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Improving the Lives of Vulnerable Groups

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Speeches Shim

Participants of the USAID-supported Republican Charity Festival of Creativity for Children with Disabilities.
Participants of the USAID-supported Republican Charity Festival of Creativity for Children with Disabilities - “Wings of Childhood” - organized by the local NGO “Belarussian Association of Assistance to Children and Young People with Disabilities”.

In 2016, Belarus ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, critical for a country with over 575,000 persons with disabilities. This breakthrough resulted from many years of advocacy campaigns by disabled people’s organizations. USAID strives to provide local partners with expertise and best practices to promote the full integration of persons with disabilities. USAID assists Belarus in the full scale implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. USAID activities enhance social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities by building the capacity of local disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and service providers. USAID helps these organizations to establish and provide a range of services, improve their ability to promote disability issues and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.

USAID has also assisted other vulnerable groups, such as people at risk of trafficking and victims of trafficking (VOTs), through developing community-based services, developing the capacities of organizations providing support to these populations, strengthening the National Referral Mechanism, and enhancing advocacy efforts to promote their rights and increase public awareness.

Expanding Participation of Persons with Disabilities

  • USAID supported more than 120 new or improved services for persons with disabilities through small grants to DPOs and CSOs. 35 initiatives improved access to social services and employment opportunities for youth with disabilities in all regions of Belarus. In 2017-2021, over 2,000 persons with disabilities benefited from USAID-supported services.
  • USAID local partners participated in a government working group to develop a roadmap for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a result, over 25 recommendations were included in the National Plan on Implementing the Convention for 2017-2025, 13 of which have been adopted.
  • Awareness campaigns reached over 500,000 people promoting inclusion and reducing stigma.
  • In 2017-2020, over 330 disabled people’s organizations and social service providers were strengthened with USAID support.

Countering Trafficking in Persons 

  • USAID’s support led to the creation of a TIP network of 19 CSOs.
  • In 2017-2021, over 22,000 people improved their awareness on the dangers of TIP.
  • In 2017-2021, national toll free hotline and online consultation services provided over 17,000 consultations on safe travel abroad.
  • Since 2005, 1,070 victims of trafficking received reintegration assistance.
  • From 2005 till 2017, more than 2,100 representatives of groups vulnerable to human traffciking received job skills training with USAID support.
  • In 2017-2021, USAID provided individual assistance to VOTs in securing full time employment. In different years, from 40 to 60% of former VOTs obtained employment as a result of safe job-seeking training.

Last updated: December 16, 2021

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