Belarus is putting itself aside of the international community

In a joint report, the Belarusian Human Rights House and the Human Rights House Foundation, the Civic Solidarity Platform members, underline the lack of willingness by the Belarusian authorities to fully cooperate with the United Nations human rights system.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 politicised 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.  Cooperation with the United Nations human rights system must be based on the genuine willingness and good faith to use international mechanism to advance human rights in a certain country, in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. Willingness and good faith is what is today lacking in Belarus’s engagement with the United Nations. “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. HRHF Geneva Office Photo by Alyaksandr Vasjukovich, Vitebsk, August 2011: Uladzislau Kavalyou's mother looks at her son's portrait. Uladzislau Kavalyou was sentenced to death for participation in plotting the terrorist act in Minsk metro on 11 April 2011, which caused the death of 15 people. The sentence was carried out in March 2012