A new course book for Civic Studies is underway.

On October 22nd 2011 during a free training entitled ‘Human Rights in Teaching Civic Studies’, which will take place in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius and last from 9.30. to 18.30, the teachers will learn about progress of preparation of the new complementary Civic Studies course book written in Polish and designed for Polish schools in Lithuania.

Worth reminding is the fact that on June 29th this year, there was a meeting organized jointly by the European Foundation of Human Rights and Modern Poland Foundation which inaugurated the project Europeans, Poles, Citizens.

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European Foundation of Human Rights reported a dozen or so cases of the initiation of criminal proceedings

On 18 August, 2011 European Foundation of Human Rights reported a dozen or so cases of the initiation of criminal proceedings to Prosecutor’s Office of Lithuania against people who called for the acts against the law in their Internet comments. These comments referred in a contemptuous, humiliating and insulting way to national minorities among Lithuanian citizens, and especially to those of Polish minority. The legal basis for the report of the initiation of criminal proceedings is art. 170 (act 2 and 3) of the Penalt Code which penalizes the incitement against any nation, race, ethnical, religious or any other group of people.

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The handbook

We cordially invite Polish school teachers and experts who want to write or participate in the formation of extra-curricular activities handbook for Civic Education for middle school students from Polish schools in Lithuania. From our proposals together we will choose the topics that in your opinion must be found in our textbook. We want the pupils to reach for the handbook with pleasure and be curious about what will happen on its next pages. We are looking forward to hearing your opinions, observations, comments – they are all very important to us, so that it can best serve you and your students.

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The European Foundation of Human Rights proved that research results quoted by Lithuanian authorities do not correspond with the truth.

PRESS RELEASE

28-03-2011

Only 3.9% of Poles indicate the insufficient knowledge of Lithuanian language as the reason for their unemployment. The Institute of Labour and Social Research in Vilnius confirmed presumptions of the European Foundation of Human Rights that the research results quoted by Lithuanian authorities do not correspond with the truth. On 24th March the Foundation submitted to the Institute of Labour and Social Research a request for explaining the imprecisions connected with the research conducted by the Institute in year 2008 and concerning the situation of men and women belonging to ethnic minority groups on labour market. The research results served as a main argument for passing the new act on education which exacerbates the situation of national minorities in Lithuania.

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Plenipotentiary of Katyn families: Strasbourg is working!

On 19-21th December, tens of people took part in the fourth series of lectures about human rights, which were organized by the Lawyers Association of Polish people in Lithuania, in cooperation with the European Foundation of Human rights. The last lectures this year were led by Dr Ireneusz C. Kamiński, expert of the Council of Europe.

Working instrument – a victim of its own success.

According to dr I.C. Kamiński, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom is one of the few working law instruments. Why? Many conventions are missing an essential element that is implementation mechanisms. But as Dr Kaminski said, the Convention is at the same time a victim of its own success, because the European Court of Human Rights is simply flooded with complaints: about 150 thousand cases are waiting to be considered (!). Attempts to change the situation on the way of reform are being made. Each of us can make a complaint to the Court, thus each of us can make the Convention’s rules function.

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European Foundation of Human Rights – on the trail of statistics manipulation

On the 24th of March of this year, the European Foundation of Human Rights submitted a letter to the Institute of Work and Social Science in Vilnius in which it asked for explanation about some unclear aspects of the survey that was conducted by the institute in 2008, related to the situation of ethnic minority members within the work market.

In its letter, the Foundation stated that in the Fundamental Rights Agency’s 2010 report on page 88 the results of the survey conducted by the institute below are quoted. There it is said that “In Lithuania approximately 42% of the surveyed people from minorities stated that they have had problems to find work due to their poor knowledge of the Lithuanian language.” This sentence contributed to the Lithuanian government’s decision to pass a new act on education, as an argument in favour of the act that introduced additional teaching in the Lithuanian language. The Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs A. Ažubalis used the statistical data from the survey in his speech on the 22nd of February 2011.

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How can the European Council help the national minorities?

On the 23rd of this month, the participants of the latest lecture, which is a part of the “Improving skills at human rights in terms of EU and international law” project, have gained new knowledge on human rights protection as part of the European Council.

The lecture, which took place at the University of Bialystok in Vilnius, triggered a gathering of a few tens of people interested in human rights and especially those of the national minorities.

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For OSCE the protection of national minorities is a political matter

The conclusion was drawn by the participants of a lecture organized on December 1st within the framework of the project entitled „Improvement of the knowledge of human rights in international and European law”. The mechanism of cooperation between the countries within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is based on a belief…

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Within the OSCE the protection of national minorities in a part of the policy

This statement is the conclusion, to which the participants of the recent lecture have come, the lecture being a part of a bigger project called “Improving skills at human rights in terms of EU and international law”.

The system of cooperation between member states of the OSCE is based on the idea that if all member countries reach mutual agreement, it will ensure their peace and security and that forced regulations are practically ineffective. Making this idea the basis of its operation, the OSCE linked the idea of human rights to the concepts of international collaboration between states, regional security and international economic relations. OSCE documents, which only have a political meaning (called soft law) have a significant meaning in reality. Going against these soft law rules is unacceptable as would be breaking international law.

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