CESCR Concluding observations on Lithuania (excerpts on education & other language issues), 2014


B. Positive aspects


5. The Committee notes with appreciation the measures taken by the State party to promote the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, including: (a) The adoption of the 2008 Law on Equal Treatment, which expanded the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination by six additional grounds and now includes age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, racial or ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, convictions, language, nationality, social status, and views; [..]


C. Principal subjects of concerns and recommendations


Social exclusion of and discrimination against Roma

7. The Committee remains concerned at the lack of progress achieved in addressing the social exclusion of Roma and discrimination against Roma in the enjoyment of their rights under the Covenant, particularly in the areas of housing, health, employment and education. While noting the adoption of various programmes and action plans on the integration of Roma, the Committee regrets the lack of resources allocated for their effective implementation, particularly between 2008 and 2010 (art. 2).

Noting that the State party will adopt a new Roma integration strategy in 2015, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that:

(a) The strategy contains concrete objectives and benchmarks and a regular monitoring and evaluation mechanism to periodically assess the results obtained in improving the socioeconomic situation of Roma, particularly in the areas of housing, health, employment and education;

(b) Adequate financial and human resources are allocated for its implementation; and

(c) Members of the Roma community actively participate in its design, implementation and evaluation, as rights-holders.


Right to education

23. The Committee expresses its concern at the gap in student achievement between urban and rural areas, and regrets the lack of disaggregated and comparative data on enrolment and dropout rates among schoolchildren that was requested in its previous concluding observations. It also expresses its concern that the amendments to the Law on Education adopted in March 2011 have led to restrictions on the use of national minority languages in State-funded national minority schools and in the State examination. The Committee further expresses its concern at the situation of Roma, particularly with regard to their low educational attainment, high dropout rates, and placement in special education schools (arts. 2, 13 and 14).

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Identify the causes of the gap in student achievement between rural and urban areas and take effective measures in this regard;

(b) Establish a data collection mechanism to monitor effectively the dropout rates among schoolchildren, with a view to identifying the causes and ensuring that children complete their primary and secondary education;

(c) Ensure that national minorities are able to enjoy their right to education in their own language, including by amending the provisions of the Law on Education that have led to restrictions on the use of national minority languages in State-funded national minority schools, including when taking State examinations;

(d) Take effective measures, including temporary special measures, to ensure that all Roma children complete their basic education, including through awareness-raising campaigns among the Roma community concerning the importance of education to the future well-being of children; and

(e) Ratify the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education.

National minorities

24. The Committee is concerned at the lack of a legal framework for the protection of the rights of national minorities in the State party following the abrogation of the Law on National Minorities of 1989 in January 2010. It also expresses its concern that following the dismantling in 2009 of the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad, responsibility for national minority issues has been divided among various ministries, and that no effective coordinating body has been established (arts. 2 and 15).

The Committee recommends that the State party expedite the process for adopting the new Law on National Minorities, and that in the interim, it take effective measures to fully protect the rights of all national minorities, including their language, religion, culture and identity, and including the use of their names in their original form. The Committee also recommends that the State party establish an effective entity within the Ministry of Culture for effective coordination of national minority issues.


Document data: E/C.12/LTU/CO/2 adopted 23.05.2014, published 24.06.2014. Link:https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E/C.12/LTU/CO/2&Lang=En Also available in the other UN official languages

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