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Centre for Youth Employment Promotion and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Opens in Minsk

A Multi–service Centre to Promote Youth Employment and Participation of Youth in Private Sector Development, established under the joint project of the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “Preventing, Fighting and Addressing the Social Consequences of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Republic of Belarus”, has opened in Minsk today.

The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine and Belarus, Mr. Jens Wandel, Deputy Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS and Director of the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava, Mr. Antonius Broek, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Belarus, Mr. Vitaly Brel, Head of the Department of Youth Affairs at the Minsk City Executive Committee, and Mr. Sergei Koltun, National Coordinator of the project, Deputy Head of the Department on Drug Control and Trafficking in Human Beings of the Criminal Police of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus.

One of the key activity areas of the project is to facilitate increased youth employment and the development of youth entrepreneurship in order to eliminate the socioeconomic prerequisites of human trafficking (first and foremost, unemployment among youth). The multiservice centre, established under the aegis of the project together with the Minsk City Executive Committee on the premises of the municipal enterprise “Youth Social Service”, will provide free advisory assistance and training to young people to improve their chances of employment. When they open their businesses, the centre will also provide them with support in the form of registering businesses, providing office space at a reduced rate, arranging consultations with a lawyer and accountant, as well as delivering seminars dedicated to entrepreneurship–related issues. A total of 150 thousand Euros was allocated by the project for the development of the centre.

“The Centre will enable young people to become more economically sustainable, and thus will serve as an effective counter–trafficking measure to prevent many young Belarusians from getting into the trap of modern slavery,” said Mr. Wandel, Deputy Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS.

As UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Mr. Broek pointed out, “The creation of the Centre is the first initiative in Belarus aimed at eliminating one of the root causes of human trafficking – unemployment among young people – by improving employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for them.” In addition, Mr. Broek expressed the hope that the successful experience of operating the centre would be disseminated in other Belarusian cities in the future.

For additional information, please contact project public relations specialist Alexander Novikov: tel. +375 17 286 30 43,+375 29 671 88 91, email: .

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