On January 30, 2007, the first meeting of the founders of the House took place in Vilnius - eight Belarusian human rights organizations and the Human Rights Houses Foundation. BHRH joined the international Human Rights Houses Network.
The date of the founding meeting became the official countdown to the start of the House's activities; and the idea of creating the BHRH appeared back in 2001 — when most non-governmental organizations of Belarus were destroyed by the "re-registration" procedure.
The Belarusian Human Rights House was conceived as an island of freedom for Belarusian human rights defenders: a place for human rights trainings, seminars, and events; and precisely in Vilnius - because it was dangerous and impossible to arrange such meetings in Belarus.
Since 2012, the House has had the name of Barys Zvozskau, a Belarusian human rights activist. He is one of the authors of the idea of creating the House. Barys Zvozskau participated in the activities of the House from its first days until his untimely death.
BHRH works in four strategic directions:
capacity building and strengthening of human rights defenders and their organizations, institutional building;
protection of human rights defenders and support for victims of repression.
Some of the achievements of the Belarusian Human Rights House are:
The BHRH provides expert support in the field of human rights protection and digital security for Belarusian NGOs and international organizations;
The BHRH constantly helps human rights defenders and victims of political repressions (shelter, help and support, premises for meetings and their organization, translation of reports and appeals to international bodies, etc.);
The BHRH is a platform for communication and coordination of Belarusian human rights organizations and initiatives;
the efforts of the BHRH on international advocacy influenced the decision to introduce and extend the mandate of the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus;
The BHRH taught more than 120 lawyers, advocates, and human rights defenders to apply international standards.
We work in a democratic country. Here there are favorable conditions for the activities of human rights organizations. The civil society participates in decision-making at the state level.
Human rights are one of the priorities of the state policy of Belarus. There are effective mechanisms for the protection of human rights in the state.
Human rights organizations are consolidated, have authority, and cooperate with civil society organizations, the state, and businesses. Human rights organizations influence changes in the human rights situation in Belarus.