Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Lithuania
March 20, 2009
On 19 March during the 7th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance Doudou Di?ne submitted a report on his activities and the details of visits to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and other countries.
Commenting on the situation in Lithuania, the UN Special Rapporteur mentioned that there was a solid legal framework in Lithuania to tackle racism. However, the application of the existing legislation was inefficient.
D.Di?ne encouraged complementing the penal code with a clause ascertaining that racial motives would be an aggravating circumstance of a crime. Moreover, according to the Rapporteur, more attention should be dedicated to the Roma ethnic minority and the new non-European ethnic minorities. In the opinion of the Special Rapporteur, the promotion of tolerance and multiculturalism is the best way to tackle such issues.
In Lithuania’s intervention, the Special Rapporteur was thanked for his visit and the information was presented on the newest changes of the legislation, which were made in accordance with the recommendations of the Rapporteur. Besides, the growing role of non-governmental organisations in tackling forms of racism in Lithuania was highlighted.
Already in 2001 Lithuania handed in an invitation to the United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures to evaluate our country’s human rights situation. The UN Special Rapporteur D.Di?ne is the first to have taken this invitation.