Archive for May, 2014

EFHR has became a member of ENAR

EFHR has became a member of ENAR

Posted on May 31, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights is pleased to inform you that its request to become a member of ENAR (European Network Against Racism) has been approved. ENAR is the European anti-racist network that advocates for racial equality as well as facilitating cooperation between civil society. The organization was founded in 1998. Its mission was to cause changes in Europe and to make progress in gaining racial equality in every member state. Since then, ENAR has grown stronger and achieved a great deal. Equality, solidarity and prosperity for every European citizen are ENAR’s main...
Bilingual Signboards are standard in the European Union

Bilingual Signboards are standard in the European Union

Posted on May 29, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
As of today there are 24 official languages in the European Union (EU). However, Europeans use approximately 60 additional local and minority languages, which, according to the estimated statistics, are used by some 40 million EU citizens. The linguistic and cultural diversity of Europeans is perhaps the EU’s greatest strength – but, at the same time,  it can be the source of many issues. The issue of the necessity to protect national minorities is admitted in international law. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereby referred to as ‘the Framework...
Another EFHR and Trakai Secondary School success

Another EFHR and Trakai Secondary School success

Posted on May 29, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is glad to report on another court case victory thanks to legal aid provided by the foundation in the preparation of a defense claim. The case concerned a member of the representational committee of the Secondary School in Trakai who had allegedly violated Lithuanian administrative law by organizing a picket against plans to reorganize the internal structure of the school on April 3 2014. The case was taken to court because of the violation of administrative law. G.S., a member of the representational committee of the school, was included in the...
Poland and the Poles in the eyes of Lithuanians - initiative to build friendly relationships

Poland and the Poles in the eyes of Lithuanians – initiative to build friendly relationships

Posted on May 28, 2014 by admin
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing up of the Treaty of friendly relationships and neighbourly cooperation  in Vilnius between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Lithuania, the Polish Embassy prepared a series of short films in which well-known Lithuanians (politicians, scientists, people connected with sport and  culture, students, as well as other representatives of the Lithuanian community) express their impressions and opinions about Poland. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) express huge satisfaction from this initiative, believing that the...
EFHR members at the UNOY workshop

EFHR members at the UNOY workshop

Posted on May 27, 2014 by admin
On April 27 – May 3rd 2014 young peace-builders, storytellers and youth workers from the Euro-Mediterranean region participated in a workshop „Storytelling for peace“ in The Hague, the Netherlands. The purpose of the training was to understand the relationship between storytelling and peace-building and to share, develop and learn skills in storytelling as a tool for social change. A representative from the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), Dorota Skočik, also participated in the workshop. The workshop was organized by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), a...
Alternative NGO Report on Lithuania’s Implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Alternative NGO Report on Lithuania’s Implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Posted on May 26, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights’ (EFHR) alternative report aims to highlight the protection of minorities since Lithuania’s ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Rights of National Minorities (the ‘FCNM’) on 17 February 2000 (the treaty came into force in Lithuania on 1 July 2000). This report also provides data and documents that might be useful in better assessing Lithuania’s compliance with its legal obligations under this treaty. It is to be emphasized that the criticism and praise it contains are offered in the hope of making Lithuania a...
Samir Safarli – New EFHR trainee

Samir Safarli – New EFHR trainee

Posted on May 24, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is glad to introduce you to our new intern, Samir Safarli, who comes from Azerbaijan. For the last two years Samir has been studying international law at the International School of Law and Business in Vilnius. Samir has always been interested in human rights as they are the essence of a democratic society. Samir says: “While studying human rights, we discover respect, fairness, justice and equality. Understanding human rights shapes our thinking, since these rights are about real-life issues.” When we asked why he applied for his internship...
New human rights network and platform ”Liberties.eu” launched

New human rights network and platform ”Liberties.eu” launched

Posted on May 23, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is glad to introduce you to a new network for human rights news and e-participation website, the “European Liberties Platform” (ELP). According to its mission, ELP is focused on granting civil liberties of organizations and their supporters through the innovative use of electronic participation. European Liberties Platform is an informal network of European civil liberties watchdogs and non–governmental organizations (NGOs). ELP’s membership currently includes multi–purpose civil liberties and human rights organizations from Belgium,...
Research results on human rights confirms the EFHR view

Research results on human rights confirms the EFHR view

Posted on May 22, 2014 by admin
At the request of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, the company “Baltijos tyrimai” conducted public opinion research on human rights knowledge. The research revealed that most of Lithuania’s inhabitants feel that they have almost no knowledge of their rights or the knowledge they do have is insufficient. Some 83% of respondents expressed the need of being taught human rights in schools and colleges while 35% of people think that their general knowledge is insufficient and they have gaps in their knowledge on the subject. Only one fifth of the population (21%) said...
EFHR representative at UNOY training

EFHR representative at UNOY training

Posted on May 19, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
On April 28th to May 3rd in the Hague (the Netherlands) the “Storytelling for peace” workshop took place during which participants had an opportunity to master their storytelling skills in order to build world peace. Dorota Skoczyk, a representative of the European Foundation of Human Rights, also took part in the workshop. Its aim was to educate young people how they can use storytelling to present topics such as diversity, intercultural dialogue, peace culture and the activity of young people in building world peace among nations by storytelling. The workshops were organised by...
Success of the High School in Trakai

Success of the High School in Trakai

Posted on May 15, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is glad to announce the decision adopted on May 15 by the Council of Local Region to grant the Polish minority High School in Trakai accreditation. We have previously reported the earlier steps taken by the school authorities and EFHR. EFHR is pleased that the issue of failure to give the school accreditation was solved with the consent of the councillors, not a judicial warrant rehearing. However, it is very probable that without taking legal action and making the issue public the whole matter would still be ongoing and we would not have...
Original spelling of surnames should be regulated legally

Original spelling of surnames should be regulated legally

Posted on May 13, 2014 by admin
The issue of the original spelling of forenames and surnames in passports and identity cards still remains one of the most controversial topics, and one regularly covered by media outlets. On the 1st and the 10th of April this year in the Lithuanian Seimas two projects concerning the spelling of forenames and surnames were registered. The projects resolve the issue of the spelling only on the surface and in reality they don’t introduce significant legal changes which would be consistent with European standards (more about the first and the second project). Against the validation of the...
The latest report concerning racism and discrimination on the Lithuanian labour market

The latest report concerning racism and discrimination on the Lithuanian labour market

Posted on May 12, 2014 by admin
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) invites everyone to familiarize themselves with the latest report of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) regarding the years 2012-2013, and published in May 2014. It is the account concerning “Racism and Related Discriminatory Practices in Employment in Lithuania”. The statement was prepared by Birutė Sabatauskaitė and Eglė Urbonaitė from the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights (Lietuvos žmogaus teisių centras). EFHR also contributed to the preparation of this report by giving interviews and sharing information about...
EFHR opinion on the Nation’s Historical Memory draft law

EFHR opinion on the Nation’s Historical Memory draft law

Posted on May 10, 2014 by admin
The third draft law of the Nation’s Historical Memory (Lietuvos Respublikos Tautos istorinės atminties įstatymo projektas) was registered in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania in February 2014. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) would like to express its opinion on the draft law and the proposed solutions. In Article 1, it was pointed out that the law constitutes the object of the Nation’s historical memory, the creation and implementation of the national politics which upholds the nation’s humanistic values. The implementation of national politics also contributes...
Presidential Candidates on the protection of minority rights and original spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames

Presidential Candidates on the protection of minority rights and original spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames

Posted on May 09, 2014 by admin
The presidential election in Lithuania will take place on the 11th of May this year. The text that enables us to give an answer for questions concerning internal and foreign policy as well as comparing one’s ideas with the position of candidates for presidency was published on the website www.manobalsas.lt . The answers of candidates were made public. Among the 31 questions, the most important ones from the point of view of national minorities are those about the original spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames in documents as well as those about the degree of attention paid to the protection...
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court prevents reorganization of Trakai High School internal structure

Vilnius Regional Administrative Court prevents reorganization of Trakai High School internal structure

Posted on May 08, 2014 by admin
Further development in the case of lack of accreditation for the High School in Trakai: On March 31, 2014, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (later referred to as “the Court”) endorsed the High School in Trakai’s notion co-prepared by the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) to use temporary security measures. To find out more about the case, read here. The local government council of the Trakai District Municipality (later referred to as “the Council”) prepared the project of transforming the internal structure of the High School in Trakai and the Secondary School...
Alternative critical opinion concerning the original spelling of names and surnames in identity documents

Alternative critical opinion concerning the original spelling of names and surnames in identity documents

Posted on May 06, 2014 by admin
On 25 April 2014 a discussion concerning the spelling of names and surnames was held in the Institute of the Lithuanian Language. Linguists, lawyers and cultural activists participated in the discussion. During the conclusion to the discussion the opinion of one linguist’s opinion was heard. This linguist expressed his disagreement to changing the way in which surnames are spelled in Lithuanian identity documents. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) reminds all that the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania could change the rules concerning the spelling of names and surnames in...
The Strasbourg Manifesto

The Strasbourg Manifesto

Posted on May 05, 2014 by admin
On 17 April 2014 the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages of the European Parliament approved “The Strasbourg Manifesto” on the protection of national minorities and languages within the framework of the European Union. The document focuses on the main problem areas and makes recommendations such as the EU initiating a national and linguistic minority framework strategy similar to the strategy in place for the Roma; the establishment of an effective mechanism to monitor and ensure fundamental and acquired rights of minorities both in candidate...
EFHR invited for a speech at the International School of Law and Business

EFHR invited for a speech at the International School of Law and Business

Posted on May 02, 2014 by admin
The International School of Law and Business (ISLB) under its Erasmus Intensive Programme entitled “Security, Human rights and Democratization/Globalization: New Challenges for the European Union” invited the European Foundation of Human Rights to give a speech about human and national minority rights on April 30 2014 . The EFHR was represented by its intern, Júlio Tavares, who made a presentation about “The role of the European Foundation of Human Rights in protecting human rights and minority rights.” He gave an overview of the situation of national minorities in Lithuania, the...