dyskryminacjaFollowing a motion of the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office (Lygių galimybių kontrolieriaus tarnyba) shared results and introduced a process of conducting research on legal complaints related to discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

As the submitted data shows, approximately 9-15% of all complaints examined by the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office concerned legal complaints about discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, language, origin, and ethnicity. In 2009 they comprised 12% of all concerned complaints, 2010 – 15%, 2011 – 13,5%, 2012 – 9%, 2013 – 5%. These legal complaints, depending on the period, are in 3rd or 4th place after complaints about gender, age or social situation.

Legal complaints on discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, language, origin, ethnicity in comparison to all complaints made in 2009-2013.

Year

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Quota (%)

12%

15%

13,5%

9%

5%

Nevertheless, it has been noticed that since the Law on Equal Treatment (Lygių galimybių įstatymas) came into force in 2005, the amount of legal complaints on discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity or race affiliation have been rising. In 2005, 14 legal complaints were received, which comprised 14% of all complaints that year, in 2006 – 20 (15%), 2007 – 23 (14%), 2008 – 28 (13%).

Complaints about discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity in comparison to all registered legal complaints.

Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Amount

14

20

23

28

19

Quota (%)

14%

15%

14%

13%

11%

In 2009 the amount of such complaints comparatively decreased – 19 complaints were registered, which constituted 11% of all legal complaints. According to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office this can be explained by the difficult financial situation of the country, because a person that made a complaint during economic difficulties is often the first person to be dismissed. The fear about losing a job is also a cause of decrease of the general amount of legal complaints and complaints on the grounds of nationality, (in 2013 their number was the lowest).

Comparatively, every year the most legal complaints are about discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and the fewest on ethnicity. An interesting fact is that in 2011 and 2013 there were no complaints on discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity made. Yet, it has been noticed that in 2011 – 2013, more than a few people complained about discrimination on the grounds of language (2013 – 4 complaints), which is shown in the previous diagram.

In 2009, those complaints regarding the actions of authorities and institutions dominated. However, in 2009 – 2010, the amount of complaints related to education increased.

In 2013, legal complaints in which applicants point out discrimination in the area of education were divided equally – 29% each. Complains about discrimination related to work constituted 21%, and those concerning the actions of authorities and institutions – 14%.

The European Foundation of Human Rights had already written about the case of discrimination on the grounds of age and nationality at work. You can read about the case here.

According to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office the most legal complaints related to discrimination on the grounds of nationality are made by women, and a third are made by non-governmental organizations (an exception was for the year 2011 – when men made the most complaints). A signed complaint can be handed in in any form, including electronic form made by a person, group of people or a non-governmental organization.

It is worth a mention that for a year EFHR has been implementing a campaign against discriminatory job offers, which disallow some candidates on the grounds of sex, age, nationality, religion, language, background, social standing or personal beliefs. Unfortunately, the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office operations are still  insufficient. EEHR interventions show that the Ombudsman functions that rely on monitoring the internet in order to search for illegal job offers  are not entirely adequate.

It is delightful that the results of the campaign led by EFHR are visible. Employers receive warnings from the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office. This is all owing to the fact that EFHR is encouraging all to come forward with information regarding announcements about work which may comprise of discriminatory content, as well as inform us about discrimination in the work place. We especially encourage you to notify us about discriminatory publications in the media.