21 July 2014

 MG 0811bOn 15 July 2014, the Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Šukys, advisers to the President Jovita Neliupšienė and Indrė Pukanasytė as well as the Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva Rytis Palauskas had a meeting to discuss the perspectives of the Seimas Ombudsmen Office to become a National Human Rights Institution.

In May, the Committee against Torture positively evaluated the activities of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office in performing the monitoring of detention places, but encouraged Lithuanian institutions to make a final decision regarding the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution in Lithuania.

Furthermore, the Committee against Torture drew Lithuanian's attention towards its insufficient funding and low number of employees and urged Lithuania to make crucial decisions regarding status of a National Human Rights Institution and funding.

In the opinion of R. Šukys, the mandate of a National Human Rights Institution would provide the Seimas Ombudsmen Office more possibilities to coordinate various activities as well as cooperate with different institutions and organizations on human rights issues:3000168b

“This meeting was a continuation of our work, since we met with non-governmental organizations in spring. As soon as the amendments to the Law on Seimas Ombudsmen are adopted in the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, the human rights will get our full attention”, promised the Seimas Ombudsman R. Šukys.

The strategic goal of activities of the Seimas Ombudsmen – to become a National Human Rights Institution – has not been achieved yet.

"Amendments to the Law on Seimas Ombudsmen will grant additional mandate to the Seimas Ombudsmen to perform monitoring of human rights and freedoms as well as to report on the situation", stated the head of Seimas Ombudsmen Office A. Normantas.