The Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office became an accredited National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)

12 June 2017

35089085822 a3d18598d3 oViktoras Pranckietis, the Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament), in his opening address at the event organised by the Seimas Ombudsmen congratulated the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office with accreditation as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).

According to the Speaker of the Seimas, an accredited national human rights institution makes a significant part of the national and international legal system as it observes how the State implements international obligations in the sphere of human rights and participates in the activities of the United Nations and relevant regional human rights organisations.

„A message that the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office has become an accredited National Human Rights Institution is a result of continuous work, and I congratulate all of you with this result. It is important to understand that an NHRI serves as a bridge between national and international human rights instruments as well as between the civil society and the State. Therefore, accreditation of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office as an A status national human rights institution is a big accomplishment both for the State and its citizens“, noted the Speaker of the Seimas.

In his view, Lithuania currently needs not only protection of violated human rights but also the incorporation of human rights standards into the legal acts. „It is important for us to guarantee proper implementation of human rights standards and international obligations. In addition to these instruments we also have to think how we will guarantee that the society would properly understand why this Constitutional value is important and why our society needs it“, said V. Pranckietis.

Welcoming participants of the event the Seimas Ombudsman, Head of the Office Augustinas Normantas was happy to note that the National Human Rights Institution will be “the main voice of the human rights“ that will be heard on various questions concerning human rights.

The United Nations General Assemblywith its resolution passed in 1993 encouraged the Member States to establish national human rights institutions. The European Union also raises a requirement for each Member State to have a national human rights institution. Moreover, a requirement to have a national human rights institution is raised to the states that aim to become members of the EU. The United NationsHuman RightsCouncil in its recommendations not once had encouraged the Republic of Lithuania to establish a national human rights institution; therefore, by the resolution of the Seimas passed in 2014, the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office was encouraged to seek the status of an accredited national human rights institution.