The report that was submitted to Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights contains the assessment of human rights situation in Belarus.
The report has been prepared by the following organizations: RHRPA "Belarusian Helsinki Committee", HRC "Viasna", "Legal Transformations Center", Assembly of Democratic NGOs of Belarus, RPA Belarusian Association of Journalists, RPA "Legal Initiative", Committee “Salidarnasc”, Initiative "For Free Religion", Office of the rights of persons with disabilities, Belarusian Documentation Centre, Belarusian Human Rights House named after B. Zvozsky.
Universal periodic review (UPR), which Belarus is passing now, is a relatively new (it has been working since 2006) mechanism of the Human Rights Council, that assesses the degree in which each of 192 country-members of the UNO implements its international human rights obligations. UPR is aimed at the improvement of human rights situation "locally", facilitation of implementation of state obligations in the field of human rights, and improvement of each state's potential in human rights protection. Human rights situation in each state is examined every four and a half years.
The review is based on three key documents.
The first one is the information prepared by the state. The national report includes information about national and institutional frames of human rights protection; information about implementation of international obligations in the area of human rights, national legislation, and voluntary commitments; national priorities and initiatives aimed at the overcoming of problems and improvement of human rights situation; expectations of the state in terms of build-up of potential, and requests for technical aid.
The second one is a compilation of information prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This information is taken from the reports of treaty bodies, special procedures and other relevant UN bodies.
The third one is the summary of additional "trustworthy and reliable information” provided by other interested parties, e.g. NGOs, national human rights organizations, trade unions, religious groups. This summary is also prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Belarus passed the first UPR cycle in 2010. Belarusian NGOs submitted their report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for that stage as well; state report was also submitted, and consultations between the human rights activists and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were held as well.
The first UPR cycle resulted in 93 recommendations, provided by international community to Belarus to improve its human rights situation. 55 recommendations were supported by the country at once (in May 2010). 2 more recommendations were found to be acceptable, 1 recommendation was found to be partly acceptable, 15 recommendations were declared to be implemented, 1 recommendation was declared to be in the process of implementation, and 19 recommendations were declared to be unacceptable in September 2010.
In spring 2014 Belarusian NGOs prepared their report concerning the process of implementation of these recommendations. National consultations on the same topic were held with representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, public organizations and associations upon the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UN / UNDP Office in Minsk.
The second cycle of the UPR is scheduled for May 2015. Belarus has to demonstrate progress in the field of human rights, taking into account the recommendations adopted during the first cycle. NGOs submitted their report to the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the run-up of the start of the UPR.
State report has to be submitted not later than January 19th, 2015.