12th Session of the UPR Working Group
As delivered by John Mariz,
Delegation of the United States of America
Geneva, October 11, 2011
The United States welcomes the Lithuanian delegation to the UPR working group and congratulates Lithuania for its completion of the national report and presentation today.
The United States notes positive steps that Lithuania has taken over the last year on human rights and encourages continued efforts in this regard. In 2010 Lithuania co-founded with the United States a new working group on gender equality and women’s rights, operating under the auspices of the Community of Democracies, which was chaired by Lithuania in 2009-11. The Lithuanian chairmanship was energetic and productive, and gave new momentum to promote human rights and democracy within Lithuania as well as globally. In 2010 Lithuania also became the first Baltic nation to host a European Union agency, the European Institute for Gender Equality.
Lithuania adopted a Law on Domestic Violence in 2011. The law’s passage was a significant step forward on women’s rights in Lithuania, but much remains to be done.
We have the following recommendations:
- That Lithuania adopt necessary legal amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure and Criminal Code to make its new Law on Domestic Violence fully enforceable and to achieve that law’s primary aim – to protect victims from violence.
- That the government develop public awareness campaigns to combat manifestations of discrimination and racism, including xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of intolerance in order to further protect and strengthen the rights of members of minority groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and the Roma community.
- That Lithuania develop specific steps to prevent child abuse and to protect children from corporal punishment in the criminal justice system.
- And finally, that Lithuania revise its legal framework to ensure that its prohibition against forced begging and forced criminal behavior is clear in the trafficking laws, in compliance with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.