Saturday 19 September 2020 | 16:01

Human rights activists:  civil society can resist the “Law on parasitism”

04.11.2016  |  Society
Human rights activists:  civil society can resist the “Law on parasitism” Photo by "EuroBelarus" Information Service

Legal inspectors of the Trade Union for workers of the radio and electronics industry, human rights activists and lawyers met to create a strategy against the “Law on parasitism”.

The presidential decree No.3 “On preventing social dependence” widely known as “the parasite law” violates a number of legal acts, including Article 41 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the Convention №29 "On forced labour" and the Convention №105 "On the Abolition of forced labour". According to the document Belarusian citizens who are permanent residents of Belarus, foreign citizens and stateless persons who did not participate in the financing state expenditures or those who participated in it for less than 183 calendar days in the past year are obliged to pay the fee of 20 base values. Non-payment or partial payment will result in a penalty of 2 to 4 base values or administrative arrest with assigning mandatory community service.

While the first "parasites" are already receiving letters from tax agencies, experts try to decide how civil society can confront the articles of the decree.

- This topic must be constantly discussed in media. This way the people it affects will know where to go, and that lawyers will defend them. We must once again address the head of the state not only to prove why the decree is unconstitutional and anti-national, but also to highlight that the state will spend a lot of time and money and in the end never get the finances it counts on. We cannot forgive the state that yet another tax has appeared thanks to this decree,  - told Gennadz Fiadynich, the leader of the Trade Union for workers of the radio and electronics industry in his interview with "EuroBelarus" Information Service.

According to him, the experts are going to reach out to their Russian colleagues, as apparently it looks like considering the Belarusian experience Russia is preparing to adopt such a decree as well. Moreover, trade union legal inspectors intend to receive an international examination of the decree by the International Labour Organization. But the most important thing, Fiadynich believes, is for the people who are subject to the Decree №3 to unite and not to remain silent. It is planned that coordinators of the Trade Union for workers of the radio and electronics industry, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and other human rights organizations will provide legal support to people in the regions.

- If we have no authority to cancel the decree, we must do everything in our power to stop it from working, - is persuaded Gennadz Fiadynich.

- No one is forcing you to work. We must understand that by means of this decree additional tax was introduced in the country. After the decree adoption, corresponding changes were made in the general part of the Tax Code of Belarus. There has been no tax on financing state expenditures before, – points out Leanid Sudalenka, human rights activist from Homel.

He believes it is necessary to develop a number of arguments that a person, who received a notice from a tax agency, can present to apply to the court.

- We managed to cancel the Decrees of the President before. Even in our illegitimate state it is possible to influence the situation by legal means, - states Harry Pahaniaila, lawyer of the "Belarusian Helsinki Committee".

He believes that there are a number of ways, ranging from filing complaints on actions of tax inspections, appeals to higher authorities, courts, international organizations, to the solidarity actions of citizens.

Creating an algorithm of civil resistance to the illegitimate decree is not a matter of a single day. The situation will get worse, unemployment rate is increasing as well as the number of “parasites”. But lawyers assure that it is possible and necessary to seek justice in the legal field. In the near future they are going to present a strategy of how to stand up for your rights for people already affected by the decree or those who will experience it in the future.

Other news section «Society»

What actually the State List of Historical and Cultural Values gives to Belarusan Heritage Sites?
What actually the State List of Historical and Cultural Values gives to Belarusan Heritage Sites?
The Belarus Committee of ICOMOS announces the collection of cases on the effectiveness of the State List of Historical and Cultural Values as a tool of the safeguarding the cultural monuments.
The right to heritage according to the standards of the Faro Convention: is it possible in Belarus?
The right to heritage according to the standards of the Faro Convention: is it possible in Belarus?
On March 27-28, the Belarus ICOMOS and the EuroBelarus held an online expert workshop on expanding opportunities for community participation in the governance of historical and cultural heritage.
“It is our big joint work”
“It is our big joint work”
It is impossible to change life in cities just in three years (the timeline of the “Agenda 50” campaign implementation). But changing the structure of relationships in local communities is possible.
The “Agenda 50” campaign was finalised by the Regional Development Forum
The “Agenda 50” campaign was finalised by the Regional Development Forum
The Forum was devoted not so much to the outputs as to the challenges and prospects after the creation and signing of local agendas.
Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool
Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool
To achieve changes, you need to be interested in them and stop pinning all hopes on the state.
“If a person cannot leave the apartment, he or she does not need an accessible Opera House”
“If a person cannot leave the apartment, he or she does not need an accessible Opera House”
In Stoubcy, they talked about universal design and conducted pilot monitoring of two urban sites accessibility.
Local agenda in Valożyn: mission accomplished
Local agenda in Valożyn: mission accomplished
"Specificity is different, but the priority is general." In Valożyn, a local strategy for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed.
How Ščučyn was proceeding towards the solution of problems of people with disabilities
How Ščučyn was proceeding towards the solution of problems of people with disabilities
The campaign "Agenda 50" was summed up in Ščučyn, and a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed there.
A program to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities was designed in Stolin
A program to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities was designed in Stolin
The regional center has become the second city in Belarus where the local plan for the implementation of the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed.
“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
Representatives of the campaign “Agenda 50” from five pilot cities discussed achievements in creating local agendas for implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
It is noteworthy that out of the five pilot cities, Stoubcy was the last to join the campaign “Agenda 50”, but the first one to complete the preparation of the local agenda.
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
On May 28, the city hosted a presentation of the results of the project "Equal to Equal" which was dedicated to monitoring the barrier-free environment in the city.
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
In Babruysk, wheelchair users are fighting discrimination.
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
What results has the campaign "Agenda 50" given, what helps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the regions?
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
Experts in Valožyn have determined that the quality of people’s life depends on their awareness.
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
On March 3, members of the campaign "Agenda 50" from different Belarusian cities met in Minsk. The campaign is aimed at the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
There are being implemented three projects under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities campaign in the city of Babruysk.
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
In Ščučyn, people with disabilities learned to be leaders and to advocate their interests.
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
In Stolin, social organizations and local authorities are implementing a project aimed at independent living of persons with disabilities, and creating local agenda for the district.
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Will creation of local agendas be an effective tool in ensuring rights of persons with disabilities in Belarus, just as it was in Poland?
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

“It is our big joint work”

It is impossible to change life in cities just in three years (the timeline of the “Agenda 50” campaign implementation). But changing the structure of relationships in local communities is possible.

Shhh! Belarus Wants You to Think It’s Turning Over a New Leaf

Minsk’s muddled media clampdown could jeopardize warming of relations with the West.

Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool

To achieve changes, you need to be interested in them and stop pinning all hopes on the state.