3 February 2017
EU Twinning Project “Implementation of the best European practices with the aim of strengthening the institutional capacity of the Apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to protect human rights and freedoms (Apparatus)” was launched last Friday, 3rd of February.
The goal of this EU Twinning Project is to ensure the effective prevention and response to violations of human rights by strengthening the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) institution as an efficient mechanism of parliamentary control over the observance of human rights and freedoms at the national level, taking into account the best European practices. The Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights is the main beneficiary of this Twinning Project.
Opening Ceremony, bringing together Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Austrian project partners, marked a launch of the Twinning Project. This event was opened by H.E. Hugues Mingarelli, Ambassador of the European Union and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, H.E. Marius Janukonis, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine, H.E. Hermine Poppeller,Ambassador of Austria to Ukraine,Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights and Mr. Augustinas Normantas, Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office of the Republic of Lithuania. Ms. Milda Vainiutė, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr. Dainius Žalimas, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania shared best Lithuanian and EU practices in the human rights protection area at the Opening Ceremony of the Project.
“The project aimed at building capacities of the most critical institution in democratic societies serves as a bridge between people and authorities and also seeks to forge the ties between local entities for a common goal”– stated in his speech during the opening ceremony Mr. Augustinas Normantas, Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office of the Republic of Lithuania.
2 February 2017
While in Ukraine, the Semas Ombudsman, Mr. Normantas, met with the Ukrainian justice minister, Mr. Pavlo Petrenko. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the justice system’s reforms of Ukraine and the issues concerning the strengthening of the apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
Speaking with Mr. Petrenko, Mr. Normantas stressed the importance of an independent ombudsperson institution in democratic societies and introduced the project implemented by the consortium of Lithuanian and Austrian teams, which is aimed at strengthening the apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
The project focuses on the improvement of the legal system in Ukraine, with the aim of preventing human rights violations. It is implemented under the leadership of Mr. Normantas.
Mr. Žalimas, the chair of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, pointed out that the constitution must be a safeguard for all reforms, so they can be carried out without prejudice to the country's constitution.
12 January 2017
The Seimas Ombudsman, Augustinas Normantas, has met with the head of the Prison Department, Živilė Mikėnaitė, and the governors of prisons. The Minister of Justice, Ms. Milda Vainiute, and the Chairs of the Seimas Committees on Human Rights and Legal Affairs, Mr. Valerij Simulik and Mr. Julius Sabatauskas, also attended the meeting.
At the beginning of the gathering, Mr. Normantas, the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office, drew the attention of the managers of penitentiaries towards pressing problems in prisons, including poor incarceration conditions. “They continue to be in a state of non-compliance with the statutory regulations regarding minimum space per person,” he noted.
Mr. Normantas supported the opinion of the Chair of the Seimas Committee Legal Affairs who pointed out that without handling the problem of confinement conditions, Lithuania not only violates human rights but also pays out immense sums adjudged to convicts because of extreme imprisonment conditions.
“The European Court of Human Rights is considering launching a case against Lithuania owing to systematic human rights violations in prisons,” he emphasised.