Today, the United Nations Human Rights Committee presented concluding observations and recommendations to Lithuania for the improvement of the human rights protection. The Committee calls for Lithuania to establish a national human rights institution, to take measures to combat discrimination against vulnerable groups, to thoroughly investigate allegations of Lithuania's involvement in CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition program, and to ensure that legally incapacitated persons have access to the court.
In the concluding observations, the Committee draws attention to the positive developments in the field of human rights – the passage of the law protecting victims of domestic violence, the ratification of the the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the adoption of the Law on Probation ensuring the possibility of parole for inmates. However, other human rights problems continue to persist, to which not enough attention is being paid by the State of Lithuania. In the concluding remarks, Lithuania is urged to establish national human rights institution with a broad mandate and capable of carrying out independent and effective human rights work in Lithuania.
A concern is expressed in the conclusions about the deteriorating situation of the Roma community and their unfulfilled integration into Lithuanian society, as well as, the discriminatory legislative initiatives that infringe the rights of LGBT community. Recommendations are made to Lithuania to step up preventive measures to combat hate crimes, to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, and to actively educate the public about the harm caused by hate and discrimination.
The Committee also recommends taking steps to ensure that the new law on domestic violence is effective – the State should not only formally guarantee the protection of victims of domestic violence but also allocate sufficient resources to implement the provisions of the law. It is also recommended to put greater efforts into combating the trafficking of persons, especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation of children.
The Committee strongly urges Lithuania to investigate allegations of Lithuania’s involvement in the CIA’s secret detentions and extraordinary renditions program – the Committee believes that, the Lithuanian law enforcement failed to collect and assess all the available information and evidence. It is recommended that Lithuania abolish prison sentences for administrative offenses, and replace them with alternative sanctions. The Committee also expresses concern that incapacitated persons are not guaranteed access to the courts for the review of their legal incapacity status.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee reviews and supervises the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in the States-parties to the Covenant. The third periodic report, prepared by Lithuanian government, on the implementation of the ICCPR was reviewed on July 10-11, during Committee’s session held in Geneva. The Human Rights Monitoring Institute and other non-governmental organizations cooperated with the Committee, providing alternative reports and verbal consultation.
The full text of concluding observations in the English language can be found here.
© 2013 Human Rights Monitoring Institute