UN Committee Against Torture applauds Lithuania’s progress in ensuring human rights 

Date

2022 01 03

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In November, the Lithuanian delegation, led by Vice-Minister of Justice Elanas Jablonskas, presented the country’s progress report on the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984 to the members of the UN Committee Against Torture. 

The Committee’s experts welcomed Lithuania’s holistic approach to the promotion of human rights and the fight against torture, as well as the emergency situation on the border with Belarus and the challenges related to the situation of migrants.

The United Nations Committee against Torture, after reviewing the country’s fourth periodic report, stated that Lithuania is nearing full compliance with the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

According to the Vice-Minister, when assessing the measures implemented in Lithuania to prevent torture, the members of the Committee spoke very favourably about the continuous reduction of the number of detainees and convicts, the introduction of the electronic monitoring system, the implementation of the Halfway House model, and the modernisation of the infrastructure of the temporary detention.

According to E. Jablonskas, one of Lithuania’s top priorities as a new member of the United Nations Human Rights Council is to promote the global human rights agenda. 

Elanas Jablonskas, Vice-Minister of Justice of Lithuania, stressed that human rights and dignity are at the heart of Lithuania’s constitutional order, which condemns torture, cruel and degrading treatment and punishment, and which has established a strong institutional and national framework. 

The Committee was also briefed on the challenges Lithuania is facing as a result of a hybrid attack organised by the authoritarian Belarusian regime with the help of illegal migrants.

“Lithuania is facing a large-scale hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime. These are unprecedented challenges, which have forced the country to impose a temporary state of emergency in the border area, as well as to provide humanitarian aid to migrants in the border area,” said E. Jablonskas.

The UN Committee also commended Lithuania’s progress in improving the conditions of detainees and prisoners, ensuring health insurance and reducing the number of prisoners. It also welcomed the processes of modernisation of the penitentiary system, the aim to implement a more dynamic administration, security, the prevention of recidivism, the application of uniform practices and the elimination of risks of corruption. It also praised the positive initiatives to improve the resocialisation of prisoners, employment, education, treatment of addictions, and to involve NGOs and other social partners more closely in these processes, which will significantly contribute to the elimination of ill-treatment and prevention of torture.

Our country’s initiatives in the field of trafficking in human beings, protection of the rights of the child, and domestic violence were also commended, in particular the development of competences and capacities of staff, the development of educational campaigns, and the application of measures to prevent ill-treatment and to ensure human rights. 

According to the head of the delegation, Elanas Jablonskas, Lithuania will not only appreciate the insights gained from the constructive dialogue with the members of the Committee, but will also strive to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The 72nd session of the United Nations Committee against Torture is taking place today in Geneva, where the fourth periodic report of the Republic of Lithuania under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984 was considered.

The Lithuanian delegation consisted of representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Social Security and Labour, Health, and Interior, as well as representatives of the State Border Guard Service, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Police Department, the Prison Department, and representatives of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations Office and Other International Organisations in Geneva.