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3rd NPM training held in Vienna

1 October 2017

Participants of Vienna trainingThe third edition of the IOI’s NPM training cycle (first in Riga in 2015, second in Vilnius in 2016) put a special focus on shared learning and on how to optimize communication skills and techniques for the interaction with challenging conversation partners such as psychiatric patients or residents in nursing homes who suffer from dementia.

With this innovative training format, the IOI created a possibility for participants to learn through a practical approach while at the same time upholding the “do-no-harm” principle, which is essential when monitoring places of detention and interviewing those who are specifically vulnerable and in need of support.

Participants were given the chance to practice their communication skills in role plays with trained actors, who are familiar with the psychiatric clinical patterns of individual patients and simulated the patients’ characteristics. After each role play, the actors were able to provide elaborated feedback, thus helping participants to improve their actions in similar situations in their everyday work. “At one point participants even asked if the lady will now be brought back to the psychiatric institution. This is proof of how realistic the actors’ performances were and what a powerful learning tool these role plays turned out to be for the participants,” IOI Secretary General Günther Kräuter underlined after the first training day.

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A focus on rights of the older persons in the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing

9 July 2017

IMG 1254Upon an invitation of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Vytautas Valentinavičius, Chief Public Relations Counsellor represented the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office, which has recently become an accredited national human rights institution, at the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing.

National human rights institutions accredited with an A status by the UN for the first time had an opportunity to participate in the 8th session of the OEWG and discuss burning issues of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of age as well as neglect, violence and abuse against older persons.

Participants of the working group meeting talked about problems related to securing of older persons’ rights at the long-term care institutions and home environment. At the meeting, big attention was also drawn to discussions of problems on protection against violence, discrimination experienced by the older persons in the labour market as well as other spheres of social life.

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The Seimas Ombudsman: "The centre of the discussion on the ratification of the Convention must remain the protection of women from violence.”

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.

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