We are pleased to announce the start of a new three-year project, “Building effective advocacy mechanisms to better protect the rights of children with severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions in Belarus”. The project will be implemented with financial support from the European Union.
A UK-based charity, we will work together with four local partners: the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, the Mogilev branch of the Belarusian Children’s Fund, the association of parents with prematurely born children RANO, and the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Together with these influential and well-respected NGOs we will provide direct support to the most vulnerable children and families in all six Belarusian regions. We aim to reach at least 1,200 severely disabled and terminally ill children living with their families, and 300 children living in state care in closed residential institutions.
The main goal of this project is to protect and promote the fundamental human rights of one of the most vulnerable groups in Belarusian society – children with severe disabilities and children with life-limiting conditions. This aligns with the main objectives of the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child, guided by the four general principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, child participation, and the right to life, survival and development.
The project will focus on providing advocacy and legal support to families, engaging and empowering parents as advocates for the rights of their children, and developing early intervention and support services for new families. We will also develop a national monitoring system to ensure that the needs and rights of children living in state institutions are recognised and protected, and that “No one is left behind”.
As part of this project we will provide training and create better networking opportunities for local activists, specialists, NGOs and the media, in order to unite individual efforts to strengthen their capacity for human rights advocacy. We believe that by the end of the project the technical and organisational capacity of palliative care services in Belarus will be greatly improved, and the rights of children with severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions will be recognized throghout the country. Our objective is to have, in three years, a strong nationwide network of skilled regional advocates, local organisations and parent-led groups, who will use and promote the model of rights-based support mechanisms developed during this project.
The project partners are currently in the process of registering with the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Belarus.