3.The Committee welcomes the following legislative and policy measures taken by the State party:
(e)The adoption of the Programme for the Integration of the Roma Community living in Vilnius City Municipality into Society 2016–2019, on 19 April 2016.
C.Concerns and recommendations
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).
Situation of Roma
17.While welcoming the adoption of the Action Plan for the Integration of Roma into Lithuanian Society 2015–2020 and noting several improvements in the socioeconomic situation of Roma, notably with regard to school attendance and housing, the Committee is concerned that Roma continue to suffer from social exclusion and are disproportionately affected by poverty. It is also concerned about (a) the persistently low proportion of Roma children and young people completing basic education and attending tertiary education; (b) the high unemployment rate among Roma, particularly Roma women; (c) the high proportion of Roma living in inadequate housing conditions, despite the successful efforts to resettle Roma families from the Kirtimai settlement; and (d) the lower than average rate of Roma covered by compulsory health insurance and their generally low access to health care. Moreover, the Committee notes with concern that infringements of the economic, social and cultural rights of Roma are exacerbated by stereotypes, prejudice and intolerance, leading to discrimination in the fields of employment, housing, health care and education (arts. 2, 5 and 7).
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 ;
(b) Pursue its efforts to promote the enrolment of Roma children in preschool education and to support Roma children and young people in their completion of compulsory education and in their access to tertiary education, including with language and social skills support. It also recommends that the State party provide young Roma boys and girls with vocational training opportunities adapted to the needs of the employment market. In addition, the Committee recommends that the State party conduct awareness-raising campaigns on the importance of education targeted at Roma children and young people and their families ;
(c) Continue its efforts to facilitate the access of Roma to adequate housing, including access to social housing and subsidies for home rental, and complete the resettlement of the Roma households that have been living in the Kirtimai settlement. It also recommends that the State party strengthen coordination mechanisms in order to ensure that no house is demolished unless alternative housing or monetary compensation has been provided to the inhabitants;
(d) Increase its efforts to ensure that Roma, particularly Roma women, have access to adequate health care, including by conducting targeted awareness-raising campaigns with information about available health services and the requirements for compulsory health insurance coverage.
Paragraphs of particular importance
35. The Committee wishes to draw the attention of the State party to the particular importance of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 14 (racially motivated crimes), 18 (situation of Roma) and 26 (statelessness) above and requests the State party to provide detailed information in its next periodic report on the concrete measures taken to implement those recommendations.
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)