Representatives of Belarussian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak and Dzmitry Charnych have taken part in expert consultations on «Reporting in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: the fifth periodic report of the Republic of Belarus». The consultations were organized upon the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Country Team in Belarus.
Belarus is a membering country of Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). UN Human Right Committee was established to monitor ICCPR execution by membering countries. It consists of 18 independent experts. All membering countries are obliged to provide progress reports on the state of rights specified by ICCPR. The Committee scrutinizes each report, formulates opinions and recommendations and shares them in form of finalized remarks with each membering country.
Belarus provided its fifth periodic report in April 2017. The report gives answers to the series of questions, formulated by the Committee and andressed to the country in the context of preparation to forthcoming dialogue (document CCPR/C/BLR/5). The previous report was presented by Belarus to UN Human Right Committee in 1997. Despite the fact that periodic reports are created by the states, which bear the responsibility of ICCPR implementation, treaty bodies, including UN Human Right Committee do welcome reports from civil society organizations, national human rights institutions and UN system bodies. These stakeholders have an ability to provide information to appropriate committees on different stages of reporting.
On practice both processes of reporting (of the states and of the other members) usually do not intersect and are not coordinated between themselves. The consultations provided by experts will form the platform for opinions' exchange between state bodies and CSOs on the questions reflected in the fifth periodic Belarusian report to UN Human Right Committee. This platform will also be used for the examination of progressive international experience in context of reporting process to treaty bodies.
Consultations will contribute to implemenation process of Interdepartmental plan on realisation of recommendations accepted by Belarus. Part of recommenations was formulated according to the results of the second universal periodical overview at United Nations Human Rights Council, the other part was addressed to Belarus by human rights treaty bodies for the years of 2016 – 2019. The plan is approved by Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus decree №860, October 24 2016.
During the Consultations the representatives of Belarussian Helsinki Committee have taken the floor on the topics of "Practice of preparation of alternative human rights reports to UN Committee" and "Presentation of the concept of equality and non-discrimination legal system". The speakers have generalized the experience and described the nuances of Belarussian system.