Belarus Report - Exec Summary (E)

Thursday, 28 November, 2013

Half an Hour to Spring: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Belarus is published by The Equal Rights Trust (ERT), in partnership with the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC). This addition to the ERT Country Report Series is the first ever comprehensive account of discrimination and inequalities on all grounds and in all areas of life in Belarus. It is based on extensive field research and rigorous analysis of legislation and policies, and makes a set of recommendations to the Belarusian authorities on the necessary reforms to law, policy and practice on equality and non-discrimination.

This report reveals a complex picture: considered by many to be Europe?s last dictatorship, Belarus carries forward from its Soviet past a claim to be a state for the people and a model of tolerance. The report finds significant evidence of discrimination on grounds of religion, ethnicity, language and political opinion, against those associated with heterodox views of the country's future. Yet it also finds evidence of a range of policies aimed at accelerating progress towards equality for women, persons with disabilities, and other groups traditionally exposed to discrimination. The report concludes that this hybrid between a social state and an authoritarian polity is ultimately hostile to the realisation of equality as a human right.

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