CERD Concluding observations on Lithuania (excerpts on media), 2019

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C.Concerns and recommendations

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Hate speech and incitement to hatred

11.The Committee is concerned about the strong prejudices and negative sentiments prevailing in the State party towards members of vulnerable and minority groups, in particular migrants, Muslims and Roma. It is also concerned that hate speech and incitement to hatred targeting these groups, as well as anti-Semitic speech, have been used in the media, including online media, and in the political sphere (arts. 2, 4 and 7).

12. Recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2013) on combating racist hate speech, the Committee recommends that the State party intensify its public campaigns to combat hate speech, incitement to hatred and hate crimes, to address prejudice and negative sentiments towards national minorities and migrants and to promote tolerance and understanding towards these groups, in cooperation with civil society and representatives of the most affected communities. The Committee also recommends that the State strengthen the training of journalists on how to avoid the use of hate speech and stereotypes towards communities, with the involvement of the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics.

Prosecution of racially motivated crimes

13.The Committee is concerned about the low level of reporting of hate speech and hate crimes in the State party and about the fact that these crimes are not always registered and investigated as such. It is also concerned about the lack of available data on pretrial investigations for hate speech and incitement to hatred involving politicians or the media. The Committee is further concerned that the data on cases relating to discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, particularly cases relating to articles 169, 170, 171, 312, 129, 135 and 138 of the Criminal Code, are not disaggregated by prohibited grounds, hence limiting knowledge about the prevalence of these crimes in various spheres.In addition, the Committee notes with concern that, while efforts to train law enforcement and judicial officers have been made in the past few years, the number of professionals trained remains low (arts. 4 and 6).

14. Recalling its general recommendation No. 35, the Committee recommends that the State party: [..]

(c) Collect statistics on investigated cases of hate crime and incitement to hatred emanating from politicians and from the media, including on the Internet ;

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Situation of Roma

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18. Recalling its general recommendation No. 27 (2000) on discrimination against Roma, the Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts towards the integration of Roma into society within the framework of the Action Plan for the Integration of Roma into Lithuanian Society 2015–2020. In particular, the Committee recommends that the State party guarantee that sufficient funding and human resources are allocated to the strategy and that it ensure a higher participation of the Roma community, in particular Roma women, in its implementation. Moreover, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Actively combat discrimination against Roma in all spheres, in particular employment and housing, and ensure that Roma victims of discrimination have access to adequate remedies. With a view to combating stereotypes and prejudices towards Roma people, the Committee recommends that the State party provide training on Roma issues to law enforcement and judicial officers and to journalists. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns to promote Roma culture and combat stereotypes and prejudices against Roma people ;

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Document data: CERD/C/LTU/CO/9-10 adopted 09.05.2019, published 07.06.2019 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fLTU%2fCO%2f9-10&Lang=en (also available in the other UN official languages)

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