NATIONAL THREAT ASSESSMENT 2020 (excerpts), 2020

PROTECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER

[..]

Russia uses international events to look for individuals who can represent its interests

[..]

By organizing events that correspond to its agenda Russia seeks to create a fiction of international solidarity and neutrality. Russia presents the participation of politicians and other public figures from foreign countries in such events as alleged evidence of strong international support for the Kremlin’s policies. In some cases attempts are made to conceal the Kremlin’s links to such events or their participants’ links to the Kremlin, especially when it concerns international organizations. For instance, the Kremlin exploits OSCE events to ‘defend’ the rights of allegedly persecuted Russian speakers in the Baltic States and elsewhere. In these venues individuals acting on behalf of the Russian interests often take the opportunity to disseminate false information and further Russia’s agenda.

INFORMATION SECURITY

Russia uses propaganda to discredit legal processes in Lithuania

[..]

One of the main goals of Russia’s information policy is to disparage Lithuania’s statehood and to discredit anti-Soviet resistance (for example, the June 1941 uprising, Anti-Soviet Armed Resistance Movement, dissident movement, etc.). [..]

[..]


Document data: 03.02.2020. Link: https://www.vsd.lt/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020-Gresmes-En.pdf Also available in Lithuanian

CEDAW Concluding observations on Lithuania (excerpts), 2019

E.Principal areas of concern and recommendations

[..]

Participation in political and public life

[..]

29. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/5 , para. 29), the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to increase the representation of women in political life and adopt temporary special measures, including quotas for female candidates of political parties and heads of municipalities, to increase the participation of women, in particular rural women, women belonging to ethnic minority groups and women with disabilities, in political and public life, including in relation to women obtaining the highest diplomatic status and women having diplomatic status engaged in national representation, and in municipalities, in line with its general recommendation No. 23 (1997) on women in political and public life.

[..]

Nationality

32.The Committee welcomes the steady decrease in the number of stateless persons, including stateless women, in the State party since 2012 and takes note that Lithuanian women may transmit their nationality to their foreign husbands. However, the Committee is concerned by the gender neutrality of the nationality legislation and the fact that there has been no change in the legislation as was previously recommended.

33. Reiterating its previous recommendation ( CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/5 , para. 31), the Committee encourages the State party to amend its national legislation to provide for the automatic granting of nationality to all children born in Lithuania, including Roma children, who would otherwise be stateless, and to bring its national citizenship legislation into line with the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that women’s right to nationality is not affected in any way by the gender neutrality of the nationality legislation through, in particular, the provision of gender-sensitivity and gender-equality training to all officials working on this issue.

Education

34.The Committee welcomes the creation of the National Agency for Education, in 2019, which is also mandated to promote gender equality and combat gender stereotyping, and the launch of the project “Quality basket”, aimed at improving learning achievements by pupils, including girls. It notes the high percentage of female researchers at universities and the increasing number of female students enrolling in previously male-dominated fields of study. However, the Committee remains concerned by the low number of women in leading academic positions. It regrets the lack of information on efforts to improve the level of inclusion of girls belonging to minority groups, in particular Roma girls, and girls with disabilities in schools, and on the impact of the higher education reform conducted in 2017 on matching the labour market needs of women, including the need to restructure vocational training programmes for women.

35. Reiterating its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/5 , para. 33), and recalling its general recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, the Committee recommends that the State party raise awareness among girls and boys, parents, teachers and political leaders about the importance of the education of girls at all levels as a basis for their empowerment, and recommends that the State party:

[..]

(c) Strengthen its measures to improve the inclusion of Roma girls and boys, as well as girls and boys with disabilities, in the mainstream education system, rather than placing them in schools with classes for children with special needs, and provide information, disaggregated by sex, in its next periodic report on school attendance and drop-out rates among the Roma population and children with disabilities;

[..]

Employment

36.The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party’s employment rate among women is the highest within the European Union and is almost on par with the employment rate among men and the introduction of a social insurance floor, which provides, inter alia, that women who are employed, including as part-time workers, must be socially insured at the level of the minimum wage, as well as the reversal which placed the burden of proof on the employer that the principle of equal pay for work of equal value is upheld. The Committee notes the planned raise of the pension age to 65 years for both women and men by 2026 and the measures to promote women in leadership positions and women’s entrepreneurship. The Committee nevertheless remains concerned about the following:

[..]

(b)Vertical and horizontal occupational segregation and the difficulties of integrating migrant women, Roma women, rural women, older women and women with disabilities into the labour market;

[..]

37. Recalling its previous recommendations ( CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/5 , para. 35), the Committee recommends that the State party:

[..]

(b) Strengthen measures to address horizontal and vertical occupational segregation and enhance access for women to the labour market, including for women who have reached pensionable age and disadvantaged groups of women, such as migrant women, Roma women, rural women, older women and women with disabilities, including under the action plan for the integration of Roma into Lithuanian society, 2015–2020, which is also aimed at the economic empowerment of Roma women;

[..]

Economic and social benefits and the economic empowerment of women

40.The Committee welcomes the adoption, in June 2019, of the package of basic services for families, aimed at strengthening the socioeconomic status of women and providing additional social benefits for mothers with five or more children. It also welcomes the plans to render the first two months of the parental leave quota, including leave for mothers and for fathers, non-transferrable for both parents, that grandparents may take similar leave and that the number of fathers availing themselves of paternity and/or parental leave has been rapidly increasing. However, it is concerned that the gains from the rapid economic development in the State party have not been equally shared, in particular by women and girls belonging to minority groups [..]

[..]


Document data: 12.11.2019 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW/C/LTU/CO/6%20 Also available in Russian, French and other UN languages.

Antisemitism Overview of data available in the EU 2008–2018 (excerpts), 2019

Reports and evidence from international organisations

[..]

Table 1: Observations and recommendations made to Member States of the
European Union by the Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the Committee on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and by UN member states
through Universal Period Reviews (UPR) with regard to combating
antisemitism, 2018

Observations and recommendationsSource
[..][..][..]
LT The State party should: (a) Strengthen its efforts to combat
intolerance, stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards vulnerable and minority groups, including Roma, Jews, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, by, inter alia, increasing training for law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and the judiciary and conducting awareness-raising campaigns promoting sensitivity and respect for diversity among the general public.
CCPR
CCPR/C/LTU/C
O/4 (CCPR,
2018)

[..]

Use of IHRA working definition on antisemitism in the Member States

[..]

In 2018, the IHRA definition was adopted or endorsed by the governments of Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Belgium. The Prosecutor General‘s Office, the Police Department, and the State Security Department of Lithuania indicated to FRA that they rely on a definition of antisemitism that essentially corresponds to the IHRA definition.

[..]

National data on antisemitism

[..]

Lithuania

Official data

In 2018, the Lithuanian State Security Department (Valstybės saugumo departamentas) recorded one antisemitic incident (against an object related to the Jewish community). According to the data from the Prosecutor General‘s Office, one pre-trial investigation was initiated in 2018 under Article 169 of the Criminal Code alleging discrimination of a person on the grounds of their Jewish ethnicity; it was discontinued in the absence of
a criminal act.

In 2014–2017, three pre-trial investigations under Article 312 (2) of the Criminal Code were initiated – these concerned incidents where places of public respect had been desecrated for antisemitic reasons. All of these pre-trial investigations were discontinued because the offenders liable for the criminal offence were not identified.56

56 UN CERD (2018), CERD/C/LTU/9-10, 23/5/2018, paras. 37-51

The Lithuanian State Security Department recorded two antisemitic incidents in 2009, and one incident between January and July 2010.

The Prosecutor General’s Office reports on pre-trial investigations initiated under Article 170 of the Criminal Code (incitement against any national, racial, religious or other group); in 2008, 12 cases were initiated. In 2009, 20 % of pre-trial investigations under Article 170 involved an antisemitic motive, but the report does not provide the number of cases.57

57 Lithuania (2011), Collegiate Council of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania.

Unofficial data

No unofficial data were available at the time this report was compiled.


Document data: published 08.11.2019. Print ISBN 978-92-9474-752-5 PDF ISBN 978-92-9474-753-2 Link: https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2019-antisemitism-overview-2008-2018_en.pdf

Presidential election 2019: ODIHR Final report (excerpts), 2019

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

[..]

Although ODIHR has previously recommended that the authorities increase the scope of voter education for national minorities, stakeholders described the reach of these materials as limited.

[..]

III. BACKGROUND

[..]

Although the office of the outgoing president was held by a woman,
women are underrepresented in politics.5 Some 21 per cent of current members of parliament are women, and only one sitting minister is a woman.

5 See also paragraph 28 of the 2014 UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women concluding observations: “The Committee commends the State party on the high percentage of women in its civil service and on the fact that two of the three highest State officials are women. The Committee is nonetheless concerned that no special measures have been applied as part of a comprehensive strategy to accelerate the achievement of substantive equality of women and men in political and public life and to promote the participation of women from disadvantaged groups, such as rural women, women from ethnic minorities and women with disabilities, in political and public life”.

[..]

V. ELECTION ADMINISTRATION

[..]

The CEC produced some voter education materials in the Polish and Russian
languages which were published on the CEC website and in newspapers, and the CEC’s information hotline operated in Lithuanian, English and Russian. By law, ballot papers may only be provided in the Lithuanian language. Stakeholders informed the ODIHR EAM that the reach of
voter information is limited among minority communities and that their participation in the election remains below average. ODIHR has previously recommended that the authorities increase efforts to provide comprehensive voter education to national minorities.

[..]

VIII. ELECTION CAMPAIGN

[..]

The law provides for the participation of national minorities in electoral processes on an equal basis. One of the candidates, nominated by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, conducted his campaign mostly in minority languages, reaching out to the ethnic-Polish and Russian communities. However, the campaign materials of most candidates featured only Lithuanian language content, and the rights of national minorities did not emerge as a campaign topic in their programmes.
Campaign-related events were aired by the public broadcaster only in the Lithuanian language, without subtitles. Some ODIHR EAM interlocutors noted instances of hate speech by individuals against national minority groups in social media and online news portals.46

46 See also paragraph 11 of the 2018 CCPR Concluding Observations and paragraph 25 of the 2016 European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance report.

[..]


Document data: 26.09.2019 Link: https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/lithuania/433352?download=true

Report on Anti-Semitism, by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion (excerpts), 2019

IV. Key findings

[..]

F. Government measures that may infringe upon freedom of religion or belief

[..]

Non-stunned slaughter is banned in Slovenia67 and is highly regulated in Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.68

68 See www.loc.gov/law/help/religious-slaughter/europe.php.

[..]

G. Monitoring and reporting antisemitism

[..]

50. The aforementioned myriad forms of antisemitism are reflected in the working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016.76 The product of an initiative first undertaken in 2005 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, the working definition was developed as a non-legal tool to facilitate more accurate and uniform monitoring of antisemitism across the countries that have adopted it and to educate officials and the broader public about the diverse forms of antisemitism

76 See www.holocaustremembrance.com/working-definition-antisemitism

[..]

53. The definition has been adopted by a number of countries and agencies, 77 [..]

77 As at August 2019, the working definition had been adopted by Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. It is also used by the United States Department of State and Department of Education, and by the Ministry of Education of Greece.


Document data: 20.09.2019 A/74/358 Link: https://undocs.org/A/74/358

Modern laws of Lithuania (excerpts)

Law on Equal Treatment

Article 2. Definitions

[..]

9. Direct discrimination means any situation where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion, except for the following cases:

[..]

2) requirement to know the state language as established by laws;

3) prohibition of participation in political activities in the cases specified by laws;

4) different rights applied on the basis of citizenship as established by laws;

[..]

Law on the provision of information to the public

Article 34. Language in which Public Information is Produced and Disseminated

1. Public information shall be produced and disseminated in the state language or any other language pursuant to this Law and the Law on the State Language as well as the resolutions of the State Commission on the Lithuanian Language, except for the cases specified in this Law. Producers and disseminators of public information, in cooperation with the competent state and municipal institutions and agencies, shall, where possible, ensure that the disseminated public information is accessible to the disabled. 

2. Radio and/or television programmes broadcast in a language other than Lithuanian must be translated into Lithuanian or shown with Lithuanian subtitles, except for educational, occasional, special, music and re-broadcast foreign radio and/or television programmes or parts of programmes as well as programmes produced by broadcasters of radio and/or television programmes intended for the ethnic minorities of Lithuania. The Commission, taking into account the needs of ethnic minorities residing in the coverage zone of broadcast radio and/or television programmes, where necessary, when specifying the terms and conditions of the licence may determine the share of broadcast and/or re-broadcast radio and/or television programmes or parts thereof which must be comprised of radio and/or television programmes or parts of programmes in the languages of the ethnic minorities.

3. Broadcasters of television programmes shall be prohibited from showing audiovisual works which have been translated from an official EU language into a non EU language.

4. When re-broadcasting television programmes, re-broadcasters and/or other persons providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania must give priority to the official EU languages. Television programmes in the official languages of the European Union as well as the non-official languages of the European Union and originating in another Member State must comprise at least 90 per cent of the programmes when providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania and/or at least 90 per cent of re-broadcast television programmes in each basic television programme package presented for their users. This requirement shall not apply to television programme packages disseminated for an additional pay. Where there is a possibility to choose between the official EU language or any other language to re-broadcast and/or disseminate via the Internet the same television programme, the re-broadcasters and/or other persons providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania must provide all the conditions for the television programme or an individual programme to be re-broadcast or disseminated via the Internet in the official language of the European Union.

5. A television programme which is re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in a non-official language of the European Union, where such a television programme is translated into an official language of the European Union or shown with the subtitles in an official language of the European Union, shall be is equated with a programme re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in an official language of the European Union.

6. When a television programme is broadcast, re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in several languages, including the official EU languages, such a programme shall be regarded as a programme transmitted and/or disseminated in an official EU language only where, if technical possibilities allow, this programme is transmitted and/or disseminated to users with the default setting in an official EU language and the additional language selection is only possible at the user‘s discretion.


Document data for the Law on Equal Treatment. Up-to-date Lithuanian text https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/TAR.0CC6CB2A9E42/asr Somewhat outdated English text (there, the same provisions were in paragraph 7 of Article 2) https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/TAIS.389500?jfwid=-oo3xjf4tu Notably, in the other cases mentioned in the same paragraph, some substantive justification is needed for different treatment to be legal – in cases of language and citizenship requirements, however, arbitrariness of the legislative gets accepted.

Document data for the Law on the provision of information to the public: https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/c4a1511305c611e8802fc9918087744d

Other laws related to the use of languages can be found in English at http://www.vlkk.lt/en/ For the provisions on liability for violating legislation on the use of languages, see Articles 497-503 of the Code of Administrative Offences (no English version was found) https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalActEditions/lt/TAD/b8d908c0215b11e58a4198cd62929b7a