Only 3.9% of Poles indicated inadequate knowledge of Lithuanian language as a main reason of their unemployment. The Institute of Labour and Social Research with the headquarters in Vilnius have confirmed the assumptions of the European Foundation of Human Rights that the results of the research cited by Lithuanian authorities were not true. On March 24th the Foundation wrote a letter to the Institute of Labour and Social Research requesting the clarification of inconsistencies concerning the research carried out by Institute in 2008 regarding the situation of women and men from ethnic minority groups on the labour market. The results were used as a major argument for implementing a new Education Act that worsened the situation of national minorities in Lithuania.
The Foundation have noticed that The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights invoked the results of the research in the report from 2010. According to the report “42% of surveyed citizens indicated that they had encountered problems on the labour market because of the insufficient knowledge of Lithuanian language”. After a careful examination of the results of the research carried out by the Institute, the Foundation have found that national minorities do not have a problem with Lithuanian language.
The Institute confirmed unambiguously that the interpretation of politics and the Agency is not true. It pointed out that it cannot be concluded that the representatives of national minorities had complained about the insufficient knowledge of Lithuanian language. The cited number (42%) reflects only the opinion of the respondents and not the direct experience in terms of the problems encountered in the course of job search or while intending to improve their situation on the labour market. This answer reflects only fears of the representants and existing myths rather than the real situation. i zaistniałe mity niż rzeczywistą sytuację.
Only 6.7 % of men indicated the inadequate knowledge of Lithuanian language as the direct cause of the unemployment in the subsequent question. The Institute indicated only 3.9 % of Poles cited the insufficient knowledge of the Lithuanian language. The major cause of the unemployment they have indicated, among other answers, a very low wage (33.7 %).
Furthermore, the Institute pointed out that results of a sociological research cannot be interpreted in isolation from the general context, complexity of the questions and the aim of the research. The aim of this particular research was to evaluate the situation of representants of national minorities on the labour market. Therefore, older people (people in working age) dominated among the respondents. The Institute agreed with the opinion of the Foundation that the respondents had graduated from schools before Lithuania had regained its independence – hence, the poor knowledge of Lithuanian language.
The Foundation shall notify about the further steps.