People tend to turn to the Seimas Ombudsmen when violated human rights. Confidence in Lithuanian human rights agencies is extremely low though

7 February 2018 

The Seimas Ombudsmnens OfficeThe number of residents who know where to turn for violated human rights has increased, a new poll shows. On violations of human rights, people tend to turn to courts, the Seimas Ombudsmen or police and prosecutor. The general public is less confident in media and other Lithuanian human rights bodies, according to the representative public poll’s survey though.

Even though confidence in Lithuanian human rights agencies is extremely low, trust in the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office has risen. The survey revealed that the courts (13.5 percent) and the Seimas Ombudsmen (7.1 percent) were the most trusted among Lithuanian human rights agencies. In comparison to the previous year (6.3 percent), and 3.4 percent in 2015, the confidence in the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office has increased dramatically.

The polls showed that more than half of the population would know where to find support (57,5 percent) if their rights were violated. This number was lower in 2015 (52.6 percent) and a bit higher in 2014 (54 percent). However, the percentage of those who knew where to turn when their rights were violated was at a record low – just 27.9 percent in 2013.

The number of people whose rights were violated in municipal and governmental institutions increased almost in two percent this year (14 percent) compared to 12.3 percent in 2016, 16.0 percent in 2016, 18.0 percent in 2014, and 20.0 percent in 2013.

The survey was conducted in January 2018 and revealed that the number of people aware that the Seimas Ombudsmen protected human rights increased (44.4 percent) compared to 42.5 percent in 2016 and 43.2 percent in 2015. In comparison to 2013 when the numbers were extremely low: 34.5 percent in 2013 and just 24.3 percent in 2012, the percentage of people who know that the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office protects human rights has almost doubled.

The polls revealed that only 49,7 percent of respondents sought help when their rights were violated. Nonetheless, the number of those who did not turn for help remained conditionally high 56.7 percent.

The survey showed that older persons (who are older than 70) (62.0 percent), the unemployed (55.2 percent), people without a secondary education (61.9 percent), and retirees (56.1 percent) were among those who did not know where to turn if their rights were violated.

Each year, the Seimas Ombudsmen Office does a survey investigating if Lithuanians have enough information about who may help them when their rights are denied.

The Seimas Ombudsmen protects the human right to good public administration, which guarantees human rights and freedoms, supervises whether authorities fulfill their duty to serve the people and promote respect for human rights and freedoms while exercising the functions of the national human rights institution. The Seimas Ombudsmen also carry out national prevention of torture at detention facilities under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


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