With 10 million people, Belarus has undergone major changes in the past decade from a centrally-managed economy to market socialism, open to globalised trade. The global crisis pushed the country into recession in 2009. The escalating socio-economic crisis, along with greater consumerism, are the main factors contributing to the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Belarus.
While Belarus is a source, destination and transit country for trafficked women and children, its government is making some visible efforts in creating an effective national framework to combat human trafficking for sexual purposes. The country has also initiated greater coordination in counteracting the problem at the international level. Its government has expanded legal provisions to address child prostitution and trafficking; however, definitions are not yet consistent with the major international legal instruments. At the same time, mechanisms of rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims require improvement. In terms of child sex tourism and child prostitution, it is difficult to tell whether they do not occur or are unreported practices.
Priority action against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Belarus should include the development and implementation of a National Plan of Action on the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents as specified in the Rio de Janeiro Declaration and Call for Action, and signing and ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
To learn more about the current situation, read our Country Monitoring Report.