badaniaAt 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 they have enough knowledge to be able to defend their rights.

During the international conference “Legal Education in Lithuania: Challenges and Opportunities” the Minister of Justice, Juozas Bernatonis, stressed the fact that when formulating and implementing  a policy of legal education the country should begin with the education of the youngest generation.

More information about the research and conference can be found here. It is worth noting that it was the first international conference on legal education of society since the independence of the country.

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has repeatedly written about the fact that in Lithuania there is not enough training regarding human rights and international law (more). More specifically, even people who are working directly with legal issues (lawyers, judges) do not have sufficient knowledge about human rights or international law. One of the main reasons is the small amount of training sessions in this field. According to information provided by the Ministry of Justice for the period 2004-2012, in Lithuania there were only 27 training days on human rights. In light of this data, it is not surprising that, across the board, awareness about the extent of rights and freedoms is low, when even people with a higher education are not adequately educated in the field of human rights.

During its activity, EFHR conducted a study on the number of universities where there are classes or lectures on human rights. Replies received from the universities and the Ministry of Justice show that education in this field requires improvement. The results of the research, which was carried out at the request of the Ministry of Justice, confirm the EFHR’s supposition that in Lithuania there is a great need to organize training on human rights.

EFHR, during its short time (the organization was founded in 2010), has organized a series of training courses for students, teachers and lecturers as well as reaching out to many schools, kindergartens and universities, offering free lectures given by experts of international law and human rights from abroad (more information can be found on the Foundation website).

The foundation website (www.efhr.eu) also offers a wide range of information on national and international law as well as international reports, news on human rights in Lithuania and Europe, educational materials and current information on training sessions.

EFHR