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The Seimas Ombudsman encourages respecting human rights in the Refugees Reception Centre

16 September 2014

20140722 1238562After a visit to the Refugees Reception Centre, the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas addressed the State Food and Veterinary Service with a request to organize an inspection of food control in the Refugees Reception Centre. The Seimas Ombudsman also requested the head of Kaunas Public Health Centre to organize an inspection of public health safety there.

In addition, Kaunas district fire and rescue board was asked to perform ane inspection concerning fire and emergency prevention in the Refugees Reception Centre.

The Seimas Ombudsman A. Normantas took these measures after the human rights violations were observed in the Refugees Reception Centre. In the report of human rights situation in the Refugees Reception Centre, the Seimas Ombudsman stated that cleanness is not ensured in unoccupied rooms and communal quarters. In addition, the mattresses are dirty and some windows are out of order.

One more problem observed by the Seimas Ombudsman is that the sanitary facilities do not meet the requirements of religion of the foreigners living in the Refugees Reception Centre. Moreover, the kitchen equipment is in a poor technical state and there is lack of kitchen utensils.

In the opinion of A. Normantas, the accessibility of information is not properly ensured: there are no informational stands in the department of unaccompanied juveniles and informational stands in other areas provide information only in Lithuanian language..

“Clean and disinfected matrasses should be provided for newly accommodated foreigners. Moreover, facilities should be accessible for the disabled ones,” noted the Seimas Ombudsman A. Normantas in the human rights report.

A general recommendation is to improve the quality of services by organizing trainings for the personnel on human rights and implementation of requirements of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

There are over 400 detention places in Lithuania, including correctional institutions, detention centres, psychiatric institutions and institutions of communicable diseases, care homes, border checkpoints, the Foreigners' Registration Centre and other places of deprivation of liberty in Lithuania.

The Law on the Seimas Ombudsmen allows the Seimas Ombudsmen to enter any social care or custodial institution at any time of the day in Lithuania. The Seimas Ombudsmen started implementing national prevention of torture in Lithuania in the beginning of 2014 when the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Optional Protocol (OPCAT) to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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