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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century

Republic of Belarus

Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President Lukashenko launched the country on the path of "market socialism." In keeping with this policy, Lukashenko reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprises.

Belarus's economic growth is likely to slow in 2009 as it faces decreasing demand for its exports, and will find it difficult to increase external borrowing if the credit markets continue to tighten. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Belarus

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Belarus. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street. Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public and how they abuse each other. Would you like to write about market children? homeless children? Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc. There is a lot to the subject of Street Children. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Children begin school at the age of 6 and are required to complete 9 years of education. The government made 11 years of education available at no cost, and most children completed compulsory schooling. In many cases the government paid for university education.

Child abuse was a limited problem. The Ministry of Labor reported that 86 percent of the country's 32 thousand orphans had been abandoned by their parents; this statistic appeared to include children of alcoholic parents removed from the home by the government. The law allows military units to adopt and train orphans between the ages of 14 and 16. While these children are not enlisted in the military, they must comply with military rules, wear a uniform, and obey orders. They are required to join the unit upon reaching the draft age of 18.

NATIONAL/RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES - The Romani community was characterized by high unemployment and a low level of education; in November authorities estimated the unemployment rate at 93 percent. Romani children spoke mainly Romani and Belarusian and struggled in the school system, where the primary language of instruction was Russian

Elite and Lumpen of the Streets: The Differing Destinies of Moscow Street Children

Svetlana Sidorenko-Stephenson, Prism, Volume: 6 Issue: 4 April 28, 2000

[accessed 5 April 2011]

Lena, who is also from Belarus, seems by contrast to have a stable position in the System. She started running away from home when she was ten. At first, she went to stay with friends in Minsk; later, she started to travel to Moscow, normally with three or four friends from Minsk. Now aged fifteen, Lena has managed in the intervals between her travels to acquire nine years of schooling. She wants to be a linguist and to study at Minsk State University.

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