Belarus

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2018

Not Available

Detained children

2018

9,400,000

Population

2020

Overview

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

10 December 2021

Inside the Bruzgi Logistics Centre, (Ruptly,
Inside the Bruzgi Logistics Centre, (Ruptly, "Belarus: Stranded Migrants Flock to Collect Aid at Bruzgi Logistics Centre," Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHrjRvyyd_A&ab_channel=Ruptly)

The humanitarian crisis that unfolded--and continues to unfold--on Belarus’s borders with the European Union (EU) in late 2021 sparked widespread scrutiny of that country’s treatment of migrants and asylum seekers (see the 12 November 2021 update on Belarus on this platform). However, the EU has long seen Belarus as an important partner in its efforts to halt the movements of migrants before they reach the EU.

As noted in a recent report by The Transnational Institute (TNI), the European Commission announced in 2016 that it would provide “€7 million from the European Neighbourhood Instrument for ‘the construction and/or renovation of several temporary migrants’ accommodation centres’ for ‘between 30 and 50 irregular migrants per centre at a time,’ where ‘all centres will have closed and open-type facilities.’ The Action Programme includes training on the management of these centres.” The International Organization for Migration (IOM) was reportedly tasked with helping implement the project.

Importantly, aside from some holding cells in border facilities, Belarus has to date only used prisons and police stations for migration-related detention purposes, having never established the types of specialized migrant facilities used in nearly all other European countries, particularly those that are members of the Council of Europe (of which Belarus is not).

A non-governmental source in Belarus informed the Global Detention Project (GDP) that in 2018, Belarus began building two migrant centres with EU support, which are reportedly intended to hold up to 200 people each and be located in Lida and Navapolatsk. However, according to the GDP source, progress on these facilities was halted shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in mid-2020.

According to TNI, the EU has also supported numerous other detention-related projects. One such project, called “Helping Belarus Address the Phenomenon of Increasing Numbers of Irregular Migrants,” reportedly includes financing renovations of prisons in Belarus and includes the involvement of UNHCR and the Belarus Red Cross. Also, “As part of an earlier EU-funded project ‘Strengthening surveillance capacity on the green and blue border between Belarus and Ukraine’ (SURCAP, 2012–2014), also implemented by the IOM, border guards from Belarus and Ukraine went on study visits to detention centres in Italy and Portugal. In February 2018, the IOM also organised a study visit to detention centres in Albania and Macedonia for Belarusian border guards, once again funded by the EU.”

The GDP source in Belarus reported that there is no available information indicating that migrants are currently being detained in the country, adding that many are receiving accommodation in a non-secure “logistical” centre in Bruzgi. However, the source added that this situation could change as many people may now have expired visas.

Images filmed by Ruptly, a video news agency owned by the Moscow-backed RT television network (formerly Russia Today), appear to show migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in a warehouse-like facility. Children and families are seen sleeping on the floor of the facility in between scaffolding. On 16 November 2021, a Belarusian presidential aide was quoted as saying that “all migrants will be able to stay at the centre until the issue is resolved.”

On 9 December 2021, Polish soldiers found the body of a migrant in the border region with Belarus. Around a dozen people have now been found dead along the border as aid groups warn that the toll could be even higher. Polish border guards said that on 8 December 2021, a group of 35 migrants had forced their way across the Polish border overnight and that the Belarusian military had helped them cross. The group was caught by Polish authorities and sent back to Belarus. According to the Polish government, it is estimated that the Lukashenko regime has sent back around 3,000 migrants to Iraq and Syria but there remain around 7,000 on the Belarusian territory.

While observers have been critical of the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers by Polish and Lithuanian security services during the border crisis with Belarus, which Belarus and Russia have also loudly denounced, there are long-standing concerns about how Belarus treats migrants crossing into its territory from Russia. According to TNI, a report by the group Danwatch “exposed the inhumane treatment of migrants by the Belarusian border authorities, including pushbacks of Chechen refugees to Russia and extremely violent treatment of perceived irregular migrants by armed border guards.”

UNHCR data shows that in 2020, there were 2,900 refugees, 136 asylum seekers, and 6,297 stateless persons in Belarus. In addition, data shows that around 600 asylum applications were submitted in Belarus in 2020.


12 November 2021

A group of refugees between Polish (foreground) and Belarusian guards at a border camp near Bialystok, Poland ©AFP/Getty. The Financial Times,
A group of refugees between Polish (foreground) and Belarusian guards at a border camp near Bialystok, Poland ©AFP/Getty. The Financial Times, "Belarus plays on the EU’s migration concerns," 22 August 2021, https://www.ft.com/content/7a036e79-69f9-410b-8faa-89607396afe9

The escalating crisis on the Belarus-Polish border has spurred a growing number of countries to accuse Belarus of weaponizing migrant and refugee movements, using them as pawns to destabilise the European Union. At the same time, there is growing international outrage over Poland’s response to the situation--as well as that of other countries that border Belarus like Lithuania (see the 9 October 2021 Lithuania update)--which has included leaving people (including families and children) stranded at the border in freezing conditions, bolstering troop movements, and mobilising anti-immigrant public sentiment.

In late May, Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko, angered by EU sanctions, declared that he would no longer prevent migrants and refugees from entering Europe. There are reports that State-controlled travel bureaux in Belarus have been luring migrants from the Middle East to Belarus, promising an onward passage to the EU for the price of Euro 15,000 - 20,000. On arrival, migrants are accommodated in State-managed hotels and then bussed to the Polish and Lithuania borders. There are videos of Belarusian security guards in full-combat gear pushing migrants towards the borders. Thousands of desperate men, women, and children--many from Iraq and Afghanistan--have been transported to Belarus's borders with Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.

According to testimony from migrants, Belarusian soldiers have physically abused migrants. One person from Morocco told reporters: “They beat me in Belarus. There are gangs that stand behind the army and attack us. They beat you, take your money, split it 50-50, part for the gangs, part for soldiers.” Other testimonies indicate that Belarusian police have helped migrants cross the border to Poland. A 40 year-old Iraqi man said that he had travelled for three days by car to Istanbul, took a flight to Minsk from Turkey, and upon arrival at the Polish border, “the Belarusian police cut the barbed wire and let us through.”

Large numbers of migrants are now trapped between opposing security forces and forced to sleep in improvised camps in the middle of the forest along the border in freezing temperatures. By 22 October 2021, Polish authorities had announced the ninth recorded death in the forest region. According to the Polish border guard, so far this year, there were 24,500 attempts to cross the eastern border with Poland, 12,800 in October alone. On 9 November, the Polish government announced that there were around 3,000 to 4,000 people settled in an improvised camp on the border close to the village of Kuźnica.

The majority of migrants crossing into Poland are pushed back into Belarus by the Polish security forces. They describe a Kafkaesque situation of being repeatedly pushed backwards and forwards by the security forces of both countries--pawns in a political conflict. Doctors Without Borders have reported that they have seen “first-hand the injuries people experienced when assaulted by border guards from both Poland and Lithuania. People have described being beaten with the butt of a gun, kicked in the ribs, electrocuted in the neck, and have had all their belongings taken or destroyed by European border guards. This is unacceptable and must end now.”

The Polish government and the European Union argue that Belarus is deliberately encouraging migrants to enter the European Union through its borders. Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said that Lukashenko’s regime was negotiating visa liberalisation with several countries and adding flights to create new routes. Infomigrants reported that the number of countries whose citizens can enter Belarus without a visa has been expanded to 76 as of 20 October 2021.

In response to this situation, Lithuania has passed legislation tightening the rules on migration and asylum, approving the construction of a wall to prevent irregular crossings on the border with Belarus. On 9 November 2021, Lithuania declared a state of emergency on its border with Belarus, providing the police with additional powers to expel asylum seekers and restrict gatherings near the border.

For its part, Poland approved a plan to build a €353 million wall on its border with Belarus and adopted legislation providing that any non-nationals who are stopped after crossing the Polish border irregularly would be expelled from the country. Those expelled would be banned from entering the country for a period between six months to three years and Polish officials would be allowed to “leave unexamined” asylum applications filed by a non-national who is stopped immediately after entering the country irregularly. Poland has sent some 11,000 soldiers to the border area, created a militarised zone, and set up razor-wire fencing. Poland is also one of twelve EU member states requesting that the EU fund the construction of barriers at their borders. The EU has refused to fund the walls, adopting the same stance as in 2015-2016, when the European Commission refused to reimburse Hungary for fencing off its border with Serbia.

A group of doctors operating on the border have said they are prevented from accessing the zone where migrants are stranded. A Polish Red Cross worker from the border area said, “we have no access to the off-limits zone… we can’t hand over aid packages ourselves.” ECRE also reported that a group of 17 people located in the borderland forest between Poland and Belarus was left for 32 hours without food and water.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called upon EU member states to approve new sanctions against Belarusian authorities responsible for the influx of migrants at the Polish border, statingt: “The instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes is unacceptable.” She added that the EU would “examine how to sanction airlines from third countries” that bring migrants to Belarus. Subsequently, on Tuesday 9 November, the 27 EU member states agreed to suspend an EU-Belarus visa facilitation agreement. Belarus has denied having any involvement in directing the flow of people and the Belarusian border guard said that: “the indifference and inhumane attitude of the Polish authorities has prompted the refugees to take such a step of despair.”


13 May 2020

A Person Walking by a Wall of the Centre for Isolation of Offenders (Центр изоляции правонарушителей), (Spring96, www.spring96.org)
A Person Walking by a Wall of the Centre for Isolation of Offenders (Центр изоляции правонарушителей), (Spring96, www.spring96.org)

In response to an information request submitted by the Global Detention Project and the NGO Human Constanta, Belarus Deputy Minister of the Interior Ministry Aleksandr Barsukov confirmed that during the pandemic non-nationals who violate the country’s legislation may continue to face detention and deportation. He wrote, “For foreigners violating the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on the plight of foreign citizens and persons who have taken citizenship, measures are applied in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Administrative Offenses, including deportation.” However, he specified that foreigners stuck in the country for reasons outside their control will be granted stay extensions: “Foreigners who cannot leave the Republic of Belarus for reasons beyond their control, the length of stay is extended.”

Belarus has attracted significant criticism for its slow and limited response to the pandemic, and few official containment measures have been adopted. With President Lukashenko publicly downplaying the pandemic--which he has dismissed as a “psychosis”-- authorities have refused to cancel large public events such as football matches or the country’s Victory Day military parade. Several small measures were, however, adopted with regards to prisons, with authorities suspending visits on 16 March and issuing new guidance on supplies to be delivered to inmates. Reportedly, every 30 days prisoners may receive food packages weighing up to 10kg, but they may only contain items authorities deem necessary for the prevention of respiratory illnesses (specifically: citrus fruits, garlic, onions, and apples).

To date, however, no steps have been taken to release prisoners - or foreign detainees - prompting the United Civic Party to launch a petition in April calling for prisoners to be released. It warned that if measures were not taken, prisons will “turn into mass graves.” Family members of inmates sent an open letter to the president requesting an amnesty bill which will permit the release or reduced sentencing of vulnerable people and those sentenced for non-violent crimes.

On 7 May, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urged the government to release all children and young people imprisoned for drug-related offences. They called on authorities “to avoid by all means the detention of children, to release those who do not pose a threat to society … which is especially necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Last updated:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Migration Detainees: Flow + Stock (year)
Not Available
2018
Reported Population (Day)
Not Available
2018
Countries of Origin (Year)
2018
Number of Asylum Seekers Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Not Available
2017
Number of Unaccompanied Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Accompanied Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Stateless Persons Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
0
2018
Immigration Detainees as Percentage of Total Migrant population (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of immigration offices
Not Available
2018
Number of Detainees Referred to ATDs (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Deportations/Forced Removals (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Voluntary Returns & Deportations (Year)
Not Available
2018
Percentage of Removals v. Total Removal Orders (Year)
Not Available
2018
Total Immigration Detention Capacity
Not Available (Not Available)
2018
Immigration Detention Capacity (Specialised Immigration Facilities Only)
0
2018
Number of Transit/Border Detention Facilities
Not Available
2018
Number of Dedicated Immigration Detention Centres
0
2018
Number of Criminal Facilities Used for Immigration Detention
66
2018
Estimated Number of Ad Hoc/Unofficial Facilities
0
2018
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
33,300
2017
29,776
2014
31,700
2012
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
3.1
2015
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
314
2014
335
2012

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
9,400,000
2020
9,496,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
1,069,395
2019
1,082,900
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
11.4
2015
Estimated Undocumented Population (Year)
Not Available (Not Available)
2018
Refugees (Year)
2,725
2019
2,234
2018
2,160
2017
1,632
2016
1,809
2015
925
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
0.17
2016
0.1
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
687
2019
762
2016
867
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
5.5
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
6,025
2018
6,007
2017
6,182
2016
6,302
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
8,040
2014
Remittances to the Country
1,258
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
119.6
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
50 (High)
2015
World Bank Rule of Law Index
22
2016
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration
n/a
2018
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
Not Applicable
2018

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Do Migration Detainees Have Constitutional Guarantees?
Yes (Art.11 Foreign nationals and stateless persons on the territory of Belarus shall enjoy rights and liberties and execute duties on equal terms with the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, the laws and international treaties. Art 25. The State shall safeguard personal liberty, inviolability and dignity. The restriction or denial of personal liberty is possible in the instances and under the procedure specified in law. A person who has been taken into custody shall be entitled to a judicial investigation into the legality of his detention or arrest. No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or undignified treatment or punishment, or be subjected to medical or other experiments without one's consent.) 1994 2004
1994 2018
Detention-Related Legislation
Law N 105-З on Legal status of foreigners and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus (2010) 2016
2010
Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences (#194-3) (2003) 2018
2003
Additional Legislation
Law of the Republic of Belarus N 354-З “On Granting Refugee Status, Additional Protection, Asylum and Temporary Protection in the Republic of Belarus to Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons” (2008) 2016
2008
The procedural Сode of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offenses, N 194-З (2006) 2018
2006
Regulations, Standards, Guidelines
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus N 333 "On approval of the Regulations on the procedure for deportation of foreign citizens and stateless persons" (2007)
2007
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 03.02.2006 N 146 "On approval of the Regulation on the procedure for the expulsion of foreign citizens and stateless persons from the Republic of Belarus and recognition as not valid of certain decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus on the deportation of such persons" (2006)
2006

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Immigration-Status-Related Grounds
Detention to establish/verify identity and nationality
2006
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border
2006
Detention to effect removal
2006
Detention for failing to respect a voluntary removal order
2006
Non-Immigration-Status-Related Grounds in Immigration Legislation
None
Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
No (No)
2018
Children & Other Vulnerable Groups
Pregnant women (Provided) Yes
2018
Survivors of torture (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Refugees (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Victims of trafficking (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Elderly (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Asylum seekers (Provided) Yes
2008
Mandatory Detention
Yes (All apprehended non-citizens who do not have proper documentation)
2018
Yes (Non-citizens who have violated a re-entry ban)
2018
Yes (Undocumented non-citizens with criminal records)
2018
Expedited/Fast Track Removal
No
2018
Re-Entry Ban
Yes
2007

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Maximum Length of Administrative Immigration Detention
No Limit: Yes
2018
Maximum Length in Custody Prior to Detention Order
Number of Days: 3
2006

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Custodial Authorities
Departments of State Border Control (State Border Control) Defence
2018
Departments of internal affairs (Ministry of Internal Affairs) Interior or Home Affairs
2018
Departments of the Committee of State Security (Committee of State Security) Interior or Home Affairs
2018
Apprehending Authorities
Departments of the Committee of State Security (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Departments of Internal Affairs (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Departments of State Border Control (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Detention Facility Management
Ministry of Internal Affairs (Governmental)
2018
Formally Designated Detention Estate?
No
2018

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

Procedural Standards
Information to detainees (Yes)
2018
Access to asylum procedures (Yes) Yes
2018
Complaints mechanism regarding detention conditions (No) No
2018
Compensation for unlawful detention (No) No
2018
Right to legal counsel (Yes) infrequently
2018
Access to free interpretation services (Yes) Yes
2018
Access to consular assistance (Yes) Yes
2018
Independent review of detention (No) No
2018
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detention (Yes) No
2018
Types of Non-Custodial Measures (ATDs) Provided in Law
Registration (deposit of documents) (No) No
2018
Designated regional residence (No) No
2018
Designated non-secure housing (No) No
2018
Impact of Legal ATDs on Overall Detention Rates
Not applicable
2018

DETENTION MONITORS

Types of Authorised Detention Monitoring Institutions
n/a
2018
Names of Parliamentary/Congressional Organs That Visit Detention Centres
No
2018

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

Has the country released immigration detainees as a result of the pandemic?
Unknown
2021
Has the country used legal "alternatives to detention" as part of pandemic detention releases?
Unknown
2021
Has the country Temporarily Ceased or Restricted Issuing Detention Orders?
No
2020
Has the Country Adopted These Pandemic-Related Measures for People in Immigration Detention?
Unknown
2021
Has the Country Locked-Down Previously "Open" Reception Facilities, Shelters, Refugee Camps, or Other Forms of Accommodation for Migrant Workers or Other Non-Citizens?
Unknown
2021
Have cases of COVID-19 been reported in immigration detention facilities or any other places used for immigration detention purposes?
Unknown
2021
Has the Country Ceased or Restricted Deportations/Removals During any Period After the Onset of the Pandemic?
No
2020
Has the Country Released People from Criminal Prisons During the Pandemic?
Yes
2020
Have Officials Blamed Migrants, Asylum Seekers, or Refugees for the Spread of COVID-19?
Unknown
2020
Has the Country Restricted Access to Asylum Procedures?
Unknown
2021
Has the Country Commenced a National Vaccination Campaign?
Yes
2020
Have Populations of Concern Been Included/Excluded From the National Vaccination Campaign?
Unknown
2021

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1989
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1969
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1973
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1973
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1981
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1987
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1990
2017
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
2001
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2003
2017
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2003
2017
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2016
2016
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
2001
2001
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 12/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1992
1992
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2004
2004
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
2/6
2017
Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee against Torture §53. The Committee recommends that the State party: [...] (c) Establish a procedure to identify persons in situations of vulnerability and monitor the detention of undocumented migrants on a regular basis; Para 53b Refrain from detaining migrants, including minors who may be detained with their relatives, in regular pretrial or temporary detention facilities and provide them with access to a lawyer and other fundamental legal safeguards; [...] (e) Compile and provide the Committee with detailed statistical data, disaggregated by country of origin, on the number of persons who have requested asylum or refugee status, and the outcomes of those applications, as well as the number of expulsions, deportations or extraditions that have taken place and the countries to which individuals were returned. 2018
2018
Committee on the Rights of the Child §68. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Expressly identify the best interests of the child as a primary considerationwhen examining asylum applications of undocumented, unaccompanied orseparated children, and refrain fromplacing these children in detention centres; (b) Train asylumandmigration officials in the application of the legislation governing asylumand complementary protection, including training in taking into consideration child-specificforms of persecution; (c) Ensure, including through the signing of bilateral agreements containing appropriate safeguards, that decisions forreturn and reintegration of unaccompaniedBelarusian children are carried out with the primary consideration of the best interests of the child; and (d) Take into account the Committee’s views contained in its generalcomment No. 6 (2005) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside theircountry of origin. 2011
2011
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 39. "Recalling joint general comments No. 3 and No. 4 (2017) of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families / No. 22 and No. 23 (2017) of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the human rights of children in the context of international migration, the Committee urges the State party to: (a) Develop a legislative framework on undocumented children; (b) Establish status determination procedures to ensure the identification and protection of children in situations of migration, including unaccompanied children and separated children; (c) Develop a standard protocol on age-determination methods that is multidisciplinary, scientifically based, respectful of children ’ s rights and used only in cases of serious doubt about the claimed age, consider documentary or other forms of evidence available and ensure access to effective appeal mechanisms; (d) Integrate the principle of the best interests of the child in legislation and regulations concerning migration, ensure that this principle is given primary consideration in asylum and migration-related procedures, including age and status determination and deportation, and that children ’ s views are duly taken into account therein, and provide support to families with migration backgrounds to prevent family separation; (e) Build the capacity of the authorities to determine and apply the best interests of the child in asylum and migration-related procedures; (f) Ensure that all children in situations of migration, including undocumented and separated children, receive appropriate protection, are informed about their rights in a language they understand, have access to education and health care, including psychosocial support, and are provided with interpretation and free legal aid; and develop comprehensive referral, case management and guardianship frameworks for unaccompanied and separated children; (g) Prohibit immigration detention of children and ensure non-custodial solutions, including foster care and accommodation in specialized open reception centres serviced by trained professionals and providing access to education and psychosocial support, ensure the periodic and independent review of the care and ensure access to complaint procedures." 2020
2020

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2010
2017
No 2015
2017
Yes 2021

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017
Federal or Centralised Governing System
Centralized system
2018
Centralised or Decentralised Immigration Authority
Centralized immigration authority
2018

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS

Foreign Financial Support for Detention Operations
Yes
2018
Description of Foreign Assistance
The project " Assistance to Belarus to handle increased irregular migration" was registered in August 2018. The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by the International Organization for Migration Office in Belarus in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Committee. The budget of the project is €7 million. The project seeks to enable voluntary return of migrants to their homeland without deportation. The border guard service will also receive vehicles to transport migrants. The project provides for the construction of new centers and also renovation of the existing ones.
2018