Lithuania offers human rights recommendations to Estonia and Belgium
On 4 and 5 May, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas took the floor at the 38th session of the Working Group of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to address the human rights situation in Estonia and Belgium.
Lithuania welcomed the establishment of Estonia’s National Human Rights Institution and increased financing for the Gender Equality Program 2020-2023. Lithuania commended Estonia’s increased representation of women in political decision-making positions, and recommended to increase it at municipalities level as well as to design and implement concrete measures to reduce the gender pay gap. Lithuania also recommended Estonia to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (OP-CEDAW) on complaint and inquiry mechanisms, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).
At Belgium’s UPR, Lithuania recommended to reform the Federal Human Rights Institute so that it is fully compliant with the Paris Principles. Lithuania also recommended to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OP-CAT) and to establish an effective national preventive mechanism. Acknowledging Belgium’s efforts in combating gender-based violence, Lithuania recommended to strengthen the prevention of new forms of violence, such as online harassment.
The Universal Periodic Review is a human rights mechanism employed since 2008. The UPR assesses the human rights situation in each individual country and provides recommendations for improvements. At the end of each UPR cycle, UN Members produce reports about the implementation of the adopted recommendations and overall progress in the area of human rights. Countries undergo the UPR every five years. Lithuania had its reviews in 2011 and 2017. The third-cycle review will take place in January 2022.