10 March 2005

Belarus Slaps Checks on Travel, Marriage, Adoption

10 March 2005 -- A senior official in President Alyaxandr Lukashenka's administration said today that Belarus has imposed tougher regulations on citizens wanting to work or study abroad in order to reduce people trafficking.

A decree signed by Lukashenka means students and potential workers must first seek permission from government ministries before traveling.

Natalia Petkevich, deputy head of Lukashenka's administration, told a news conference that the new regulations will also impose restrictions on marriage and adoption agencies.

Official figures showed up to 6,000 people leave Belarus every year to work abroad and thousand more go to study. Non-governmental organizations put the figure of those working abroad at 15,000 a year.

Official figures showed that about 2,000 Belarussian children were adopted by foreigners in the last two years.