On January 31, 2019, the Council of the REP Trade Union held its sitting in Minsk and adopted a joint appeal to residents of Belarus on the situation around the "parasite" Ordinances. Here is the full text of the appeal:
"The REP Trade Union finds it necessary to prevent violations of people's rights and freedoms in the course of enforcing Ordinance No. 1, which is an updated version of the notorious Ordinance No. 3 on 'parasites'.
In the spring of 2017, we demonstrated our resolution to defend our legal rights. Thousands of people across Belarus came out into streets and demanded to cancel the unconstitutional Ordinance No. 3. Dozens of people, including REP activists, were punished with arrests and fines. Finally, as a result of our joint efforts, Ordinance No. 3 was suspended.
However, authorities failed to admit their mistakes and replaced Ordinance No. 3 with Ordinance No. 1 'On the Promotion of Population's Employment'. This ordinance is also contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, according to which the state should ensure the right to free labour. Citizens cannot be forced to perform duties not provided for by the country's Constitution (Article 58).
Instead of creating new workplaces, drafting and enforcing a system of specific measures of motivation for the decently paid labour, the authorities re-introduce a system of forced labour.
The authorities don't care how people survive – their main task is to extort money to maintain their bureaucratic machinery. These anti-human policies and practices of the state are systemic in nature.
The creating the so-called "Personal Database" and entering citizens' data into it without their consent contradicts Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. It is lawlessness practised by state authorities.
Citizens of Belarus!
The REP Trade Union is a reliable defender of your rights and freedoms. We are open to your appeals, including any questions on the enforcement of Ordinance No. 1.
No to Ordinance No. 1! We are a real force, when we are together!"