In 2018 United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee made recommendations CCPR/C/LTU/CO/4 to Lithuania to improve the situation of LGBTI people. Along with recommendations made to Belize, Bulgaria, Honduras, Mongolia and Sudan, these recommendations were considered by the Committee as urgent.
In accordance to the official deadline and procedure, national LGBT rights organization LGL submitted an alternative report on the 27th of July, 2020. While the deadline for the state report submission was the same, at the present moment it appears that Lithuania’s publication might have been delayed.
Alternative report submitted together with the ILGA World and Center for Civil and Political Rights examines the State‘s level of implementation of Committee’s recommendations. While the document noted certain constructive institutional developments, negative tendencies are overwhelming: radical political forces continue to use discriminatory, anti-LGBT rhetoric, same-sex couples, having no access to legal and social guarantees, continue to live in legal void and often choose to maintain secrecy of their relationship. Discriminatory interpretation of the infamous provisions laid-down in the Law on Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information continue to pose issues when it comes to mainstreaming LGBT topics in the media. Transgender individuals remain particularly vulnerable since the administrative procedure which would guarantee an easy access to Legal Gender Recognition still has not been introduced by the State, leaving a less cost-efficient and time consuming option of bringing a case before the court.
Report findings suggest that Lithuania, not ensuring an effective protection of its LGBT citizens from social, legal and institutional discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, has not fully implemented the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee, thus simultaneously failing to fulfill its international obligations.
This confirms the existence of alarming tendencies of institutional indifference and inefficiency, which, among other things, contributes to the deterioration of the demographic situation: the so-called brain drain phenomena and some of the highest high suicide rates in the world being the most prominent examples of indirect consequences of low LGBT acceptance in Lithuania.
According to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) LGBTI survey (released in May, 2020), Lithuanian respondents admitted always (14 %) or almost always (20 %) feeling downhearted or depressed. Moreover, 55 % of Lithuanian respondents personally felt discriminated against in 8 areas of life due to their LGBTI identity. These rates are among the highest in all EU Member States.