20th Anniversary of the ISHR Belarus — Commemorative events held in Brest

(22.01.2017) Commemorative events and an annual election report conference were held in Brest, Belarus on the International Day of Human Rights, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Republican Public Association for Human Rights (ISHR Belarus).

The anniversary event was attended by the founders and members of the organization, as well as representatives from other public organizations and by local authorities, social activists, scientists, journalists, educators, and writers. All participants summed up the activities of the Belarusian section of the ISHR for the period of 1996–2016, and discussed the problem of increasing the effectiveness of human rights institutions. They introduced the book “The Belarusian section of the International Society for Human Rights — 20 years” which was published for the anniversary as the contribution of the chairman of the organization, Professor Ivan Kotlyar.

The handbook was presented to the founders and activists of the organization, and was mailed to the address of the Permanent Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly for Human Rights, as well as to the National Relations and Mass Media office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations (Belarus). It was also sent to additional institutions, scientists, and experts in the field of human rights and reporters.

Photo: Mr. Leonov (left) and Prof. Kotlyar (right) award a letter of thanks to Ms. Baydakova, an activist of the ISHR Belarus

Photo: During the presentation of the jubilee book “The Belarusian section of the International Society for Human Rights – 20 years” 

Additionally, an election report conference was held on December 10. Its delegates summed up the results of its work over the past three years, and approved the outline of the main activities for coming years of 2017–2019. There was also a discussion regarding several provisions of the Inter-Ministerial Plan for the implementation of the recommendations adopted by the Republic of Belarus, on the basis of the passage of the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Recommendations addressed to the Republic of Belarus by the human rights treaty bodies on the 2016–2019 years approved by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (the decree №860 issued on October 25, 2016) were also formulated.

The ISHR Belarus resolved to assist in the implementation of the plan, with the contribution to the points of that involve the participation of public organizations.

The election report conference elected the new board and the audit committee. Prof. Ivan Kotlyar was re-elected as the chairman of the board, Fedor Leonov, who is a pro-rector of the Grodno State Agrarian University, was elected as deputy chairman, and Olga Ratsuk, a teacher at the Brest gymnasium #6, was elected as the executive secretary.

Furthermore, a round table discussion on the theme “On the way to cognition, protection and realization of human rights” was held as part of the commemorative events, and the board of the ISHR Belarus awarded the most outstanding activists with certificates and letters of thanks.

Pavel Pernikau 

ISHR Belarus