List of issues and questions in relation to the fifth periodic report of Lithuania
* The present document is being issued without formal editing.
** The annexes to the present document are on file with the secretariat and are available for consultation.
Replies of Lithuania * , **
[Date received: 16 January 2014]
1.This document presents the responses of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to the list of issues and questions by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women dated 25 October 2013 (document CEDAW/C/LTU/5).
2.The responses were drafted on the basis of information submitted by majority of ministries, other public authorities and universities, acting within their powers. Draft responses were considered at a meeting of the Commission of Equal Opportunities for Women and Men on 13 December 2013, involving representatives of non-governmental organisations, social partners and Gender studies centres at the universities. The draft responses were duly coordinated with the organisations providing information.
Access to justice and legal complaints mechanisms
Responses to para 1
3.Lithuanian courts information system/database (hereinafter LITEKO), is used for electronic storage of information on every case heard in Lithuania. LITEKO database is aimed inter alia to enhance public nature of operation of court system and its accessibility to every stakeholder and the general public. Search for cases in LITEKO follows a determined classification of cases. As for 2012 and 2013, LITEKO system has found no cases including reference to the Convention as a keyword in the procedural documents. The following are cases referring to “equal equality of men and women” as keywords:
•administrative case, proceedings number: 3-61-3-01061-2011-5. Case No at the court of first instance Ik-2848-189/2011, case No at the court of appellate instance A-858-403-12; No of a new case at the court of first instance I-2867-562/2012, case No at the court of appellate instance A-525-730/2013, concerning renewal of proceedings P-444-169-13.
•administrative case, proceedings number: 3-61-3-01867-2011-9. Case No at the court of first instance Ik-3701-602/2011, case No at the court of appellate instance A-858-1975-12.
•administrative case, proceedings number: 3-61-3-00015-2011-3. Case No at the court of first instance Ik-710-815/2012, case No at the court of appellate instance A-552-314-13.
•administrative case, proceedings number: 3-61-3-02379-2011-8. Case No at the court of first instance Ik-1278-624/2012, case No at the court of appellate instance AS-520-361-12.
4.According to the LITEKO data, there was 1 criminal case (No 1S–963–557/2012) examined in accordance with article 170 of the Criminal Code and 1 civil case No 2–1434–7987/2012 falling under classification of “cases related to discrimination in the field of work and professional activity on the grounds of race, sex, religion, political beliefs and social origin” heard in 1 semester 2012 and 2013 in the court of first instance. With regard to the latter, an appeal was lodged (case number in the court of appellate instance 2A–949/2013).
5.Capacity building and training of specialists is one of the long-term objectives of the National programme of equal opportunities between men and women, 2010-2014 (hereinafter the Programme). Continuous trainings are organised for the judges, prosecutors lawyers and other legal professionals on matters of gender equality and non-discrimination, including application of national, European Union (EU) and international laws, by various bodies, e.g. the National Courts Administration, the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman, the Office of Prosecutor General, the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior, etc. F.i., on 31 January 2012, a seminar for improvement of skills was conducted dedicated to “Promotion of non-discrimination. Implementation of equal opportunities policy” (8 academic hours). The seminar was attended by 26 staff members from police institutions.. In 2012, 9 seminars were organised in various regions across Lithuania dedicated to “Particular features on communication with victims” (8 academic hours), attended by 126 police officers (see Annex 1, para 6).
6.In 2012, the Training Centre at the National Courts Administration ran a seminar for judges “Legal and social aspects of combating discrimination”; the seminar was dedicated to “national and international laws prohibiting discrimination and their practical application”; the seminar also introduced aspects behind application of the Convention and its Optional Protocol, national and international laws banning discrimination and their practical application as well as examination of stereotypes, multi-level discrimination and other topics. The seminar was attended by 37 judges from the courts of general jurisdiction and administrative courts as well as 15 prosecutors from Prosecutor’s Office of every level.
7.In 2011, the Training Centre at the National Courts Administration ensured attendance of 14 Lithuanian judges at international seminars targeting discrimination and equal rights; these were run in cooperation with the European Commission by the European Law Academy based in Trier, Germany. On 17‑18 October 2011, a seminar on “Law of European Union governing equal opportunities of men and women in practise” was run, and on 14-15 November 2011, a seminar was run dedicated to “Directives on anti-discrimination 2000/843 and 2000/78 in practise”. These seminars allowed Lithuanian judges to exchange experience and information with judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals from other EU Member States.
8.The Training Centre at the National Courts Administration ran training for judges, prosecutors and police officers dedicated to domestic violence. The training examined legal aspects of violence targeting women, introduced foreign experience of combatting domestic violence and best practise of legislation. The training involved 30 judges, 10 prosecutors, 20 police officers and 2 judicial assistants.
9.Training dedicated to issues of equality of men and women are run yearly not only for the benefit of legal professionals but also to those employed in other, particularly so-called “manly” areas, including the military, the police, transport employees, etc. Individual training on human rights and equal opportunities are arranged for foreigners seeking asylum successfully. Specific examples of various training activities appear in Annex 1.
10.Issues of equality of men and women form part of university programmes, particularly for future lawyers. F.i., Mykolas Romeris University included in master studies human rights law -both international, EU and national law. Gender aspect is part of studies of refugee law and other study programmes. Gender Study Centres in both Vilnius and Šiauliai Universities offer not only a wide range of optional studies in the field of gender equality, but, starting with 2014, a separate master programme on “Gender Studies” will be implemented. Approximately 300 students attend courses on gender studies in Vilnius University yearly.
11.One of the goals of National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2010-2014 is to ensure, that knowledge and information on women’s rights and gender equality is accessible to everybody, including remote and rural areas. For that purpose, educational activities of this Programme are targeted first of all at local level, including communities. F.i., in 2013, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour initiated a 3 years pilot project “Gender equality as a profitable investment”, supported by the state budget and the EU Social fund. The project aims at awareness raising on gender equality issues and systematic gender equality trainings at local level involves every single municipality. Model training course (27 hours) was developed and trainings for municipal civil servants, representatives of employers and trade unions, non-governmental organisations start in January 2014. The training course covers key concepts of gender equality, gender equality law, including EU law and international treaties, first of all CEDAW concrete examples of gender mainstreaming etc. The second component of the same project concerns an continuous awareness campaign relying not only on regular media but also latest information technologies, keeping in mind that information technologies in Lithuania are very advanced and information can reach most remote places in the country, as well as women in rural areas, roman women, asylum seekers, etc.
12.Results of the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men are yearly assessed using quantitative criteria (number of persons trained, training sessions run and persons using knowledge gained). In 2014 the general comparative assessment of the Programme’s impact is carried out by independent external experts. The results and changes will be compared with the results of an impact assessment, carried out in 2009. Conclusions and recommendations will be taken into account when developing new National programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2015-2020.
Response to para 2
13.In 2010, the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman examined 148 complaints, including 40 concerning discrimination based on sex (25% of the total number of enquiries). In 2011, the ombudsman examined 157 complaints, including 38 complaints and 3 enquiries on the initiative of the ombudsman concerning discrimination based on sex (20% of the total number of enquiries). In 2012, a total of 189 complaints were examined, including 63 complaints concerning discrimination based on sex (31.5% of the total number of enquiries). Information on the complaints examined in 2013 will be made ready in March 2014. Data on gender distribution of individuals, lodging complaints concerning discrimination based on sex, appear in Annex 2. Equal Opportunities Ombudsmen’s Office do not collect neither information on regional distribution nor on outcomes of complaints regarding discrimination on the grounds of sex.
14.The recommendations of the Committee concerning branches of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman in the regions were presented to Lithuania in 2008 in the eve of economic downturn. Measures controlling economic downturn included severe saving, particularly in the public authorities. Therefore and seeking to comply with the Committee’s recommendations, focus was placed on effectiveness of use of human and financial resources, particularly relying on the information technologies, primarily mobile and smart phones and internet. The IT sector in Lithuania is very well developed and covers entire territory (see Annex 3), therefore the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman is easily accessible to anyone no matter their place of residence, age, disability, etc. However, more remote municipalities and rural areas still lack information on the public services offered by the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office.
Response to para 3
15.On 21 September 2011, the Board of the Parliament decided to improve the regulation of the Parliamentary Ombudsmen’s Office to ensure it matches the requirements applicable to a national institution of human rights found in the Paris principles. To that end, a working group was formed in the Parliament that has reviewed and amended the draft Law on the Parliamentary Ombudsmen’s Office, effectively granting functions of a national human rights institution to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen’s Office. The draft law proposes expansion of functions of the ombudsmen, grant more powers and ensure broader independence so that the Parliamentary Ombudsmen’s Office can be an independent human rights body. The project was tabled to the Parliament on 3 July 2013. It was then clarified with view to comments by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and repeatedly registered on 24 September 2012. The Parliamentary Human Rights Committee is currently working to improve the draft so that it fully complies with the Paris principles.
National machinery for the women’s advancement
Response to para 4
16.Effectiveness of gender equality institutional mechanisms is a crucial prerequisite for acceleration of de facto gender equality. Lithuanian Presidency to the Council of the European Union in semester 2, 2013, gave the priority for de facto gender equality and effectiveness of gender equality institutional mechanisms. During Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council, Council Conclusions on the effectiveness of institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women and gender equality were adopted, proposing the Member States concrete actions to improve effectiveness of institutional mechanisms, towards accelerating de facto equality of men and women, such as cooperation, coordination, synergy of effort at all levels, monitoring, impact assessment etc. It also includes a new indicator on statistics by sex, to monitor implementation of the area of concern of Beijing Platform for Action “Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women”
17.The Council Conclusions are accompanied by the comparative report “Review of implementation of Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States. Institutional mechanisms”, developed on the request of Lithuanian Presidency, by the European Institute for Gender Equality, the only specialised EU gender equality agency, located in Vilnius. The report provides comparative information on the institutional mechanisms of all Member States, based on EU-level indicators such as highest- responsibility for gender equality on governmental level, human resources of governmental gender equality divisions, human resources of independent equality bodies, gender mainstreaming and sex-segregated statistics.
18.Article 3 of the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men provides for a duty of the State and municipalities to draw up and implement programmes and measures for equality between women and men. On 2 July 2013, the Law on Equal Opportunities was amended, providing for specific implementation mechanism of the Article 3. The amended law provides the duty of public authorities to include measures for equal rights of men and women in documents of strategic planning. As for municipal authorities, they include measures for equal rights of men and women in municipal plan of strategic development and/or municipal strategic action plans.
19.In order to ensure proper implementation, since 2013 the trainings for municipalities are carried out in the framework of the Programme on how to integrate gender perspective and what specific measures might be taken by municipalities, as well as their advantages and added value to residents and communities of municipalities. The trainings are carried out by Social Innovation fund and financed by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Up to now 150 representatives of municipalities and non-governmental organisations are trained. Furthermore, targets of the pilot project described in para 11 include promotion of sustainable activities of municipalities in the field of gender equality.
20.The Social Innovation Fund, carrying out a project funded by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour on effectiveness of institutional mechanisms on both national and local level has carried out a survey of national authorities, municipalities and women organisations and provided conclusions and recommendations concerning improvement of effective cooperation on all levels as well as specific steps to be taken on the level of local self-government. The Fund has established lack of available instruments for integration of gender aspect, shortage of information on measures to be included in strategic municipal plans and shortage of knowledge on advantages by gender equality and added value on the municipal level. The above conclusions and the recommendations by the UN CEDAW will be taken into account when drafting new National Programme on equality between women and men 2015-2020.
21.There are 3 staff members in the Division of Equality Between Men and Women at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Internal structures of the ministries have no dedicated budget. For that reason, there is no exact information on financial resources available. The division in on the highest level of the hierarchy, accountable directly to the Vice minister in charge of gender equality, fully in line with the EU indicators on institutional mechanisms.
22.In each ministry, 1 or 2 persons are appointed as a gender equality focal points and the members of the Commission on equality between women and men. They are invited to take part in regular training. F.i, in October 2013, Women's Issues Information Centre together with the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman and Šiauliai University Gender Studies Centre ran a 3-day training for the members of the Commission on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. Topics of the training included “Representation of men and women in the Lithuanian media and literature: historical and modern contexts”, “Equal treatment of men and women in every type of activity” etc. On 13 September 2013, members of the Commission took part in the Lithuanian Presidency High Level Conference, on “De facto gender equality as a contribution to “Europe 2020”: effectiveness of institutional mechanisms”, held in Vilnius, and on November 20-22 they participated in the Lithuanian Presidency High-level conference on “Structural changes promoting gender equality in academic institutions“, held in Vilnius and also other gender equality events.
Response to para 5
23.Measures under the Programme are mostly continuous, particularly as regards educational ones, requiring more time for sustainable results. Yearly reports on implementation of Programme measures, available publicly, offer specific data on the measures implemented based on quantitative criteria: number of seminars, training and other events carried out as well as number of employees attending seminars, training and other events on improvement of skills. Furthermore assessment includes number of individuals putting knowledge gained in the events to use as well as number of individuals that received information. In 2012, there were 12 seminars and other events on issues of equality of men and women, with 340 persons trained. In Q1-3 2013, there were 11 training and other events with 346 persons trained. The training in question involves various groups of people, including staff members of State and municipal authorities, educational institutions, representatives of the media, non-governmental organisations (NGO), social partners, members of rural communities, teachers, individuals seeking independent occupation, elderly people, etc.
24.Qualitative changes in situation of men and women, as far as developments in the Programme fields are concerned, will be assessed in 2014, in terms of an extended comparative assessment of the Programme impact. The impact assessment shall be carried out by independent experts. Conclusions and recommendations of the impact assessment shall be taken into account when drafting new 2015-2020 National Programme of Equal Opportunities of Men and Women.
25.As all the ministries are responsible for the Programme implementation, there is no allocation of human resources planned. State budget funds required for implementation of measures under the Programme, over a 5-year period (2010–2014) amounted to LTL 929,000, including: in 2010, LTL 53,000; in 2011, LTL 184,000; in 2012, LTL 239,000; in 2013, LTL 216,000; and in 2014, LTL 236,000.
Temporary special measures
Response to para 6
26.Implementing measures of the Programme, the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman drafted and in 2012 published recommendations for application of the interim special measures. The publication introduced concepts and examples of application of the temporary special measures and ways to apply this instrument promoting gender equality in Lithuania. Both the above recommendations and particular features behind their application are discussed in the training referred to in para 22, also involving municipality representatives and social partners.
27.Gender balance in economic decision-making was one more priority of the Lithuanian Presidency to the Council of the EU. During the Presidency, Lithuania has taken active steps to establish special temporary measures in economic decision making by the EU law, seeking progress in the negotiations on the Proposal for the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures. The draft Directive seeks to ensure that all Member States take steps to ensure gender balance on Company boards by 2020. Namely, 40%, of non‑executive directors, or at least 33%. of both executive and non-executive directors. As soon as the draft Directive is adopted, temporary special measures in this particular area will be obligatory for all member states.
Response to para 7
28.Change of gender-based stereotypes has been and remains a long-term objective of the Programme, in line with the recommendations of the Committee. Changing of stereotypes of the roles of men and women in national economic activity was one of the specific tasks of the Programme 2005-2009 and numerous educational, information and training measures contributed to the change in the stereotypes, with the outcome clear from the Programme impact assessment of 2009. The new Programme 2010-2014 was extended to the task of promotion of equal treatment of women and men in all areas, expressing combating gender stereotypes in a more positive manner. Promotion of equal treatment of men and women benefits also from the results of many other measures of the Programme. Change in the stereotypical attitudes remains a regular topic of most training and other events when implementing Programme measures with the different target groups, including representatives of the media.
29.Women and the media was a priority during Lithuanian coordination of Nordic_ Baltic cooperation in 2012. On 23 May 2012, in Vilnius, a Nordic-Baltic Conference was organised on Gender and Media, discussing images of women in the media, including textual and visual expressions, as well as issues of gender balance in media organisations. The event involved media professionals, journalists, editors of magazines, representatives of Lithuanian Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers, representatives of European Institute for Gender Equality, members of the Nordic and Baltic gender equality working group, etc. (in total 31 person). The information is made publicly available on the Information Portal for women www.lygus.lt, supported by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and on Facebook social network page of the Women’s Issues Information Centre.
30.Implementing a Programme measure, “Preparation and implementation of a training course on “Representation of men and women in the Lithuanian media and literature: historic and modern contexts” a model training course was developed seeking to facilitate practical application of knowledge gained on combating gender stereotypes in the media, issues of a gap between national and regional media in Lithuania, possible ways, leading to acceleration of de facto gender equality. The first training course was held on October, 2013.
31.The Committee requested additional information on the measure “Organisation of training to representatives of the media as regards impartial and discrimination-free image of men and women in the media”. Implementing this measure Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office organised a seminar on “Impact of the media on awareness of discrimination and personal responsibility of a journalist” to media representatives of Western and Northern Lithuania, on 28 November 2012, in Klaipėda. On 19-20 December 2013, the Ombudsmen’s Office arranged trainings to the representatives of regional media on “Dilemma of gender discrimination: media’s role”. This represents the first part of the training set. Aim of the training is to raise awareness and provide knowledge and promote gender mainstreaming in the media. Topics presented and discussed include “Regulation of provisions on equal opportunities of men and women in the EU and Lithuania. Legal aspects”, “Mechanisms shaping, supporting and changing discriminatory system”, “Images of Femininity and masculinity in the media”, “(De)construction of verbal and visual gender stereotypes”. Participants discussed expression of gender roles and its meanings in contemporary context as well as examined visual material in the press.
32.Long-term and continuous measures of the Programme, including awareness raising, addressed to the media, demonstrate positive results found in the overall Programme impact assessment in 2009. Changes in stereotypical approaches will be assessed also in the next Comparative Impact Assessment of the Programme 2010–2014, to be held in 2014.
33.Another example (see Annex 1) is the trainings for the employees of traditionally “masculine” companies (e.g. the Lithuanian Maritime Safety Administration, AB Lietuvos Geležinkeliai, Klaipeda State Seaport Authority etc.). The trainings addressed promotion of non-stereotypical attitudes, equal treatment, and specifically change of stereotypical approaches on women and girls.
34.The Committee requested additional information on trainings of consultants at the territorial Labour Exchange offices. Such seminars were run in 2012, involving 44 consultants (of them 41 women) of territorial Labour Exchange offices, working directly with the clients.
35.The Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men does not regulate family and private life; consequently, the Programme does not apply in the field of family and private life, as is stated in para 47 of the Report. However, systemic long-term promotion of equal treatment of women and men through awareness raising, education and trainings, allow women and men to make well grounded choice of their models of conduct, based on gender equality, in every situation in their life. The entire Programme in progress is dedicated to ensure de facto equality of men and women.
36.Authors, distributors of public information, as well as journalists and publishers are required to comply with the Constitution and the laws, international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as principles of humanity, equality, tolerance and respect to human rights. The media cannot publish information instigating discrimination, violence, physical annihilation of a group of people or a person belonging to it on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic dependence, race, nationality, citizenship, language, origins, social status, religion, beliefs or standpoints; the law further prohibits dissemination of disinformation and information which is slanderous and offensive to a person or degrades human dignity and honour. Advertising shall be prohibited when infringing principles of public morality, degrading human dignity and honour, instigating ethnic, racial, religious, gender or social hatred and discrimination, when it is slanderous or disinforms, and where it instigates violence or aggression. The Law on Provision of Information to the Public and other legislation governing public information provide for principles of public information; compliance with these is monitored by the Inspector of Journalist ethics, who is indirectly involved in dealing with issues related to change of stereotypical approach on women and girls (including those who have suffered from multi-level discrimination based on their ethnic origin, age, disability and other features) in the general public as well as shaping of positive and asexualised image of a woman in the media.
37.In course of implementation of the Inter-institutional action plan on promotion of non-discrimination 2012-2014, information campaigns to change stereotypical treatment were carried out by the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (publications, posters, promotional videos, TV and radio broadcasts, training on issues of equal opportunities and non-discrimination, seminars for municipal servants, public lectures presented in Lithuanian higher education institutions and public libraries concerning diversity of non-discrimination policy), Information Technology and Communications Department under the Ministry of the Interior (published statistics on criminal activities committed due to nationality, race, origin, religion, language or dependence to any other group of a victim on website at www.ird.lt), the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (organised youth training in a selected Lithuanian region with problems on issues of promotion of non-discrimination, tolerance and respect to human rights), the Ministry of Culture (ran events on tolerance and cognition of other cultures contributing to the change in stereotypical treatment), the Department of Disabled Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (ran training on non-discrimination due to disability to public information professionals), etc.
38.In late 2012, the Ministry of Culture, seeking to promote tolerance with respect to Roma, including Roma girls, and to deny any established stereotypes, joined a campaign Dosta run by the Council of Europe; the campaign was opened on 8 April 2013, on the occasion of the International Roma Day. The campaign seeks to promote understanding of Roma, bring non-Roma persons closer to Roma, combat any obstacles brought about by the enshrined prejudice and stereotypes. The Ministry of Culture translated Dostos textbook into Lithuanian; it examines and denies different stereotypes, particularly those concerning Roma women. The textbook will be made available in schools and other institutions. Implementation of the campaign also includes other measures as publication of books and dedicated to Roma and their culture.
39.In Lithuania, textbooks are evaluated based on a set of criteria, whether or not material presented conforms to fundamental values of a democratic society and values of the Republic of Lithuania, and whether it is impartial as regards sex, age groups, disability, abilities, social status, race, ethnic dependence, religion and beliefs. Requirements governing impartial gender assessment are laid out in detail in “Methodical recommendations on adaptation of textbooks and other training material for competence development” (Vilnius, 2012). The textbooks, discussing development of social competences, stress tolerance as a key personal quality necessary for both communication and cooperation. The recommendations in question suggest that the textbook should contain information and tasks promoting respect and tolerance as regards sex, race and religion, and culture, encouraging discussions of situations relevant to boys and girls, common to both city and village people, of different social strata, education, standard of living and profession. In total 399 textbooks were reviewed or newly developed in 2010-2013.
Violence against women
Response to para 8
40.The Government established the order of implementation of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence. The same resolution served a basis for the implementing legislation: Procedure for Response by Police Officers to Reports on Domestic Violence; Procedure for Eviction of an Abuser; Procedure for Control by Police Officers on Compliance with Judgements Obliging an Offender to Move Away Temporarily from Place of Residence; Programme of Centres of Specialised Support; Concerning Implementation of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence.
41.As of September 2012, there are 17 specialised assistance centres throughout Lithuania; financed by the state budget and run by Women’s NGO’s. The centres seek to help women, victims of domestic violence. Staff of the centres, when receiving information from police on cases of violence and contacts of a victim of domestic violence, contact victims immediately, by telephone, e-mail or directly, clarify situation and offer complex assistance, including emotional support; they also provide information of further assistance and individual plan on assistance measures, and agree with a victim of violence on a method of specialised complex assistance, most acceptable to a victim.
42.Sexual coercion, rape and other criminal acts of sexual nature are listed in Chapter XXI of the Criminal Code (Crimes and misdemeanours against freedom of a person’s sexual self-determination and inviolability). Criminal acts of sexual nature are always punishable, whether or not between spouses. However Lithuanian courts information system do not specify yet separately cases of issuing of protection orders, as the Law on the Protection against Domestic Violence. This opportunity remains for the future.
43.In the period from 15 to 31 December 2011, the Register of Incidents Registered by Police registered 1,712 reports on domestic violence; these served as a basis for 684 pre-trial investigations, including 330 cases where pre-trail investigation was refused. Pre-trial investigations opened in 2011 based on domestic violence recognised 566 women, 62 men and 69 children as victims, while 622 men, 38 women and 2 children were recognised as suspects.
44.In the period from 1 January to 31 December 2012, the Register of Incidents Registered by Police registered 18,268 reports on domestic violence; these served as a basis for 7,586 pre-trial investigations, including 3,604 cases where pre-trail investigation was refused. Pre-trial investigations opened in 2012 based on domestic violence recognised 6,494 women, 721 men and 637 children as victims, while 6,462 men, 286 women and 23 children were recognised as suspects.
45.In the period from 1 January to 31 December 2013, the Register of Incidents Registered by Police registered 21,615 reports on domestic violence, started 10,015 pre-trial investigations and in 7,286 cases pre-trail investigation was refused. In 2013 pre-trial investigations recognised as a victims: 8,322 women, 1,128 men and 739 children. 8,151 men, 501 women and 62 children were recognised as a suspects.
46.Before the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence entered into effect (until 15 December 2011), reports on domestic violence would usually be classified in the Register as “noise at home”, “domestic conflict”, etc., however there were some reports included in the above categories that were not related to domestic violence (e.g. conflict between neighbours, excessive noise in a flat, excessively loud music, etc.). There is therefore no opportunity to provide data on reports concerning domestic violence before the Law entered in force. Information on registered person’s victims from family members and relatives in 2010-2012 appears in Annex 4. Currently the new information system/database on criminal proceedings is under development. It is planned that this system will start functioning on October 2014.
47.The case classification used by the National Courts Administration, serving for collection of statistics on cases, includes no category concerning application of the Law on Domestic Violence. The National Courts Administration expects to consider an option to supplement classification of cases at a later date.
48.Continuous trainings are arranged for judges, judicial assistants and prosecutors. F.i. On 12-13 April 2011, a seminar on Domestic violence was conducted for 15 judges, 5 prosecutors and 10 police officers. On 14-15 April 2011, second seminar on Domestic violence was conducted for 15 judges, 2 judicial assistants, 5 prosecutors and 10 police officers. The seminars lasted 15 academic hours. Topics included best practise of legal reform (international principles and standards of legal reforms of domestic violence, objectives of governmental initiatives and response by the legislation, preventive protection orders and their objectives). Consequences to perpetrators. Facts and false interpretation of domestic violence. Theory of violence, power and control. Police response to domestic violence. Application of Duluth model on coordinated community response. Assessment of risk and latenticity of domestic violence. Identification of aggressor. Cases of elevated risk. Repeated abusers and infringements of protection measures. Mediation in case of domestic violence.
49.On 24-27 January 2011, a seminar was conducted on “Underage justice” involving 12 judges, 10 prosecutors, 5 professionals from the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice and 5 professionals from Police Department under the Ministry of Interior. On 5-8 December 2011, a second seminar was conducted on “Underage justice” involving 20 judges, 9 prosecutors, 4 professionals from the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice and 5 professionals from Police Department under the Ministry of Interior. The seminar includes the following topics: Violence against children in electronic space (2 academic hours). Domestic violence (2 academic hours). Special features on communicating with aggressive children and those victims from violence (3 academic hours).
50.2 seminars were run for the law enforcement officials and other lawyers, “Criminal procedure (addressed to district court judges with experience in judicial position over 5 years)” dedicated to topic on “Practical application of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence of the Republic of Lithuania” (2 academic hours). On 7-9 May 2012, seminar was conducted involving 28 judges, 3 judicial assistants, and 14 prosecutors. On 5-7 November 2012, seminar was conducted involving 31 judges, 3 judicial assistants, 14 prosecutors, and 1 other professional. In 2013, 3-academic hour seminars were conducted on “Practical issues of application of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence of the Republic of Lithuania”. On 18-20 February 2013, seminar was conducted involving 37 judges, 4 judicial assistants, and 8 prosecutors. Next seminar of this type for judges and prosecutors was conducted on 25-27 November 2013.
51.In 2011, the Lithuanian Police School ran 6 skill improvement seminars on violence against women, involving 69 police officers throughout Chief Police Commissariats in every county of Lithuania. In 2012, there were 14 skill improvement seminars on “Protection against domestic violence”, involving 201 police officer. In 2013, training on “Protection against domestic violence” by the Lithuanian Police School involved 228 officers. In 2013, the Ministry of the Interior jointly with the Crisis Centre, Vilnius Women's House ran 2-day training to officers of Vilnius city police and Emergency Response Centre on mechanisms for assistance to victims of domestic violence.
52.The website of the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior contains separate chapter “Living without violence”; it contains the above law and other legislation related to domestic violence, as well as methods and contacts to report on instances of domestic violence, as well as contacts of centres of specialised assistants. The same heading regularly publishes information on instances of domestic violence, their consequences, as well as preventive measures undertake by the police. Website www.bukstipri.lt, administered by the Ministry, publishes relevant information to victims of violence as well as the general public, including legal information, statistics, research data and preventive measures in place.
Response to para 9
53.The Ministry of Justice, seeking to improve accessibility of legal assistance to victims of violence and improve competence of respective officers, when implementing measures under the National Strategy on Reduction of Violence Against Women ran training for persons providing (organising) State-guaranteed legal aid, including issues of violence against women and reconciliatory mediation. The training involved 35 representatives of municipality administrations, 19 staff members of State-guaranteed legal aid services and 3 advocates of secondary legal aid offices.
54.In course of implementation of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence and the above Programme of the specialised assistance centres included in para 41, State funding was granted in 2012 to 9 centres providing specialised assistance to victims of domestic violence throughout Lithuanian municipalities. In 2012, funding of LTL 579,600 and in 2013, LTL 920,000 was made available from the State budget to the activities of the Centres. Information on assistance to victims, including temporary accommodation, by the region, to is presented appears in the Annex 5.
55.The Ministry of Social Security and Labour annually provide the funding for complex assistance to women, victims of violence and prevention measures. In 2010-2012, LTL 1,398,000 was granted for these purposes. In average, 25 projects of non-governmental organisations, mostly women’s organisations, are supported every year. NGO projects provide assistant to the victims of violence, including support in emergency situations, information and advice on the different opportunities of the services available, legal advice and psychological consultations, awareness raising, mediation with the service providers, work with perpetrators etc. Every year, 1,500 victims to violence receive complex assistance. Projects of women’s organisations greatly contribute to awareness raising and educational activities (conferences, seminars, round-table discussions, information campaigns and training) on the gender-based nature of violence, intolerance of violence etc.
Women trafficking and exploitation for prostitution
Response to para 10
56.Implementing measures of the Programme for human trafficking prevention and control, 2009-2012 were aimed to improve legal regulation of prevention and control of human trafficking, enhance interdepartmental cooperation in the field of prevention and control of human trafficking in municipal level, improve prevention of human trafficking and coercive prostitution through a wide range of information campaigns addressing human trafficking and through running training to teachers and administration of schools on hazards caused by human trafficking and prostitution; aid was granted to projects dedicated to social assistance to victims of human trafficking and coercive prostitution and to return the same people to the society and the labour market, offer assistance to victims of human trafficking returning from abroad to Lithuania, etc. The annual reports on the programme implementation measures are publicly available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. They contain detailed information on the concrete results, measured by the established qualitative and quantitative criteria. F.i., in 2012, 25 victims were reintegrated to the society, 12 gained identification documents, 30 victims were employed, 16 were registered at the Labour Exchange, as a job seekers, 4 victims acquired professions, 11 victims were protected from risky migration etc. Due to the financial constraints no external evaluation was carried out. Measures for improving confidence of foreign victims of trafficking in law enforcement agencies were not carried out as no such victims were identified. However there is established and order of the support for such a victims, including order of temporary residence permits, housing, etc.).
57.The Ministry of Social Security and Labour, when implementing the above programme, has provided financial assistance to the projects aimed to provide social assistance to victims of human trafficking and coercive prostitution and to return the same to the society and labour market. In the period of 2009-2012, 15 projects of non-governmental organisations were funded with total value of LTL 387,000. Complex assistance was granted to 398 individuals (including 340 women and 58 men), including 232 victims of human trafficking (the remainder being of different risk group). Temporary shelter was offered to 45 individuals.
58.The Consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in course of the above programme, offered assistance to people returning to the Republic of Lithuania, being victims of human trafficking abroad. In 2009-2010, the funding allocated to the measure was LTL 5,000, while in 2011-2012, LTL 10,000. In 2010, consular assistance was offered to 3 individuals, while in 2011 to 1 individual (Spain), and in 2012, to 6 individuals
59.The Consular department runs training for consular officials yearly, designed to train identification of victims of human trafficking and offer them qualified assistance. The intranet of the Ministry provides information to the consular officers on victim identification and assistance. Information to victims of human trafficking is placed on website of the Ministry at http://keliauk.urm.lt. In order to offer assistance to the victims of human trafficking and to contribute to their integration upon return to Lithuania, the staff members of the consular department regularly exchange information with competent Lithuanian and foreign authorities and the non-governmental organisations.
60.In order to ensure efficient implementation of the Programme for human trafficking prevention and control and to retain its continuity, an extension of the programme was designed, i.e. inter-institutional action plan on implantation of national programme on crime prevention and control. The aims, objectives and measures designed for prevention of human trafficking, allocations and implementing authorities appear in annex 6.
61.The Ministry of Social Security and Labour implementing inter-institutional action plan referred to in para 60 above, allocated LTL 150 thous. To finance 5 projects by the NGO in 2013 intended to assist victims of human trafficking and those in risk, preventive measures, etc. Estimated funding in 2013-2015 (LTL 150 thous. every year) concerns 5 projects aimed to implement preventive measures of human trafficking. Activities were aimed at awareness raising and information in communities and the public, encouraging of close inter-institutional cooperation in prevention and control of human trafficking and supervision of social workers, health care professionals, police officers and other professionals dealing with victims of human trafficking. In addition, in 2013, the ministry supported by the means of the state budget and the EU structural funds, 3 projects, aimed at prevention of trafficking and reintegration of the victims to the labour market, in total LTL 1 mln.
62.Apart from the above measures, there are annual training for professionals and international projects as well as interdepartmental meetings dedicated also to identification of victims of human trafficking and engagement of the same individuals, e.g. persons providing State-guaranteed legal assistance and organising its provision in 2012 had an opportunity to attend training on “human trafficking“. The police carried out measures within its competence dedicated to prevention of crimes related to human trafficking. Based on cooperation with Lithuanian Caritas, Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre, preventive events were organised to young audience and lectures were delivered on human trafficking. Preventive measures involved information on key methods of recruitment and abuse used by human traffickers, forms of human trafficking, organisations providing assistance to victims of human trafficking in Lithuania and abroad. The website of the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior regularly publishes information on prevention and control of human trafficking, risks posed by the same crime and various other issues.
63.Ministry of the Interior draws the attention, that complex assistance is made available to every victim of human trafficking, yet it is not always accepted. Through anonymity, personal data are not disseminated and accounted. Legal assistance based on State aid applies to every victim, unless they bring in their own advocate. Data on investigation of human trafficking, available to the Ministry from responsible authorities and organisations when compiling reports and completing international questionnaires appear in annex 7.
64.According to the Ministry of the Interior, so far, there were no temporary residence permits issued under Article 26 of the Law on Legal Status of Aliens for cooperation with criminal persecution authorities to aliens, victims of human trafficking. Notably, since 2013, the Refugees Reception Centre has specially fitted premises for accommodation and social assistance to any alien, who has been or still is victim of crimes related to human trafficking for the period of determination of cooperation with a pre-trial investigation authority or the court.
Response to para 11
65.In 2011, police officers issued 415 reports for actions provided by article 1821 of the Code of Administrative Offences, Engaging in prostitution or use of payable prostitution services. 408 reports were issued to adults, including 389 to women, 19 to men, and 7 to the minors. 17 reports were issued for purchase of prostitution services, all offenders being male. In 2012, police officers under the above article issues 252 reports, including 2 for minors. 20 men purchased prostitution services and 2 engaged in prostitution themselves. Administrative sanctions for minors were applied only in cases when it was fully proved, that their activities were voluntary and aimed at getting financial profit.
66.Notably, target group of projects supported by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour listed in the paras above, include victims of both human trafficking and coercive prostitution. Some 85% of individuals benefitting from complex assistance during these projects were women, mostly victims of coercive prostitution. There is a dedicated supported project, carried out by the Association of Women Affected by HIV/AIDS and their Relatives, engaging specifically with women affected by HIV/AIDS and related risk groups, as well as their relatives.
67.Professionals at the public health offices have competence to carry out educational activities and used their websites and specialised events, conferences addressed to various communities to disseminate relevant information on the sexually transmitted diseases and health risk of prostitution; they also run campaigns to mark the World AIDS Day. Offices of low-threshold services in Lithuania carry out tasks dedicated to mitigate prevalence of risk-related infections, risk of overdose and terminal cases, crime, other negative consequences to health, social, economic and legal consequences.
68.According to the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS (hereinafter the ULAC) in 2012, there were 11 independent legal entities or structural divisions of organisations (offices) offering low threshold services in Lithuania; In total, these actors distributed to beneficiaries of low threshold services 32,031 condoms (in 2011, 32,697 condoms), provided 17,534 consulting and information services (in 2011, 20,871 services), mediation services (registration to health care institutions, aid when benefitting from social legal services) of 3,094 (in 2011, 2,672 services). According to the ULAC, in 2012, there were 327 women examined for HIV infection (those offering sexual services for fee), and one women was diagnosed with HIV infection. Klaipėda Centre for Addiction Diseases performed HIV test to as many as 42.2% of women offering sexual services for fee.
69.In course of implementation of the trial 2011-2015 National programme for prevention of violence against children and for assistance to children, complex assistance (psychological, medical, social and legal) has been provided since 2005 to children and their family members, victims of violence, including sexual violence. However, the demand for the services exceeds abilities of the organisations to render complex services to victims of violence. Annual funding granted to NGO is approx. LTL 300,000.
70.In order to ensure long-term assistance, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, in implementing programme on “Children and youth in risk group” under financial mechanism of the European Economic Area expects to establish, by 2016, a centre for assistance of children, victims of sexual violence. Once the centre is established in Lithuania, children, victims of sexual violence or sexual abuse and their families would have guaranteed specialised complex assistance, quality interrogation of a child and other services. The centre seeks to prevent repeated traumatisation of children, exposed to sexual violence and abuse, to reduce possibility for secondary damage and help tackle trauma effects.
71.Article 182(1) of the Code on Administrative Offences provides liability not only for engagement in prostitution but also for use of the same services. Comment to article 182(1) of the Code provides that no underage person, involved in prostitution in any manner, shall be held accountable in administrative procedure, except of cases, when it is proved, that the minor do it voluntarily with the purpose of gaining profit.
Involvement in public and political life
Response to para 12
72.In 2012, 33 women (23% of all members of the Parliament) were elected. In the late 2013, there is 1 female minister out of 14 (7%). In 2011, 342 women (22%) were elected to municipal councils. In 2013, there are 6 women mayors out of 60 (10%). In the late 2013, women accounted for 76% of civil servants (statutory officers excluded). According to the data available to the Register of Civil Servants, 3,737 women hold managing positions in civil service (statutory officers excluded). More detailed information on involvement of men and women in the public and political life appears in annex 8.
73.During implementation of Programme measures, activities of women politicians clubs throughout Lithuanian regions receive LTL 10,000 funding per year. The measure in question runs seminars for members of Milda club, uniting of women politicians of various political parties, arranges meetings with heads of clubs of women politicians of major Lithuanian cities. E.g. in 2012, a seminar was run on “How to organise successful election campaign” involving 13 women politicians representing different parties from Lithuanian regions. The measure also runs social event of Milda club of women politicians, seeking to expand activity of contact network. The event involved 71 women from various organisations and parties from Lithuanian regions. Kaunas hosted a conference on “Parliament election in terms of gender equality”. The conference involved 96 individuals, mostly active politicians from Milda club. Meeting of Milda network of women politicians in 2013 provided strategies concerning election to the European Parliament (EP) and municipalities. Different events held discussions that decided to exploit the period prior to election to the EP for women in 50-50 campaign, and to seek to ensure 50% representation of women in the list of candidates.
74.The parties, when compiling list for elections, voluntarily select an option to use a certain model for gender balance. The Law on Equal Opportunities provides for an option of special interim measures, subject to respective laws. However, draft amendments of certain laws submitted to date did not meet joint agreement in the Parliament.
Response to para 13
75.For the purpose of implementation of the Strategy for equal opportunities of men and women in science, the Lithuanian Academy of Science has carried out in 2011-2012 project funded by the EU structural funds on “Promotion of gender equality in science (LYMOS)”. The project included activities provided for by the strategy: it awarded scholarships to scientists returning to work after their maternity/paternity leave, granted support for scientific expeditions, conducted lectures-discussions in the Parliament and the Government, carried out long-term and short-term training on issues of gender equality, conducted international conference on “Promotion of gender equality in science”, conducted study on public opinion concerning gender equality, conducted awareness campaign, designed an internet portal, carried out publicity campaign, broadcasted social advertising over national television, published a book on “Promotion of gender equality in science”, which, apart from results of various studies, includes recommendations for institutions of science and studies as regards establishment of equal opportunities of scientists, both men and women, in institutions of science and studies. No external impact assessment was carried out.
76.The Ministry of Education and Science granted funding for update of software of the information system of dropouts and children not in education (NEMIS) in order to improve the system. Draft regulations of NEMIS are coordinated with other authorities. Software update and testing is underway.
77.The Programme provides for specific measures in the field of education and science, falling within responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Science. Impact of those measures will be assessed in the Overall extended comparative Impact Assessment of the Programme.
78.Before 2013, register of pupils did not gather data on national or ethnic origin of pupils. Since 2013-2014 academic year, data on the native language(s) is registered, however the schools are not required to provide the same data. According to the preliminary data, available to the Ministry of Education and Science, out of a total of 357,421 pupils is Lithuanian comprehensive schools there are 414 Roma pupils (227 girls and 187 boys). This accounts for 0.1% of total number of pupils. Grades 9-10 (part II of comprehensive education) and grades 11-12 (secondary education) includes more girls: 24 in grades 9-10, 7 in grades 11-12, while there are 15 boys in grades 9-10 and 5 girls in grades 11-12. There are yet no data available on exclusion or drop out of Roma pupils, as there is no possibility to compare data (as they were previously not collected). Register of students contains no data on nationality or native language of a student, therefore this register of students does not show the number of Roma students.
79.In order to facilitate integration at school for pupils of pre-school age, there is annual funding made available to the centre of Roma community, running preparation for school of 40 children 4-7 years old, including classes of Lithuanian, mathematics and social skills. All boys and girls living in the same settlement attend classes. Non-governmental organisation Lithuanian Young Falcon Union carries out a project on “Help me fit in: first steps at school”, seeking to develop new long-term methods to combat exclusion of Roma children. The project is based on cooperation between Lithuanian volunteers and Roma children, built on friendship, mutual understanding, contributing to motivation of Roman children and their opportunities to integrate in school more successfully, combating mutual negative attitudes and expanding opportunities for integration. 2 classes take place every week, with one dedicated to improvement of social skills following programme of informal education and another is a class for homework. Girls represent majority of children involved in the project.
Response to para 14
80.Equality of men and women in employment area is a long term priority of the continuous National Programme on Equal Opportunities for women and men. Set of targeted measures under the Programme is dedicated to regularly eliminate preconditions for horizontal and vertical professional segregation in the labour market, including elimination of structural inequalities.
81.Measures of Programme in employment area are implemented together with women’s organisations, providing funding for their relevant projects. F.i., the continuous project of Women’s Issues Information Centre got funding from the Ministry of Social Security and Labour in 2012 and 2013. Within this project Equality workplaces are selected annually, f.i., in 2013, Kybartai Correction House and UAB Plius were voted as “Most equal workplaces”. The competitions seek to promote planning of gender equality at work, which contributes to combating vertical and horizontal professional segregation.
82.Combatting vertical and horizontal professional segregation and improved gender balance in the labour market benefits from training, seminars and other education activities, funded by the programme. F.i., in 2013 Women’s issues information centre organised trainings for social partners. In total 38 participants, representatives from various trade unions from 11 Lithuanian towns were trained. The Social Innovation Fund ran 2 seminars in Marijampolė and Jurbarkas in 2012, dedicated to “Planned and regular implementation of equality of men and women at work”. The seminars involved 26 employees or their representatives.
83.For the persons seeking self employment or establishment their own businesses, the Lithuanian Labour Exchange provides information on the conditions of starting business, business development, recruitment, opportunities for activities under business license, and runs training of introduction to business. Training dedicated to introduction to business organisation in 2012 involves 4,277 individuals, including 1,885 women (in 2011, there were 3,304 individuals, including 1,482 women). Those seeking independent occupation are informed and advised individually in territorial labour exchange offices on conditions of starting business, its development and opportunities for activity under business certificate. In 2012, consultation on opportunities for activity under business certificate, using State-aid, was provided to 24,380 individuals including 11,544 women (in 2011, consultation was provided to 42,343 individuals, including 17,952 women).
84.The Ministry of Agriculture adopted regulations on tender for support of business initiatives of rural people and included the following criteria for support: “an applicant (farmer or rural resident) is a woman or at least 18 months without interruption prior to submission of application for support women account for at least 50% of average annual number of employees”. Support for implementation of local development strategies is only made available to groups of local activities that ensure gender balance in the management bodies of local activity group, i.e. at least 40% of same sex individuals in management body with decision taking right.
85.Measures dedicated to combat horizontal and vertical professional segregation in the labour market also contribute to decreasing gender pay gap. According to the European Commission’s Progress report on Equality between women and men, 2012, Lithuania was positively evaluated as regards reducing the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap decreased almost twice: from 22.6% in 2007 to 11.9% in 2011.
86.Draft Law on Salary for Staff Members of State and Municipal Institutions of the Republic of Lithuania is currently coordinated with relevant ministries. Draft law seeks to set out a single salary system applicable to staff members of State and municipal bodies employed under labour agreement. The draft law seeks to equalise salary conditions for individuals engaged in job of equal qualification and complexity, relate salary of managers and other employees to the performance in the previous year, assessed using annual tasks, targets and assessment indicators applicable to both manager and employee in advance.
87.Infringement of the Law on Equal Opportunities presents an administrative offence examined by the Office of Equal opportunities Ombudsman in accordance with article 2476 of the Code of the Administrative Offences. The Code provides administrative fine of LTL 100 to 2,000 for infringement of the same law, with the fine of LTL 2,000 to 4,000 imposed for repeated actions. The same sanctions also apply to employers failing to ensure equal salary for men and women. National Courts Administration data below:
-Vilnius Regional Court, civil case No 2-1434-798/2012. The court delivered a judgement by default granting the claim by L. Š., the plaintiff, to the Romanian embassy concerning discrimination based on sex and disability as well as compensation of property and moral damage in part. The court of appellate instance modified the judgement in part (case No 2A-949/2013). The case is currently pending before the Supreme Court of Lithuania.
-Judgement of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in case No 3K-3-309/2012: ruling of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, dated 11 November 2011, shall be reinstated by clarifying the same and by stating that A. C. shall be treated as dismissed from work under article 28 of the Law on the Employment Contract on the day the judgement enters into effect (case of the court of the first instance No 2-1212-553/2011).
-Judgement of the Supreme Court of Lithuania in case No 3K-3-598/2012: the judgements shall be reinstated and the claim dismissed (case of the court of the first instance No 2-44-669/2012).
Response to para 15
88.In 2009 and 2011, men accounted for 7% of persons taking parental leave (3,300 men in 2009, 3,100 men in 2010). In 2010, men accounted for 7.5% of persons taking parental leave (3,600 men) and in 2012 – 8,1 percent. Lithuania collects no information as to number of men or women working on flexible work schedule. According to the 2012 report by the European Commission on the progress of equal rights between men and women, both men and women in Lithuania (whether with/without children) benefit from opportunities of part-time work rarely. Difference of employment rate of women with children below 6 years and those with no children accounted for -0.7% in 2012. In 2012, part time job by women accounted for 10.6% of a total employment rate.
89.Promotion of responsible parenthood, including encouragement of men to take paternity leave remains a long-term priority of the Programme. In line with the programme, in 2012, Super Tėvelis (SuperDad) page was designed on Facebook social network; this page includes articles, designs and fills in content of applications, is place for various competitions (e.g. in 2 semester 2013, election of “Super daddy” was run). SuperTėvelis page currently has over 1,000 active followers, mostly young men and overall figure of visitors exceeds 300.000. as a result of the measures taken, availability of child care facilities increased since 79043 children in the kindergartens in 2011, to 87 559 in 2012, and 92 313 in 2013.
Response to para 16
90.On 10 March 2013, 9 members of Parliament submitted for consideration the draft Law on Protection of Life in Prenatal Stage (draft law). The draft law provides for key principles governing protection of life in the prenatal stage: it sets out that human life originates from the moment of insemination of a woman and that all issues related to protection of life in the prenatal stage must be dealt with by granting priority to the rights of the new child, except for 3 cases: where pregnancy poses risk to life or health of the pregnant woman; where prenatal examination shows elevated probability of foetus being severely damaged or a child contracting incurable possibly terminal disease; when there are reasons to believe that pregnancy was caused by criminal acts. Draft law provides for permitted conditions for abortion and criminal liability for failure to comply with the law; it also sets out requirements and tasks to the Government and the Ministries to run care of foetus and pregnant women as well as training on life in the prenatal stage.
91.The government did not approve of the draft law, as it limits the privacy of women. There were some doubts also as regards conformity to the doctrines of the Constitutional Court, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, framework recommendations of the Committee, principles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the case law established by the European Court of Human Rights. The Legal department and the Chancery of the Parliament carried out assessment of the draft law and concluded that unconditional protection of an unborn child cannot be deemed sufficient and necessary condition for restriction of privacy of women.
92.The draft law brought about discussions in the general public. As suggested by the public survey carried out by Sprinter tyrimai, company on public opinion and market studies dated 16-23 June 2010, commissioned by DELFI portal, only 9.2% respondents have completely know support for abortion, while 36.3% show full support and 48% show partial support. The draft law is currently debated in the Parliament. The draft law is examined in every aspect, including moral, social, health, legal, etc. The Human Rights Committee of the Parliament receives considerable feedback from various non-governmental organisations that suggest very diverse assessment of the draft law.
93.The draft law on artificial insemination (hereinafter the draft) was discussed in the spring session of the Parliament in 2011. Failing to come to common understanding as regards certain provisions of the law, adoption of the draft was adjourned. The Ministry of Health will request the management of the Parliament to see to rapid adoption of the draft.
94.In the elementary education, elements of sexual education form part of curriculum of general elementary education programme, subject of world cognition. Every school can select implementation of programme on preparation for family and development of sexuality that also includes topic for elementary school pupils. The content of elementary education focuses on development of respect (both of oneself and of others), equal value, equal rights, responsibility, tolerance, etc. Any school is free to dedicate time for the programme using education hours dedicated to informal education and educational needs of pupils. A single elementary class is granted 2/3 hours per week (lessons to meet educational needs of pupils: in grade 5-8, 3 lessons per week for each set of grades and 9-10 grades, 7 lessons per each set of grade per week).
95.Sexuality as regards pupils of elementary grades is developed in the context of topics of family, gender, culture, society and sexual health. One seeks to impart necessary knowledge of physiological and mental changes during early school age, personal hygiene, gender differences, control of emotions, etc., shape, adequate social skills, positive self-perception, abilities to resist impact of negative environment, help friends in trouble, etc.
96.Issues of sexual education form part of subjects (e.g. ethics, biology) of general programmes in the comprehensive and secondary education. The programme on preparation for family and sexual education referred to by the Committee seeks education of concentres of pupils of all ages. This is an opportunity for pupils to consistently clarify biological, social, psychological, cultural and spiritual aspects of puberty, preparation for family, sexual health, responsibility and development of solid relationship. Information related to education of sexuality is presented in view of psychological readiness and the need of children of that age concentre, with emphasis on balance of physical and mental development rather than on volume of knowledge.
97.Model on provision of health care services favourable to youth is in process of development and implementation in municipalities. Health care favourable to young people seeks to combat prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS among young people, help to avoid undesired pregnancy, provide young people with necessary knowledge on contraception and safer sexual life, improve physical and mental health of young people, develop real life skills instrumental to young people in taking health-related solutions. The model in question is developed under project “Development of model of health care services favourable to youth” funded under programme of “Initiatives for public health” under 2009-2014 Norwegian financial mechanism.
98.Professionals at public health offices implement various educational measures dedicated to prevent pregnancy of teenagers or to reduce number of pregnancies and carry out sexual education in educational institutions. E.g. in 2011-2012, public health office at Radviliškis region municipality prepared information stands for sexuality and published an information edition on „Welcome to the women’s world“ (2,000 copies), organised 69 discussions on “Development of sexuality”, lectures to pupils on different topics, e.g. “Contraception” (21 participants), “Letter to girls” (11 participants), “ŽIV / AIDS – know better” (17 participants).
99.The Ministry of Health is initiating meetings with the parliamentary group of development cooperation, reproduction health and rights of the Parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Social Security and Labour and Ministry of the Interior, as well as NGO and other individuals in interest, in order to discuss relevant issues of reproductive health, as relates to implementation of recommendations on reproductive health in Lithuania, as set out by the UN and other international organisations and to ensure complete implementation of sexual and reproduction health strategy in the European region of the World Health Organisation.
100.Laws governing health care include no discriminatory provisions as regards disability. Disabled persons have equal opportunities to use services of reproduction health offered in Lithuania in par with other Lithuanian residents. Article 2.25 of the Civil Code provides that intervention into a human body, removal of parts of his body or organs shall be possible only with his consent. Consent to a surgical operation shall be given in writing. Where a person is incapable his guardian shall give his consent, in the event of castration, sterilisation, abortion, operation, removal of organs of an incapable person, however, authorisation of the court shall be necessary. Law on the Rights of Patients and Compensation of the Damage to their Health provides that relationship of patient and health care professionals, health care institutions shall apart from other principles, be based on principle prohibiting restriction of the rights of patient based on disability.
Vulnerable groups of women
Response to clause 17
101.In line with the recommendation by the Committee, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour initiated comparative study on “Analysis of status women in rural areas, disabled women, women of national minorities, including Roma women, elderly women (group of 55–60 year old (pre-retirement age) and over 60 years of age), and women migrants, based on various aspects”. The study seeks to examine status of groups of women provided in the recommendation of the Committee in terms of occupation, education, lifelong learning and culture, their abilities to gain accommodation, have access to health care services, social services, legal assistance, credits for business and take part in decision taking. Results based on digital and percentage expression will be presented in detail at the meeting.
102.Representatives of certain vulnerable groups provided by law are eligible to social accommodation, using support from the State budget. Support for acquisition or lease of accommodation and conditions governing granting of the same is governed by the Law on State Support for Purchase or Lease for Housing and Renovation (Modernisation) of Apartment Buildings; the Law provides that support for purchase or lease of accommodation shall be available to natural persons (families) having regular residence in Lithuania, where there asset and income does not exceed the values set by the Government. Article 11 of the Law provides that persons (families) eligible to the municipal social housing or improvement of its conditions, shall be entered into one of the following lists where they submit application and documents demonstrating their right to social housing to municipal executive authority: 1) list of young families; 2) list of families with three children (stepchildren) or more; 3) list of former orphans or persons with no parental care; 4) list of the disabled and families with disabled persons; 5) general list; 6) lessees of social housing, eligible to improvement of housing conditions. Data on social services for various vulnerable groups in 2012 appear in annex 9.
103.In view of question by the Committee on various measures throughout areas of application of the convention, they are implemented within the National Antidiscrimination Programme 2009-2011 and Inter-institutional action plan on promotion of non-discrimination 2012-2014, assuring its continuity. Both programmes are implemented through close cooperation with the NGO. Specific programme measures target co-funding of projects by NGO, protecting human rights.
104.Implementation of 2009-2011 National anti-discrimination programme measures involved events promoting tolerance and cognition of other cultures It also involved drafting of methodical recommendations concerning criminal acts perpetrated on motives of race, nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia or other discrimination grounds. There was training run concerning special features of pre-trial examination, managing and performance thereof Trainings also involved members of youth association on issues of development of tolerance and respect of human rights. In comprehensive schools, a study was carried out concerning tolerance to various social groups as well as study on potential discrimination signs in comprehensive schools.
105.In 2010, National Equality and Diversity Forum (Forum) was established. It is a national network for cooperation, uniting NGOs, representing groups of people vulnerable to discrimination, seeking join objectives when combating discrimination based on sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion and beliefs, race or ethnic origin. The forum gathers resources of the NGO, information and experience for effective engagement in activities combating discrimination; it also provides an opportunity to stakeholders to take part in development and monitoring of measures of anti-discrimination policy, practise and process of improvement; the forum seeks to enhance tolerance, develop respect for human rights, combat science of discrimination, raise level of awareness of discrimination issue in the general public.
106.In cooperation with the Forum, the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman is implementing project Įvairovė.LT, in 2013-2014, dedicated to introduction to the issues of discrimination and promotion of ideas of diversity and equality. The project includes issues of discrimination on various grounds: sex, age, religion, disability, nationality or sexual orientation. Implementation of the project involves “Days of Equality” in 10 different Lithuanian regions. The events are used to provide information on various reasons for discrimination, aims of legislation of the EU and Lithuania in this field, as well as exchange of information on equal opportunities and rights. The campaign targets communities of local municipalities and their staff members, non-governmental organisations, school communities and local residents. The campaign also features lectures, open discussions and introduces innovative and interactive measures. “Days of Equality” in Lithuania will also be an occasion for awards for diversity, being presented to staff members across regions, who have most contributed to support and dissemination of ideas on diversity and non-discrimination.
107.On 15-16 March 2013, Vilnius hosted training on multilevel discrimination topic “Diversity among us”. 60 participants to the training learned of forms and prevalence of discrimination based on disability, age, sex, race, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, implementation of principles of equality and diversity. The participants also discussed concept of tolerance, variation in predetermined attitudes, role of local authorities and communities in developing an integrated society. The meeting presented experience of foreign countries when dealing with social issues and measures available to combat multilevel discrimination.
108.Women of national minorities in Lithuania are actively involved in public and cultural life and in decision taking related to protection of rights of minorities, foster and disseminate national identity (language, traditions, national heritage) in the country. There are some 260 active national minority NGOs in Lithuania, and some 50% of these are headed by women. Out of twenty six members of the national community council in 2012-2014, 50% members represent women. In Lithuania, organisations include Society of Polish Women in Lithuania, Society of Ukrainian Women in Lithuania, and Society of Women Businessmen of Ethnic Groups in Lithuania. The latter society is active in fostering development and supporting of activity dedicated to women of national minorities in Lithuania, related to organisation and development of business and is part of the European network of migrant women. Women of national minorities are active players in the activity of Saturday or Sunday’s schools for national minorities, take care of development of cultural competence of children and youth of national minorities.
109.Information on measures dedicated to vulnerable groups of women in specific areas of convention application also appears in previous paras. E.g., policy applicable dedicated to social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups, including women of senior age as well as implemented measures appears in answer to para 18. The conclusions and recommendations of the Study undertaken in 2008 on the situation of men and women of national minorities in the labour market were taken into account in the National Minorities Policy Development Strategy. F.i., to facilitate access to the labour market, courses of national language were organised free of charge. In 2013, 400 persons were involved in these trainings and got certificates. Majority of them – women.
Response to para 18
110.As of 1 March 2011, there were 1,640,800 women in Lithuania, accounting for 53.9% of the total population, i.e. 7.8 percentage point more than a number of men, who accounted to 46.1% (1,402,600) of the total population. Share of women in cities, compared to the total population, amounted to 55.1%, while in rural areas it amounted to 51.6%. Share of women increases particularly in advanced age: the more advanced the age groups of population, the higher the share of women (see annex 10). As for the age group below 54 years, households of a single person include more men than women, while in the advanced age of 55 years and more, households of a single person include more women than men. More than 30% of all women aged 55 years and more live in households of a single individual (35%), including as much as 60% women, aged 70 and more. Number of elderly women (55 years old and more) in households of single individuals is considerably higher in cities, 69.8% (in rural areas, 30.2%).
111.Distribution of senior women in individual age groups is rather even throughout the regions. Share of women of respective age group between maximum and minimum value varies approximately 2 percentage points, except for group of women aged ≥80. Women of this age group in Utena county account for 20.1%, while in Klaipėda county, 16.1%, i.e. the difference between the said regions amount to 4 percentage points. Utena county has a lot more senior women compared to Klaipėda and Vilnius counties, however, difference from other counties is negligible. Detailed statistics on senior women based on age group, family status and region appear in annex 10.
112.2014–2020 National progress programme includes key provisions of national policy and fundamental provisions of EU policy, as presented in Europe 2020 strategy on sustainable, progressive and integrated growth. The measures will rely on funding from both State budget and structural support. The programme provides for directions of implementation, covering life-long learning, informal education, by combating social and digital exclusion of the elderly and promotion and development of learning of pensioners. The programme also focusses on development and accessibility to public services, particularly with respect to vulnerable groups of society, enhancement of quality employment, by securing equality of men and women in the labour market, in implementing initiatives related to active and healthy aging. Employment rate of the elderly in Lithuania exceeds the EU average rate.
113.In order to encourage all residents of working age to take part and senior employees to remain longer in the labour market, 2014-2020 programme for promotion of employment includes and implements measures dedicated to assurance of more favourable conditions to representatives of vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly (see annex 11).
114.2014-2020 action plan on better social inclusion provides for better availability of housing to vulnerable groups of residents, better adaptation of housing to the disabled and the elderly, development of integrated assistance (social care and nursing) at home; implementing target projects and initiatives dedicated to improve quality of life of residents of vulnerable groups, by making health care services more accessible; developing effective and timely health care services in the field of healthy aging, dedicated to help the elderly to stay longer in the labour market and combat their risk of social exclusion, encouraging active involvement of elderly women when dealing with social issues, involvement in cultural life and community activity.
115.Laws governing health care ensure the same health care to elderly women as to any other Lithuanian resident. Article 6 of the Law on Health Insurance 6 provides that health insurance covered by State funding includes persons benefitting from any type of pension or social assistance allowance provided by law as well as persons on State support, receiving social allowance. The Minister of health has passed an order approving list of diseases and reimbursable medication (list A), serving as a basis for reimbursement of certain diseases to the insured with mandatory health insurance, using medication entered in the list. The Minister has also approved list of reimbursable medication (list B), dedicated to patients in specific social groups, having lesser financial opportunities to purchase given medication, i.e. children, pensioners and the disabled. Under this list, base rate for certain medication (other than those include in list A) is reimbursed at 50% to the patients falling in the following groups: pensioners, residents benefitting from pension of group II disability or persons with partial working capacity, having 30-40% level working capacity as well as beneficiaries of social assistance (social pensions).
116.Given that with persons aged 60 years and more, changes brought about by ageing are often accompanied by several chronic diseases, reducing functional independence of a patient, and in order to focus on complex treatment of old age people, special requirements and base rate for geriatric services were approved. Patients treated in the geriatric divisions benefit from complete geriatric examination and medication frequent, also using physical and psychological methods. Geriatric divisions integrate medical, psychological and social care of the elderly.
Marriage and family relations
Response to para 19
117.In order to implement duty of the State based on the Constitution not only to establish legal regulation which inter alia would protect the rights and legitimate interests of cohabiting out of marriage man and woman and their children, but also to use laws and other legislation to regulate the family relations in such a way, that there would be no conditions to discriminate out of marriage cohabitants or their children (step-children), the Ministry of Justice on 11 October 2013 drafted and submitted for coordination with other authorities and the public the draft law on amendment of Articles 2.18, 2.19, 3.16, 3.140, 3.150, 3.229, 3.230, 3.231, 3.232, 3.233, 3.234, 3.235, 5.13 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania and on supplement of the Code by articles 3.2291 and 3.2341 (hereinafter Draft Law on Partnership). In the Draft Law on Partnership it is included that the cohabitation of woman and man (partners), when leading to family relations without registering marriage, should be recognized as partnership. In the Draft on Partnership it is also stated that both economic and personal non-economic (duties of loyalty, mutual respect and mutual moral support) relationship of the partners should be regulated. Because in the Draft Law on Partnership the partnership is related to stability, permanent and long-term nature of relationship between man and woman, which seek to establish family relationship, it is proposed to establish a presumption of paternity (with equivalent presumption already applicable in marriage), as well as the principle that in the event assets of partners must be divided, the interests of their children must always be taken into account. The Draft Law on Partnership, taking into account comments and proposals by the stakeholders and the public was submitted to the Government on 10 December 2013. On 16 December 2013 the Government returned the Draft Law on partnership to the Ministry of Justice for improvement.
Response to clause 20
118.According to LITEKO data, district courts in 2012 and I semester 2013, examined 3 cases concerning reduction of marital age under article 3.14(2) of the Civil Code as referred to by the Committee. All applications were submitted by women. One application for reduction of marital age was rejected (submitted by 16 year old girl) and two applications granted (17 year old girls) As no information on the applicants’ nationality for reduction of marital age under article 3.14(2) of the Civil Code is gathered by LITEKO, no information can be provided.
119.According to the Article 3.117(1) of the Civil Code, the shares of the spouses in joint community property shall be presumed to be equal, regardless of one or both spouses being employed, and regardless of income by any or both spouses. Court can departure from the Principle of the equality of the shares might be changed only by the Court and only on limited grounds as provided by the Article 3.123 of the Civil Code only: having regard to the interests of the minor children, the health state or the financial position of one of the spouses or other important circumstances. Where this article applies, the court must determine the extent the departure is required in order to protect interests of both weaker spouse and children. Notably this interpretation of principles for distribution of asset conforms to the case law of the Supreme Court of Lithuania when dealing with issues of distribution of asset both involving spouses and partners.