By the Lithuanian NGDO Platform
Most Belarusian democratic NGOs are not able to work freely in their country. Civil society development is mainly limited by state institutions that form an unfavorable legal environment, persecute and punish CSO leaders, create obstacles for establishing CSOs, gatherings, etc.
In Lithuania, Belarusian civil society is being strengthened using various measures: financial support for Belarusians and their organisations; permission to arrive and reside in Lithuania under simplified conditions; providing opportunities to transfer and successfully develop their activities in Lithuania; helping the youth to aim for higher education, and providing assistance to the victims of repressions and pressure in their own country. Lithuanian Government institutions – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs first and foremost – should prepare a clear action plan related to Belarusian NGOs, which would include: defining the direction and the scope for actions taken by competent institutions; gathering and systematising the required information as well as adapting it to strengthen Belarusian NGOs in Lithuania; establishing a Council for Belarusian NGO issues made up of interinstitutional and/or Lithuanian NGO representatives.
Although NGO legal environment in Lithuania is perceived as positive, and both the benefits and the assistance provided seem to be sufficient, Belarusian NGOs are still facing various challenges.
The NGO Law Instituted conducted the situation report “Eastern partnership and Lithuania: Challenges for NGOs, solutions and opportunities. Case study: Belarus” in August 2021.
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