16 June 2017

 MG 8209Attending the international conference addressing the issue “The ratification of [the] Istanbul Convention – what would change?”, Mr Augustinas Normantas, the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office, expressed the hope that the protection of women from violence would remain the focus of the discussion.

Mr Normantas expressed his belief that domestic violence has been and continues to be one of the critical problems in the country: "By adopting the Law on Domestic Violence, we recognised the existence of the problem, but it is necessary to continue work and discuss how efficiently [the law can] protect women from violence and [help] victims of domestic violence."

The Seimas Ombudsman recalled that during his visit to Lithuania, Nils Muižnieks, the Commissioner for Human Rights with the Council of Europe, urged Lithuania to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which was signed by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičiaus in 2013, noting that it is a tool to fight against both domestic violence and violence against women.

Joining the discussion, Mr Normantas, the Seimas ombudsman, noted: "It is symbolic that on 23 March when the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office became an accredited National Human Rights Institution, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis, identified the ratification of [the] Istanbul Convention as one of the underlying questions of the Government’s agenda."

Remembering the disproportionate fears and fierce debate that preceded the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr Normantas urged the participants of the conference to remember the principal aim of the Istanbul Convention – the protection of women from violence.