At the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Lithuania offers human rights recommendations to Greece, Tajikistan and Ireland
At the 39th session of the Working Group of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 1-12 November 2021 in Geneva, Lithuania offered human rights recommendations to Greece, Tajikistan and Ireland.
Lithuania commended the Greek Government for continued progress in promoting and protecting human rights and recommended to ensure effective access to justice, legal services and legal aid for persons with disabilities, as well as to work out a long-term strategy for access to comprehensive health-care services. Acknowledging Greece’s efforts in combating gender-based violence, Lithuania recommended to strengthen the support for women in vulnerable situations, especially those belonging to minority groups. Furthermore, Lithuania recommended Greece to design and implement specific measures for reaching the gender balance in the public administration and to implement concrete measures for the reduction of the gender pay gap.
At Tajikistan’s UPR, Lithuania noted Tajikistan’s determination to improve human rights situation in the country and recommended to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. Lithuania also recommended to eliminate all legal provisions that undermine freedom of expression and protection of journalists, media workers and human rights defenders against harassment and intimidation, and to release all journalists who have been imprisoned on politically motivated charges.
Lithuania welcomed Ireland’s efforts in mitigating the challenges of distance learning in the context of COVID-19 and recommended to continue efforts in ensuring equal access to the internet connection and technologies necessary for remote learning as well as taking care of children’s mental health during and after the pandemic. Lithuania also recommended Ireland to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment and to establish an effective national preventive mechanism.
The Universal Periodic Review is a human rights mechanism employed since 2008. The UPR assesses the human rights situation in each individual country and provides recommendations for improvements. At the end of each UPR cycle, United Nations Members produce reports about the implementation of the adopted recommendations and overall progress in the area of human rights. Countries undergo the UPR every five years. Lithuania had its reviews in 2011 and 2017. The third-cycle review will take place in January 2022.
On September 13, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Mr Vaidotas Verba, presented his letter of credence to the Director-General/ Executive Director of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)/ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ms Ghada Fathi Waly.
On 12 July, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas sent letters to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration Mr. António Vitorino in which he provided detailed information on the increased flow of third-country irregular migrants from Belarus to Lithuania and asked respective organizations to react in accordance with their mandates.
On 18 February, a virtual side-event on the human rights violations in Belarus took place in the run-up to the 46th session of the Human Rights Council. The event aimed to discuss the ongoing human rights violations in Belarus and possible ways of how the international community, and the UN Human Rights Council in particular, could contribute to ensuring the accountability for those violations.