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Lithuanian and Austrian lawyers and human rights experts will help strengthen institutional capacities of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights

11 May 2016

Augustinas Normantas3Lithuania, as a senior partner, together with Austria has won the European Union's 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), which will be implemented by a team of the best Lithuanian and Austrian human rights experts.

Under the leadership of the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas the project will be implemented by well-known Lithuanian experts of legal science and practice representing the Law Institute of Lithuania, the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office of the Republic of Lithuania, the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, the State Data Protection Inspectorate, and the Law Faculty of Vilnius University. Austria is represented in the Project by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. Administrative and financial management of this two-year project will be implemented by the Central Project Management Agency. The European Commission is providing EUR 1.5 million to the project.

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The Seimas Ombudsmen issued a record number of recommendations

9 May 2016

XI 140 S20160503The year 2015 was not exceptional as for the number of complaints received by the Seimas Ombudsman; however, the Seimas Ombudsmen issued a record number of recommendations to the state and municipal authorities.

With these recommendations, the Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Šukys drew the attention of the officials towards the neglect of duties, breaches of laws and other legal acts, abuse of office, bureaucracy and other violations of human rights and freedoms.

During presentation of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Annual report for the year 2015 to the public, the Seimas Ombudsmen noted that the majority of complaints were received regarding the Ministries of Justice (480), Agriculture (252), and Interior (155) as well as institutions subordinate to them. However, the largest numbers of justified complaints were received concerning the Ministries of Health (40,5 percent) and Agriculture (37,5 percent) including institutions subordinate to them.

When speaking about the human rights violations in social care institutions the Seimas Ombudsmen underscored the lack of human attitude towards residents of social care institutions. In the opinion of the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office “A major problem is lack of compassion”.

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The Seimas Ombudsmen discussed the challenges ombudsmen face in today's Europe

29 April 2016 

IMG 20160426 091810On 26-27 April, 2016, the Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Šukys attended an international conference, "Human rights Challenges Now: The Ombudsmen Facing Threats", which was organised by the International Ombudsmen Institute.

Ombudsmen from across the globe discussed various human rights issues arising due to terrorist attacks in Europe. Privacy and data protection issues were at the heart of the discussions during the conference in Barcelona. Moreover, the negative attitudes towards refugees and unfair associations being made between refugees and security risks were also discussed in the meeting.

The ombudsmen addressed asylum policy and possible means to deter xenophobia in Europe during the conference. What is more, the ombudsmen's role in response to the refugee crisis in Europe were touched on in the discussion.

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