). The venue is located at the following address: Aleja Poniatowskiego 1, GATE 1, 2nd floor.
During the presentation, representatives of Belarusian NGOs will assess the recent legislative changes relating to freedom of assembly, freedom of association, combatting extremist, strengthening measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing targeting non-governmental organizations, scheduled changes to the laws on public associations and political parties, as well as mitigation of responsibility for the activities of unregistered organizations.
The domestic coalition of election observers “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” will present their report on the first stages of the elections. The participants will also share their opinions on the progress of the Interagency Plan to implement the recommendations addressed to the Republic of Belarus within the UN mechanisms (known as the National Human Rights Plan). There will also be an exchange of views on the preparation for the upcoming third round of the Universal Periodic Review of Belarus, which is scheduled for May 2020.
The Belarusian NGOs are expected to present their latest monitoring report “Changes in the Legal Environment for NGOs and Freedom of Association in Belarus,” which covers the first half of 2019.
The day before, the forum will host another discussion on the situation in Belarus, which is organized by the Belarusian House in Warsaw (September 23, 8:15 am).