UN: Lithuania still needs to work on the rights of persons with disabilities

May 2, 2023

In the end of April, 2023, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) published the list of issues in relation to the combined second and third periodic reports of Lithuania. The attention was drawn to such problems as challenges and achievements in legislative processes to bring domestic legislation into alignment with the State party’s obligations under the Convention and the human rights model of disability; the current capacity of the disability assessment system to meet individual requirements and the ways in which organizations of persons with disabilities have been involved in the project to improve the system; measures taken to ensure that concepts of disability across different counties and municipalities are consistent and do not give rise to unequal access to rights and services across the country; measures to promote universal design in goods, services, equipment and facilities to be usable by all people and to ensure that services are provided and financed by the State. 

The UN CRPD also took interest in measures taken to ensure access to national and international funding by organizations of persons with disabilities to develop their advocacy role, with an emphasis on persons with disabilities in rural areas and grass-roots civil society organizations, as well as the resources available to ensure that non-governmental organization councils at the national and municipal levels ensure the participation of and consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities, including organizations of women with disabilities, and the ways in which accessible methodologies and mechanisms to consult with all persons with disabilities have been implemented by the non-governmental organization councils and the Council for the Affairs of the Disabled.

Other issues noted included intersecting and multiple discrimination; misconceptions and stereotypes regarding persons with disabilities, particularly in the media; accessibility and universal design; identification of asylum-seekers with disabilities and refugees with disabilities and ensuring them with proper housing and support services; guardianship and legal capacity of persons with disabilities; ability to live independently and to be included in the community; slow deinstitutionalization; adoption of inclusive education strategy; employment rate of persons with disabilities, especially women with disabilities; accessibility to sports facilities and places of cultural life and others.

The Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) together with an NGO Mental Health Perspectives (PSP) has submitted written comments to the UN CRPD 17th Pre-sessional Working Group on the occasion of the review of Lithuania’s second and third combined reports under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The aforementioned report provided the analysis and recommendations for the Law on the Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of Person with Disability; equality and non-discrimination; accessibility; equality before the law and legal capacity;  the right to liberty and security of the person; the right to freedom from violence; independent living and inclusion in the community; inclusive education; work and employment; monitoring of the implementation of the Convention.

Full list of issues can be found here.