30 September 2015
The refugee resettlement is one of the most burning problems not only in Europe but also in Lithuania; therefore, on 29 September 2015, the Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Šukys met with Elvinas Jankevičius, Vice-minister of the Interior with an aim to get familiar with the procedure of resettlement of asylum seekers as well as to discuss the refugee resettlement issues.
The discussion was about the quantity of asylum seekers to be transferred to Lithuania and ways of transfer. Also, there was a consultation on the settlement services and the stages of the resettlement of refugees. The Seimas Ombudsmen drew the attention of the Vice-minister of the Interior to the fact that the Foreigners Registration Centre is overcrowded and there is only limited space for refugees in the Refugee Reception Centre.
“The European Council in early October will make a (final) decision concerning the resettlement of refugees and will determine the method for refugee settlement, which will define where and in how many stages they will have to be accommodated in Lithuania. As part of the national prevention of torture, we must ensure that this process is as smooth as possible and does not violate human rights,” after a meeting with the Vice-minister of the Interior emphasised the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office A. Normantas.
19 August 2015
On 19 August 2015 the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas paid a visit to Panevėžys where an introductory meeting with an administration of Panevėžys municipality and heads of adult care homes of Panevėžys district was conducted.
At the meeting the Deputy Mayor of Panevėžys Petras Luomanas noted that a person does not lose his / her dignity after moving to an elderly foster home: “On the contrary, those people need more attention and responsiveness”.
The mandate for national prevention of torture under Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) as well as peculiarities of human rights assessment were introduced to the participants of the meeting.
5 August 2015
After investigating a complaint when the Migration Department and the Foreigners Registration Centre treated circumstances differently regarding asylum of a minor in Lithuania, the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas recommended the Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis to consider a possibility to regulate the legal status of minor aliens in cases when their parents become detained.
The investigation revealed that the Migration Department granted temporary territorial asylum to a complainant and his minor son in the Republic of Lithuania. However, after the decision of the Migration Department, the Lazdijai District Court detained the complainant creating an embarrassing situation by not specifying who should take care of a detainee’s minor son.
The Migration Department defended position that the complainant's son did not have a status of an unaccompanied minor alien, whereas the Foreigners Registration Centre was convinced that the complainant’s son already had the status of an unaccompanied minor alien.