Note from the director of the Europe office

We have recently concluded our academic cooperation in Belarus. Through our cooperation in Belarus, we have focused on developing individual capacities as well as strengthening methodology and the institutional framework to improve quality and conditions for human rights and gender equality education, research and dialogue between different actors in society.

The cooperation has mainly been with academic institutions. Since 2010, we have worked in close cooperation with a number of universities in Belarus with the aim of strengthening the capacities in human rights (including gender equality) among lecturers, academicans, and students through enhanced access to education and research in human rights. We have also focused on strengthening their involvement with other actors in society in human rights.

Our most recent academic cooperation ended in December 2020 and included five universities.

Through the cooperation, we collaborated with the universities to increase the quality of courses in human rights, mainstream human rights in legal courses, and to develop specific courses on gender.

By supporting research in Belarus, the cooperation seeked to improve the quality and increased availability of research in human rights (including gender equality) to allow it to be used for policy dialogue as well as within the formal and informal education.

The cooperation aimed at increasing the interaction between the university and other actors in society, for example, through further development of legal clinics.

Read more: Clinical Professor Yuliya Khvatsik on Clinical Legal Education

The cooperation also included facilitating opportunities for teachers, researchers, managers, students and librarians to access networks and human rights education opportunities within Belarus as well as within Europe at large.

Zuzana Zalanova

Zuzana Zalanova

Director of the Europe Office

Phone: +46 46 222 12 57

Zuzana has been promoting human rights, good governance, and civic engagement in various capacities in Europe and Central Asia.

Prior to joining RWI’s Europe Office, Zuzana was in charge of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Ukraine with focus on civic and youth engagement. She previously coordinated rule of law programmes of the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in Mongolia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, supported regional human rights and justice initiatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Europe and Central Asia, and managed the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, a platform of civil society actors from the EU and Russia. Zuzana holds a BA degree in Political Science, an MA degree in Security Studies, and a joint (BA and MA) degree in International Relations with a specialisation in Non-Profit Management from her studies in the Czech Republic (Charles University, University of Economics) and the United Kingdom (University of Reading).

What We Have Achieved

A number of significant results have been achieved in Belarus. These include:

• The development of two elective courses on human rights at the law faculties of Belarusian State University and Belarus State Economics University
• Human Rights textbook was produced by Belarusian and RWI authors
• Three publications have been produced to draw attention amongst the broader public in Belarus to gender equality
• A Gender Equality Plan with an audit methodology has been developed at the Faculty of International Relations at the Belarusian State University, and a similar plan is in being developed at the Belarusian Technical University

Our cooperation with Belarusian universities was financed by Swedish International Development cooperation.