HRMI provided information on migrants’ rights to the UN Special Rapporteur

February 23, 2023

The Human Rights Monitoring Institute has provided the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants with up-to-date information on the rights of migrants in Lithuania. The Special Rapporteur is currently working on a report on “Human rights violations at international borders: trends, prevention and accountability”.

In this document, HRMI provides an overview of the current legislation on the rights of foreigners and draws attention to the provisions of the legislation that restrict the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. It discusses the ongoing policy and practice of rejection of foreigners attempting to cross the Lithuanian-Belarusian border irregularly, and the problem of inaccessibility of asylum procedures. Currently, asylum applications can still only be lodged at international border checkpoints or at the Lithuanian Embassy in Belarus, and asylum applications submitted without this procedure are not accepted. The document points out that the policy on exclusions will be enshrined in law.

The document also raises the issue of mass de facto detention of migrants and asylum seekers and the lack of legal recourse against such detention. It also provides an overview of the legislation relating to the introduction of the state of emergency and the state of emergency, the restrictions it imposes and its impact on irregular border crossers and their situation.

The document also discusses the issue of the application of the safe third country concept in the field of asylum, pointing out that there is no established and approved list of safe third countries in Lithuania, and each case is decided on an individual basis.

It also notes that no progress has been made in developing a national independent monitoring mechanism to monitor the border. Currently, no independent national body monitors exclusion practices, and NGO access to the border area is restricted.

Download the full document.

The information was provided to the UN Special Rapporteur in the framework of the project “Crossing the Border: monitoring and advocating for the rights of migrants and asylum seekers”, supported by the Active Citizens Foundation.