European Youth Forum fights for youth rights in Belarus

A condemnation of the situation in Belarus and a demand to improve human rights for the sake of the young people

, by European Youth Forum (YFJ)

European Youth Forum fights for youth rights in Belarus

For many years, the Belarusian government has been known to be repressive and undemocratic. Issues of human rights violations, including the right to freedom of association, have been repeatedly raised by the international community. For just as many years the European Youth Forum has been keen to condemn the actions of the administration in Belarus and has formulated and evolved a series of demands aimed at improving the everyday lives and the development of young Belarusians.

In 2006, a resolution ’against human rights violations and persecutions of democratic youth organisations in Belarus’ was adopted by the European Youth Forum. The resolution condemned the situation of persistent human rights violations in Belarus by the Belarusian Government committed before, during and after the presidential elections in the country. In 2006 the Youth Forum demanded that the Government of Belarus stop politically motivated arrests and detentions of independent journalists, opposition candidates and their supporters and human rights defenders, as well as the constant prosecution of constitutional rights of young people to freedom of association, freedom of choice and self-definition that takes place in Belarus on a regular basis.

In its 2006 resolution, the European Youth Forum also placed an emphasis on sharing the concerns of all young people and students across Europe on this direct attack on the fundamentals of democracy that is being demonstrated through violations of constitutional rights of young people to freedom of associations, freedom of choice and self-definition that are taking place in Belarus on a regular basis, and offered the solidarity of its member organisations.

The European Youth Forum has been keen to condemn the actions of the administration in Belarus.

The Youth Forum was also keen to raise awareness on the members of RADA who actively took part in the life of the Belarusian society prior to and after the elections who were imprisoned for their actions (altogether there were about 500 young people arrested).

The resolution concluded that RADA, a full member of the European Youth Forum, and the only recognised partner in Belarus, should work with the Forum to continue lobbying and raise awareness of the situation in Belarus towards the EU and encouraged meeting with the representatives of EU bodies responsible for youth work. A need for a strong drive to strengthen lobbying actions towards the UN and its relevant agencies to develop and implement effective programmes for young people and children of the Republic of Belarus was also identified. Finally a more specific call for the facilitation of visa issuing for young people and activists of Belarusian NGOs and to initiate the process of creating a foundation to support democratic youth NGOs in Belarus was also referenced in closing remarks of the resolution.

At it’s General Assembly in Rotterdam in 2008, the Youth Forum once again deemed it vital to ratify a resolution on the situation in Belarus. The European Youth Forum was highly concerned that despite Belarus remaining excluded from the political processes within Europe, some European Union countries began abandoning the existing policy of isolation and started a dialogue with the Lukashenko government. Members of the European Youth Forum agreed that as atmosphere of fear still remained in Belarus, the forum would make the demands; the penal responsibility for acting in the name of non-registered organisations should be abolished, the decision of the former UN Human Rights Committee, which states that the Republic of Belarus has violated the right to freedom of association in respect of at least associations liquidated should be executed, the law-enabling practice in line with international standards, international commitments taken and the national legislation should be created and free access to the programmes, projects and resources of international funds and organisations should be allowed.

Youth Forum Resolutions:

http://youthforum.org/en/node/281

http://youthforum.org/en/node/837

Image: Belarusian flags, source: covilha www.flickr.com

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