On 15th June, 2017 the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania hosted a roundtable discussion “An Effective Response to Hate Crimes”. Representatives of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, law enforcement, judicial institutions, Equal Opportunities Ombudspersons Office, the Inspector of Journalist Ethics along with number of NGOs attended the meeting. Eimutis Misiūnas, the Minister of Interior Affairs of Lithuania, took part in the discussion and gave an opening speech.
Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, Policy Coordinator (Human Rights) of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, read presentation on the subject of persistent underreporting of hate crimes In Lithuania “Why official statistics does not reflect real situation? And how to encourage victims of hate crimes to report to the law enforcement”. Birutė Sabatauskaitė, Director of Lithuanian Human Rights Center, drew attention to the investigation of hate crimes, readiness and competence of law enforcement and judicial institutions to trial such cases during her presentation draw. Kristina Narmontaitė, representative of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, presented overview of the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive in Lithuania, specifically in regards to rights of victims and victim support services.
The representatives attending the discussion addressed the areas of cooperation between the civil sector and the public authorities, the importance of education and training was stressed by several attending law enforcement representatives. The proposals on measure undertaken by the state authorities with regards to prevention and countering hate crimes will be incorporated into the inter-institutional action plan led by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania. The action plan will be developed as a response to the recommendations Lithuania received during the second cycle of the United Nations Human Rights Council UPR review.
Advocacy within the area of hate crime and hate speech remains one of the focus areas of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL. Currently LGL implements the following projects in cooperation with partners from EU member states: “UNI-FORM: Bringing Together NGOs and Security Forces to Tackle Hate Crimes and On-Line Hate Speech against LGBT Persons“ and “Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes“.