Section 2. Individual, Society and the State
Safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be the supreme goal of the State.
Everyone has the right to a decent standard of living, including appropriate food, clothing, housing and a continuous improvement of conditions necessary to attain this.
The State shall guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens of Belarus that are enshrined in the Constitution and the laws, and specified by the State’s international obligations.
All shall be equal before the law and have the right to equal protection of their rights and legitimate interests without any discriminatin.
Restriction of personal rights and freedoms shall be permitted only in the instances specified in law, in the interests of national security, public order, protection of the morals and health of the population as well as rights and freedoms of other persons. No one may enjoy advantages and privileges that are contrary to law.
Everyone has the right to life.
The State shall protect life of the individual against any unlawful infringements.
Until its abolition, the death penalty may be applied in accordance with law as an exceptional measure of punishment for especially grave crimes and only in accordance with a court sentence.
The State shall safeguard personal liberty, inviolability and dignity. The restriction or denial of personal liberty is possible in the instances and under the procedure specified in law.
A person who has been taken into custody shall be entitled to a judicial investigation into the legality of his detention or arrest.
No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or undignified treatment or punishment, or be subjected to medical or other experiments without one’s consent.
No one may be found guilty of a crime unless his guilt is proven under the procedure specified in law and established by the verdict of a court of law that has acquired legal force. A defendant shall not be required to prove one’s innocence.
No person shall be compelled to be a witness against oneself, members of one’s family or next of kin. Evidence obtained in violation of the law shall have no legal force.
Everyone shall be entitled to protection against unlawful interference with one’s private life, including encroachments on the privacy of one’s correspondence and telephone and other communications, and on one’s honour and dignity.
The right of the people to be secure in their houses and other legitimate effects shall be guaranteed. No person shall have the right, save in due course of law to enter the premises or other legal property of a citizen against one’s will.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to move freely and choose their place of residence within the Republic of Belarus, to leave it and to return to it without hindrance.
Everyone shall have the right independently to determine one’s attitude towards religion, to profess any religion individually or jointly with others, or to profess none at all, to express and spread beliefs connected with one’s attitude towards religion, and to participate in the performance of acts of worship and religious rituals and rites, which are not prohibited by the law.
Marriage, the family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood shall be under the protection of the State.
On reaching the age of consent women and men shall have the right to enter into marriage on a voluntary basis and start a family. A husband and wife shall be equal in family relationships.
Parents or persons in loco parentis shall be entitled and required to raise their children and to take care of their health, development and education. No child shall be subjected to cruel treatment or humiliation or used for work that may be harmful to its physical, mental or moral development. Children shall care for their parents or persons in loco parentis and render them assistance.
Children may be separated from their family against the consent of their parents or persons in loco parentis only according to the verdict of the court of law, if the parents or persons in loco parentis fail in their duty towards their children.
Women shall be guaranteed equal rights with men in their opportunities to receive education and vocational training, promotion in labour, socio-political, cultural and other spheres of activity, as well as in creating conditions safeguarding their labour and health.
The young people are guaranteed the right for their spiritual, moral and physical development.
The State shall create all necessary conditions for the free and effective participation of the young people in the political, social, economic and cultural development of society.
Everyone is guaranteed freedom of thoughts and beliefs and their free expression.
No one shall be forced to express one’s beliefs or to deny them. No monopolization of the mass media by the State, public associations or individual citizens and no censorship shall be permitted.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to receive, store and disseminate complete, reliable and timely information of the activities of state bodies and public associations, on political, economic, cultural and international life, and on the state of the environment.
State bodies, public associations and officials shall afford citizens of the Republic of Belarus an opportunity to familiarize themselves with material that affects their rights and legitimate interests.
The use of information may be restricted by legislation with the purpose to safeguard the honour, dignity, personal and family life of the citizens and the full implementation of their rights.
The freedom to hold assemblies, rallies, street marches, demonstrations and pickets that do not disturb law and order or violate the rights of other citizens of the Republic of Belarus, shall be guaranteed by the State. The procedure for conducting the above events shall be determined by the law.
Everyone shall be entitled to freedom of association.
Judges, employees of the Procurator’s Office, the staff of bodies of internal affairs, the State Supervisory Committee and security bodies, as well as service-men may not be members of political parties or other public associations that pursue political goals.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to participate in the solution of state matters, both directly and through freely elected representatives.
The direct participation of citizens in the administration of the affairs of society and the State shall be safeguarded by the holding of referenda, the discussion of draft laws and issues of national and local significance, and by other means specified in law.
In instances determined by the law the citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall take part in the discussion of issues of state and public life at republican and local meetings.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to vote freely and to be elected to state bodies on the basis of universal, equal, direct or indirect suffrage by secret ballot.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus, in accordance with their capabilities and vocational training, shall be entitled to equal access to any post in state bodies.
Everyone shall have the right to address personal or collective appeals to state bodies.
State bodies, as well as the officials thereof, shall consider any appeal and furnish a reply in point of substance within the period specified in law. Any refusal to consider an appeal that has been submitted shall be justified in writing.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to work as the worthiest means of an individual’s self-assertion, that is, the right to choose of one’s profession, type of occupation and work in accordance with one’s vocation, capabilities, education and vocational training, and having regard to social needs, and the right to healthy and safe working conditions.
The State shall create conditions necessary for full employment of the population.
Where a person is unemployed for reasons which are beyond one’s control, he shall be guaranteed training in new specializations and an upgrading of his qualifications having regard to social needs, and to an unemployment benefit in accordance with the law.
Citizens shall have the right to protection of their economic and social interests, including the right to form trade unions and conclude collective contracts (agreements), and the right to strike.
Forced labour shall be prohibited, other than work or service specified in the verdict of a court of law or in accordance with the law on the state of emergency or martial law.
Employees shall be guaranteed a just share of remuneration for the economic results of their labour in accordance with the quantity, quality and social significance of such work, but it shall not be less than the level which shall ensure them and their families a life of independence and dignity.
Women and men and adults and minors shall be entitled to equal remuneration for work of equal value.
Working people shall be entitled to holidays. For employees, this right shall be safeguarded by the establishment of a working week of no more than 40 hours, shorter working hours at night and the provision of an annual paid leave and weekly rest days.
The State shall guarantee everyone the right of property and shall contribute to its acquisition.
A proprietor shall have the right to possess, enjoy and dispose of assets either individually or jointly with others. The inviolability of property and the right to inherit property shall be protected by law.
Property acquired in accordance with the law shall be safeguarded by the State.
The State shall encourage and protect the savings of citizens and guarantee conditions for the return of deposits.
The compulsory alienation of assets shall be permitted only by reason of public need, under the conditions and the procedure specified by law, with timely and full compensation for the value of the alienated assets, and in accordance with a ruling of a court of law.
The exercise of the right of property shall not be contrary to social benefit and security, or be harmful to the environment or historical and cultural treasures, or infringe upon the rights and legally protected interests of others.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to health care, including free treatment at state health-care establishments. The State shall make health care facilities accessible to all of its citizens. The right of citizens of the Republic of Belarus to health care shall also be secured by the development of physical training and sport, measures to improve the environment, the opportunity to use fitness establishments and improvements in occupational safety.
Everyone shall be entitled to a conducive environment and to compensation for loss or damage caused by the violation of this right.
The State shall supervise the rational utilization of natural resources to protect and improve living conditions, and to preserve and restore the environment.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to social security in old age, in the event of illness, disability, loss of fitness for work and loss of a bread-winner and in other instances specified in law.
The State shall display particular concern for veterans of war and labour, as well as for those who lost their health in the defence of national and public interests.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be entitled to housing. This right shall be safeguarded by the development of state, and private housing and assistance for citizens in the acquisition of housing.
The State and local self-government shall grant housing free of charge or at available prices in accordance with the law to citizens who are in need of social protection. No one may be deprived of housing arbitrarily.
Everyone shall have the right to education. Accessible and free general, secondary and vocation-technical education shall be guaranteed.
Secondary specialized and higher education shall be accessible to all in accordance with the capabilities of each individual. Everyone may, on a competitive basis, obtain the appropriate education at state educational establishments free of charge.
Everyone shall have the right to preserve one’s ethnic affiliation, and equally, no one may be compelled to define or indicate one’s ethnic affiliation.
Insults to ethnic dignity shall be prosecuted by law.
Everyone shall have the right to use one’s native language and to choose the language of communication. In accordance with the law, the State shall guarantee the freedom to choose the language of education and teaching.
Everyone shall have the right to take part in cultural life. This right shall be safeguarded by universal accessibility to the treasures of domestic and world culture that are held in state and public collections and by the development of a network of cultural and educational establishments.
Freedom of artistic , scientific and technical creativity and teaching shall be guaranteed.
Intellectual property shall be protected by law.
The State shall contribute to the development of culture, scientific and technical research for the benefit of common interests.
Everyone in the territory of the Republic of Belarus shall abide by its Constitution and laws and respect national traditions.
Everyone shall respect the dignity, rights, liberties and legitimate interests of others.
Everyone shall preserve the historical, cultural and spiritual heritage and other national treasures.
It shall be the duty of everyone to protect the environment.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall contribute towards the funding of public expenditure through the payment of state taxes, dues and other payments.
It shall be the responsibility and sacred duty of every citizen of the Republic of Belarus to defend the Republic of Belarus.
The procedure governing military service, the grounds and conditions for exemption from military service and the substitution thereof by alternative service shall be determined by the law.
No one shall be compelled to discharge duties that are not specified in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and its laws or renounce his rights.
The State shall take all measures at its disposal to create the domestic and international order necessary for the exercise in full of the rights and liberties of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus that are specified in the Constitution.
State bodies, officials and other persons who have been entrusted to exercise state functions shall take necessary measures to implement and safeguard the rights and liberties of the individual.
These bodies and persons shall be held responsible for actions violating the rights and liberties of an individual.
Everyone shall be guaranteed protection of one’s rights and liberties by a competent, independent and impartial court of law within time periods specified in law.
To defend their rights, liberties, honour and dignity, citizens shall be entitled in accordance with the law to recover, through the courts, both property damage and financial compensation for moral injury.
Everyone shall have the right in accordance with the international instruments ratified by the Republic of Belarus to appeal to international organizations to defend their rights and liberties, provided all available interstate means of legal defence have been exhausted.
Everyone shall have the right to legal assistance to exercise and defend his rights and liberties, including the right to make use, at any time, of the assistance of lawyers and one’s other representatives in court, other state bodies, bodies of local government, enterprises, establishments, organizations and public associations, and also in relations with officials and citizens. In the instances specified in law, legal assistance shall be rendered from public funds.
Opposition to the rendering of legal assistance shall be prohibited in the Republic of Belarus.
The exercise of the personal rights and liberties specified in this Constitution may be suspended only during a state of emergency or martial law under the procedure and within the limits specified in the Constitution and the law.
In carrying out special measures during a state of emergency, the rights specified in Article 24, part three of Article 25 and Articles 26 and 31 of the Constitution may not be restricted