Katherine, who is Advocacy Officer, Human Rights and Palliative Care, at International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), describes the Belarusian Children’s Hospice in Minsk as “a large family-friendly home”.
While visiting, she helped advise staff on how to interface with international human rights treaty bodies to advance the cause of children’s palliative care.
She writes: “Interestingly, their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health asked them to collaborate in writing the Universal Periodic Reviews for Belarus that are presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As a result of one of these reports, the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to the 3rd and 4th Periodic Reports of the Republic of Belarus cited the country for lack of political commitment and insufficient involvement of state institutions in the provision of palliative care for children. This then prompted the Ministry of Health to issue an order determining general conditions for palliative care service development in Belarus and stipulated the creation of palliative care wards in hospitals and children’s homes.”