Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Information received from Lithuania on follow-up to the concluding observations on its combined ninth and tenth periodic reports*
[Date received: 29 April 2021]
1.The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considered the combined ninth and tenth periodic reports of the Republic of Lithuania submitted in one document, at its 2721st and 2722nd meetings, held on 30 April and 1 May 2019. At its 2735th meeting, held on 9 May 2019, it adopted the concluding observations. In accordance with article 9 (1) of the Convention and rule 65 of its rules of procedure, the Committee requested the State party to provide, within one year of the adoption of the present concluding observations, information on its implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 12 (combatting hate speech), 20 (law on national minorities), and 22 (a) (reception of asylum-seekers).
A.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 12 of the concluding observations (CERD/C/LTU/CO/9-10)
2.In 2018–2019, the qualitative research on the vulnerable communities regarding hate crime and hate speech was carried out. The research covered Jewish community, Roma community, LGBT community, Muslims and people of other race.
3.The objectives of the research were the following: to assess the nature of the vulnerability, the impact of hate crime and hate speech on the communities, the level of latency of such crimes, the reasons for not reporting crime to law enforcement authorities and also the needs of the communities for their protection and support for crime victims. The research was funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme of the European Union (2014–2020). The report of the research has been published on the website of the Ministry of the Interior and distributed to the national public authorities concerned. In 2020, the article entitled “Hate incidents still remain a significant problem” on the findings of the research was published in one national and five regional newspapers and their websites.
B.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 20 of the concluding observations
4.The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania have currently registered four relevant draft laws on national minorities. The Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter department) has set up the composite work group of the representatives of institutions and national minorities’ organizations and organized its meetings to discuss the draft law issues in response to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania order “On the Reading of Draft Law on National Minorities” No. S2-1688 dated 17 June 2019. Scientific and social discourse together with national communities on the draft law and its provisions prepared by the department took place before the meetings of the work group. The work group continues the reading of the draft law currently.
C.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 22 (a) of the concluding observations
5.All asylum applications submitted at border control points and other structural subdivisions of the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (SBGS) are received, registered and forwarded to the Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. If there are indications that an alien in a detention centre, border inspection post or transit zone may wish to apply for asylum, such alien shall be provided with information on this right and the applicable procedures in a language he or she understands. All asylum seekers are made aware of their rights and access to state-guaranteed legal aid. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the SBGS, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office for the Baltic and Nordic Countries and the Lithuanian Red Cross, the SBGS informs the authorized representatives of the UNHCR about the asylum seekers in the structural units of the SBGS and enables them to monitor the procedures for submitting asylum applications and performing initial its actions.
D.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 22 (b) of the concluding observations
6.In case of suspicions of violations committed by SBGS officials related to the implementation of the asylum procedure in Lithuania, or upon receipt of complaints regarding such violations, the structural responsible unit of the SBGS shall perform official inspections. In 2018–2019, the above-mentioned complaints were not received and no violations committed by SBGS officials related to the implementation of the asylum procedure were identified.
E. Follow-up information relating to paragraph 22 (c) of the concluding observations
7.In 2019, by improving the reception and accommodation conditions of asylum seekers at the SBGS Foreigners’ Registration Centre (Reception Facility for the asylum seekers, hereinafter – FRC): the first floor of the dormitory for asylum seekers was repaired, after which the accommodation capacity increased; a checkpoint has been opened, which has interrogation rooms, premises for meetings of asylum seekers; a dormitory for vulnerable asylum seekers was opened to accommodate 15 vulnerable people, including people with disabilities.
8.Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania implements and develops an alternative accommodation (non-FRC) system for asylum seekers. It is planned to expand alternative accommodation for asylum seekers by increasing the number of accommodation places, and to use the funds of the EU Asylum Migration and Integration Fund for this purpose. In 2019, 58 asylum seekers lived in alternative accommodation.
F.Follow-up information relating to paragraph 22 (d) of the concluding observations
9.The vulnerability of asylum seekers is assessed at an early stage of the asylum procedure and is taken into account in accommodation decisions (in FRC, Refugee Reception Centre (RRC) of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) or alternative accommodation).
10.In FRC and in RRC men are housed separately from women. To ensure adequate privacy, members of the same family shall be accommodated together in one separate or in adjacent, non-isolated rooms, unless one of the members of the family objects to such accommodation and there are objective reasons for doing so. Asylum seekers can also be accommodated separately according to the groups concerned (according to the country of origin, religion, danger to one’s own health and the health of others and other grounds). Upon arrival at the RRC, a child interest report is drawn up. Depending on the results, work with him is organized: his interests, leisure activities, school, social, psychological, physiological needs, need for protection, etc. are determined.
11.Unaccompanied minors (whether or not who have applied for asylum) are accommodated in the RRC, where the child is placed in custody. Unaccompanied minors are accommodated in segregated premises, assigned a social worker, provided with psychological assistance, organized leisure activities, household and social services, assistance with food preparation, mentoring provided clothing, hygiene products, etc.