Empowering Belarus CSOs to advocate for social inclusion and promote participatory decision making for people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities in 6 regions of Belarus

Project duration

February 2016 – September 2017


European Union, Foreign Ministry of Lithuanian Republic

Project goal

People with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities (PIPD) are usually deemed to be legally incapable in Belarus and are confined in a large residential care institutions, which is the main form of social care services in the country. Virtually all forms of dissent are suppressed and restrictive legislation as well as abusive practices are used to impede civil, political, social and other rights, as well as freedom of association and assembly in Belarus. Society lacks interest in and awareness of PIPD and do not realise their fundamental rights, thus, often supports a high level of institutionalisation. Only civil society organisations (CSO) tend to challenge the existing inhumane form of institutional care and promote alternative community-based services, social inclusion, and independent living for PIPD. Nevertheless, these CSOs do lack coordination, resources, advocacy, project management and networking skills.

This project aims to timely respond to the needs of representatives of civil society, as well as those of vulnerable groups. Through empowering CSOs and unveiling of the marginalised subject of the rights of PIPD, the Co-applicants seek to achieve a reform of the old-fashioned health and social care system inherited from the Soviet Union in Belarus.

Expected results

1. To enhance professionalism and technical skills of Belarusian civil society organisations in the fields of advocacy, networking, fundraising and project management.

2. To mobilise Belarusian civil society organisations and have the tools to promote and further watchdog the process of deinstitutionalisation of PIPD.

3. For key stakeholders and society in general to be more aware of PIPD rights and supportive towards their social inclusion and independent living in Belarus.

Project partner 

Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Офис по правам людей с инвалидностью)

European Network on Independent Living