Lithuania – Equality

1. Objectives and Measures

Objective 1: Ensuring State’s duty to protect, defend and respect human rights [page 1]

Protection of human rights, ensuring equal employment, social and other opportunities, gender equality, reducing gender pay gap – these are fundamental values to be pursued in labour relations and regulation of corporate activities. The Government has the obligation to ensure the above mentioned human rights in these areas. Government’s actions and measures include legislative instruments aimed at the development of a legislative framework providing for responsible business practices and elimination of corruption in the public sector. Great attention is paid to non-discrimination measures, including education on human rights, various studies and other measures that promote non-discrimination and respect for human rights. The Government also supports specific initiatives for promotion of gender equality, encourages the development of non-governmental organizations and provides financial assistance for initiatives of non­-governmental organizations in this field.

C. Measures related to research and training on non-discrimination and other human rights [page 2]

  1. Research and training in non-discrimination. The Inter-institutional Action Plan for the Promotion of Non-discrimination for 2012-2014 was approved by Resolution No 1281 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 2 November 2011, aims to ensure the implementation of educational measures on promotion of non-discrimination and equal opportunities, to increase legal awareness, mutual understanding and tolerance in terms of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin and religion, to inform the public about manifestations of discrimination in Lithuania and its negative impact on equal opportunities of certain social groups to actively participate in public life.

Measures foreseen:

to conduct a study into the reasons for changes in societal attitudes and causes of discrimination, as well as the analysis of the results;

to organise seminars, informal education training and discussions on the topics of equal opportunities and non-discrimination for civil servants, trade union representatives and other target groups5;in light of the priorities for 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, announced by the European Commission (hereinafter referred to as the EC), to organise informational and qualification advancement seminars and other events on manifestations of discrimination and other human rights issues6.

It should be noted that under the Programme of the Government for 2012-20167 a working group was set up for drafting an Inter-institutional Action Plan for the Promotion of Non­ discrimination for 2015-2017.

D. Measures related to research and training on equality between men and women [page 5]

  1. Research a training on equal opportunities between men and women. National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men for 2010-2014, approved by Resolution No 530 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 May 2010 and the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men for 2010-2014, adopted by Order No Al-323 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour of 7 July 2010, aims to ensure consistent, comprehensive and systematic cross-field implementation of the provisions of the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, as well as European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU) and international commitments regarding gender equality.

On-going measures:

to conduct an extended study and evaluation of the development as regards treatment of women and men in all sphere to organise seminars to encourage employers to systematically promote equal treatment of women and men in the workplace and equal opportunities for women and men as regards access to employment or promotion to a senior position to organise a round table discussion on the role of social partners in the implementation of equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market;

  • to organise seminars on discriminatory treatment of women and men in education;
  • to organise seminars in all regions of Lithuania on the implementation of provisional special measures;
  • to organise a competition for employers ensuring equal treatment for men and women.

Objective 2: promoting corporate responsibility and respect in the field of business and human rights

B. Government measures encouraging business enterprises to secure respect for human rights [page 8]

C. Planned measures

  1. Promotion of social and socially responsible business. The National Progress Programme 2014-2020 approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania by Resolution No 1482 of 28 November 2012 (hereinatler referred to as National Progress Programme) establishes priorities for the implementation of Lithuanian progress strategy ‘Lithuania 2030’. Lithuanian Progress Strategy ‘Lithuania 2030’ defines smart economy as able to compete in the world, generating high added value and based on knowledge, integrity and social responsibility. Task ‘Implementation of sustainable development principals in businesses’ of the Lithuanian Progress Strategy goal 3 ‘Promotion of business productivity and sustainable development’ presents measures related to promotion of CSR and social businesses:

– to promote social and socially responsible business perceiving it as modern business practice;

– to promote social business by establishing a centre for competencies and good practice, accelerators, work environments for social business, mobility incentives and implementing other measures.

The National Progress Strategy also introduces horizontal principals related to sustainable development, gender equality and non-discrimination.

Objective 3: ensuring access to effective remedy

A. Implemented measures [page 9]

I. Improvement of procedures for providing state-guaranteed legal aid. The aim 1s to improve the procedures for providing state-guaranteed legal aid: to guarantee that legal regulation of state-guaranteed legal aid is carried out with respect to principles of equality, priority of peaceful settlement of disputes, quality and availability.