Another win. Courts agree — ”w” has the right to exist

On 22nd June 2016 Vilnius City District Court issued a ruling which obliges the Registry Office to change the spelling of surname of Lithuanian resident with Polish nationality to its original form — from ”Vardyn” to ”Wardyn” — and issue a new birth certificate. This is the second case won by the Wardyn family —…

Discriminative criteria of hiring employees – recent warnings for employers

In 2015, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), together with the Service of the Spokesman for Equal Opportunities (furtherly referred to as: Service), prepared a guide through the non-discriminating job offers. This hands-on document is intended for employers and prompts them on how to rightly formulate job offers, without infringing the Act for the…

US Department of State reports on minority rights violations in Lithuania

The US Department of State has released its annual report on Lithuania. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is the department responsible for the Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2015 in Lithuania. Like a number of previous reports mentioned by EFHR, this document has drawn attention to discrimination in relation to…

‘The Spelling of Names and Surnames – Challenges and Decisions’ Conference

On the 13th of May in the Council Chamber of the City of Vilnius’ local government, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is organizing a conference titled “The Spelling of Names and Surnames – Challenges and Decisions.” The aim of the conference is to provide an overview of Lithuanian law in regard to the spelling…

“W” does not pose a threat to the Lithuanian language

The District Court of Vilnius has delivered a landmark ruling regarding the spelling of last names. For the first time the Court has bound the Vilnius registry office to include the letter ‘w’ in the civil status records of a child. At the same time there is a third judgement confirming that the rights of an…

Restriction of liberty for 17 hateful comments

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is continuing its fight against hate speech on the Internet. An inhabitant of Kaunas, A. G. (a working, married man with an academic degree), has been convicted of a record number of comments (17), in which he incited hatred and encouraged physical violence. The Kaunas District Court (Kauno…

Forced surname change at 11 years of age

On the June 2004 a child was born into a family in Lithuania. This child was given the original surname of his father – which includes the letter q. The original surname of the child did not cause any problems when issuing the birth certificate and the passport of the Republic of Lithuania in 2004.…

Internet commentators still help to fill the national budget

Thanks to the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), another hate speech offence has been uncovered. The Druskininkai District Court (Druskininkų miesto apylinkės teismas) fined A. B. for publically inciting hatred against a specific group (government intelligence officers). This person has been punished twice over the last six months. This fact shows that fines are somewhat ineffective as a…

Another EFHR success in fighting hate speech

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has achieved another success in the area of fighting hate speech on the internet. The District Court of Kaunas (Kauno miesto apylinkės teismas) has issued a criminal warrant for P.V. for publically instigating violence and encouraging physical assault based on racism. The intended victims were of Russian nationality.…

EFHR discloses misinformation provided by Lithuania to the Council of Europe

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has published its Analysis of the Comments of the Republic of Lithuania to the Third Opinion of the Council of Europe on the Third State Report by Lithuania. The latest country report – which provides information on the situation of national minorities and minority policies between 2006 and…

EFHR Alternative Report for CERD

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has submitted its Alternative Report for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). This UN shadow report, considered at the 88th session of the Committee from 23 November to 11 December in Geneva, was written in response to CERD’s review of Lithuania’s sixth to eighth periodic…

Ongoing Human Rights Battle – “x” and “w” have the right to exist

The European Foundation of Human Rights brought another action before the Vilnius City Administrative Court concerning the right to privacy protection and respect for family life. The famous poet Adam Mickiewicz’s great-great-grandson, Roman Gorecki-Mickiewicz, asked EFHR for legal assistance in order to protect the rights of his daughter. The client’s daughter was born in Lithuania…

The liberal R. Šimašius – between words and actions

On 30th June 2015, the District Court of the city of Vilnius adopted the judgement according to which the Civil Registry in Vilnius is obliged to make a change in the marriage certificate of a Lithuanian citizen who married a Belgian – to write in the letter “w”. The court has argued that the private…

EFHR can help with contesting results of the Matura exam in Lithuanian

On Thursday 2nd July, the National Education Centre released this year’s results of the Lithuanian Matura exam. EFHR has analysed the Lithuanian exam results of secondary-school graduates from the years 2008-2013 from both Lithuanian schools and those of the national minorities. From the data of the National Education Centre, it follows that in the above-mentioned period…

Parental responsibility for the actions of underage children in cyberspace

These days, the internet is not only a source of information. It is also a space for work or making friends and keeping in touch with friends, family and contacts. However, besides all of these benefits, the dangers the Internet brings should also be mentioned. Using the Internet one may feel anonymous, which very often…

Nationality in passport entry – step by step

In accordance with the changes in Lithuanian passport law on January 1st 2015 there is a possibility to record one’s nationality in a passport. We have already written about this issue before – here and here. The media have recently been reporting on difficulties related to the procedure of entry itself. Therefore we have decided to…

Spelling of names and surnames in Poland and the possibility of their change

In recent years, Poland has introduced many changes in legislation concerning the spelling of names and surnames and also in the rules for changing them. It seems that Poland may be a good example of how to adjust the national law when it comes to delicate issues like names and surnames by taking into consideration the needs of…