Does the law allow discrimination?

Under that title was held the Thursday’s lecture of Ewelina Tylec, as a part of this year’s round of lectures organised by the European Foundation of Human Rights.

During this Thursday’s afternoon (22nd March 2012), the Foundation invited to a lecture  on the protection of human rights in Europe and Lithuania and followed by a fruitful discussion. There were many, who accepted our invitation. Among them students, lawyers, scholars, teachers etc. 

Get involved in the European Week Against Racism!

Conferences, lectures, street theatre performances and concerts, as well as removal of racist slogans from walls in cities – this is only a part of the series of events that will be organised  throughout the whole week in March everywhere across Europe on the occasion of the Week of Solidarity with Peoples Struggling wit Racism and Racial Discrimination. The events start on 21st March – on the International Day of Fight with Racial Discrimination.

The majority of happenings will be organised under the framework of a campaign „Open your mind. Speak out against racism!” organised by the network UNITED (see:

17th March – 1st anniversary of the adoption of the Act on Education

A march in defense of education in schools of minorities in Lithuania was held on Saturday, 17th March along the Avenue of Gedyminas. Few thousand participants of the rally marched towards the square of V. Kudirka to the headquarters of the government of Lithuania, where they openly expressed their protest against the amended Act on Education, restricting the hitherto rights of persons belonging to national minorities in Lithuania. Representatives of Polish, Belarusian, Russian and other minorities spoke to the Lithuanian authorities.

We invite you for an open lecture!

European Foundation of Human Rights and the Association of Scientists Poles of Lithuania have an honour to invite everyone for an open lecture by Ewelina Tylec (Central European University in Budapest) under the title „Can law discriminate? Analysis of the issue in the context of the situation of Polish minority in Lithuania”.

The lecture will be held on 22nd March 2012 at the Home of Polish Culture in Vilnius at 6pm in the room 305.

First penalty for comments

The campaign of the European Foundation of Human Rights against the increasing wave of hatred on the internet in Lithuania brings first positive results.

On 27th January 2012, a district court of the city of Kaunas issued an injunction for the citizen of Kaunas, Andrius Bražėnas for humiliating and inciting to discrimination on the grounds of nationality statements. For his comments: „ši nelojali Lietuvai šūdlenkių šunauja nebus išvyta iš Lietuvos, tol dergs mūsų valstybė“ (translation, “this disloyal to Lithuania group of “shitpoles” will not be kicked out of Lithuania until they contaminate the state”), „tokie šūdlenkių išsikalbėjimai vyktų kokioje nors Kaukazo ar Vidurinės azijos šalyje, ŠŪDLENKIAM būtų padaryta Baltramiejaus naktis ir baigtųsi tos nesąmonės.

Research of the Polish minority situation in Lithuania.

Ewelina Tylec is a student of the LLM in Human Rights Program at Central European University in Budapest. In 2011 she graduated with a Master’s degree in legal studies from the University of Wrocław (MA thesis: The Role of Custom in Diplomatic Law). Currently, she is working on the project: The issue of legal discrimination. Polish minority in Lithuania under supervision of Professor Gabor Kardos. The project analyzes the situation of the Polish minority in Lithuania and the role of the international minority rights protection systems (particularly: the right to the use of minority language, the right to education in the minority language and the right to participate in the state’s public life). 

International Empowerment training

International training: Your Power, Our Power
Empowerment as means to promote active citizenship and inclusive societies
Five-day training
Dates training: 2-7 September 2012
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Deadlines: Pre application at Radar: 6 April 2012
Final deadline application Grundtvig mobility grant: 30 April 2012
Eligible countries (Grundtvig mobility grant): European Union and Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey

Take part in the procession of Freedom!

“For 22 years we have been building the state, enhancing the democratic values and raising respect for humanity. We are building a state in which we can enjoy freedom and which we can be proud of. Patriotism that emerges from it does not divide, degrade or humiliate people. Civic activity unites different people who enjoy free Lithuania, and motivates them to act together.”

Conference on “Minority representation and minority language rights: Origins, experiences and lessons to be learned”

October 11-14, 2012
Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, Klausenburg), Romania

The Department of Juridical Sciences and European Studies of the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, the European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam and the ECPR Standing Group on Federalism and Regionalism will organize on October 11-14, 2012 a conference on minority representation and minority language rights.

The Racial Equality Directive: application and challenges

The Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) is the key piece of EU legislation for combating discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin and for giving effect to the principle of equal treatment.

The directive, adopted a decade ago, has brought about the introduction of new or the strengthening of existing legal frameworks. Although significant progress has been made towards the realisation of racial and ethnic equality, several challenges remain to be overcome. The present report discusses the application of the Racial Equality Directive through the laws and practices in the 27 EU Member States.

Free access to over 9 language courses

The European Foundation of Human Rights is pleased to announce that thanks to the kindness of LanguageCourse Company you can now receive free codes for Internet language courses. With the “Super Learning Vocabulary Trainer” programme you have a chance to master vocabulary of over 9 foreign languages, such as German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian or English, all free of charge.

“Feed me better” project launched

The EFHR would like to announce that Humana People to People Baltic encourages you to apply for grants for an interesting social project “Feet me better” 2012 – 2014.

The project aims at improving the quality of food consumed by children, especially those of less wealthy families, by teaching them how to eat healthy, cook and prepare their own meals.

OHCHR Minorities Fellowship Programme

The Minorities Fellowship Programme (MFP) was incorporated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in 2005. The MFP is held annually and currently has two linguistic versions: The English language programme has been running since 2005 and the Arabic language programme started in 2007. The Arabic language component began as a two-week pilot and gradually expanded to five weeks in 2011. The duration of the programmes varied until 2011, when both programmes were decided to last 5 weeks and coincide with the session of the Forum on Minority Issues.

Ministry of Culture questions decision to punish employees of Lithuanian Railways

The Ministry of Culture, responsible for all issues of the national minorities in Lithuania, expressed its doubts regarding the managerial decision of “Lietuvos geležinkeliai” to reduce the remuneration of the employees who were not using the state language when exercising their duties. The Ministry does not question the internal order of the  company, only two cases of partly reducing a welder’s and another technical worker’s remuneration for not using the Lithuanian language.

Learn more about minorities in Europe!

Another opportunity for a study trip! This time it is a meeting in Budapest on the topic of minorities in Europe and protection of their rights.

Basic requirements:

* Knowledge of English
* Experience related to the topic of the meeting
* Age 20-30 years old

We invite you to the International Youth Meeting

We invite all our trainees to apply to join this year’s International Youth Meeting of which details can be found below. Unfortunately, the closing date is the 10th of February 2012. The European Foundation of Human Rights will pay the fare for the cheapest means of transport offered by the organiser, on behalf of the chosen participant. Between 70% and 100% of the fare will be funded.

Marches for Defence of Human Rights

In February and March, in Vilnius, there will be marches against violation of human rights organised. On Tuesday, February 7th, in the  Lithuanian Parliament Sejmas, the deaf and hard of hearing will be protesting  against discrimination in access to information. They claim that the authorities violate the 21st Article of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which concerns freedom of opinion and expression, as well as access to information.

Swastika – historical heritage of Lithuania

Swastika – a symbol of criminals and Nazis? Not at all, but anyone who feels the strength of this symbol wants to appropriate it (…) Hitler was not an exception. (…) The Lithuanian cemeteries on which there have been swastikas found date back to the 13th century. This is why we can say it to the whole world with all certainty that it is a symbol of our ancestors, Lithuanians, it is our history and our memory. And the fact that it has been used for criminal purposes, does not change anything. One can steal something and commit any criminal offence using the stolen object. Only those who have committed an offence will look for the guilty, no one but them,” reads one of the statements that can be found on the website of the Sarmatia group (