A representative of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office gave a presentation at the international conference in Bangkok

23 November 2016

IOI 2 18Nov16 168The head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office Mr Augustinas Normantas took part in the international conference "Evaluation of Ombudsmanship" organised by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), which was held on 13-19 November 2016 in Bangkok. The Ombudsman participated in various discussions and met with several ombudsmen from Europe and other continents to discuss possible cooperation.

At the invitation of the International Ombudsman Institute, the Chief Public Relations Counsellor of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office, Mr. Vytautas Valentinavičius, gave a presentation on "The Use of Media to Promote Ombudsmen's work in Protecting Human Rights" at the conference. The speaker drew the attention of the audience to the fact that the media takes on an increasingly important role in public policy, and the Ombudsmen around the world should exploit the opportunities of media in shaping human rights policy and changing the public discourse on human rights.

Mr Normantas and Mr Valentinavičius attended the side event initiated by the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT) to discuss the challenges the fulfilment of national prevention mandate poses to the ombudsmen. The Seimas Ombudsman shared Lithuanian experience in carrying out the NPM function. Mr Normantas emphasised that the Ombudsman's role in addressing human rights concerns in places of detention is of the utmost importance.IOI 2 17Nov16 356

At the conference, much attention was given to the diversity of mandates and activities the Ombudsmen perform in defending human rights. Participants talked about the role of the specialised ombudsmen in their countries and the ways of cooperation with the Ombudsmen who hold a national human rights institution's mandate. Furthermore, at the conference, considerable attention was paid to possible safeguards to ensure the independence of Ombudsmen across the globe.