In the last days of January, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) visited the John Paul II Secondary School in Vilnius. Young people from five different classes participated in workshops with our intern, Marta Bednarczyk. The subject of the workshops were the rights of national minorities.
Together with the trainer, participants discussed what social groups live in Lithuania and discovered the special characteristics of national minorities. Based on materials from the textbook ‘Europeans, Poles, Citizens’ (Polish: Europejczycy, Polacy, Obywatele), the students were familiarised with contemporary issues affecting national minorities in Lithuania. Among the topics covered during the workshops were the original spelling of names and surnames, the language of national minorities in the public sphere, access to public media, and education.
During the workshops, students learned about analogous regulations on minorities in Poland and other European Union countries. Discussions were accompanied by a commentary on the recommendations of the Council of Europe regarding the rights of national minorities in Lithuania based on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.