EU priority areas of human rights protection are the following:
- Freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly
- Fight against racism and discrimination
- Freedom of religion
- Gender equality
- Rights of the child
- Sexual rights
- EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders
- EU Guidelines on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief
- EU guidelines on Violence against Women and Girls and Combating all Forms of Discrimination against Them
- EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child
- EU Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by LGBT and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons
Other relevant human rights protection areas:
- Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Since 2010, Lithuania, together with the United States of America, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico and Nigeria, participates in the activities of United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group, which annually prepares and presents a resolution on the freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. The assurance of peaceful assembly and association is one of the bases of well-functioning democratic society. However, in many countries threat to civil society's engagement is still increasing, while the right to free expression, peaceful assembly and association is being restricted. Through activities in international forums, Lithuania encourages states to ensure unrestricted exercise of these freedoms, respect for international obligations in this field, as well as to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteurs.
- Gender equality
Lithuania is committed to play an active role in international arena in ensuring gender equality. In order to ensure equal opportunities in the economic sphere and in the fight against women discrimination and social exclusion, Lithuania initiated, financed and carried out series of international projects for the promotion of gender equality and respect for human rights in this area. In 2012, Lithuania's active efforts in this area came to realization when independent candidate from Lithuania was elected to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
- United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review
During Universal Periodic Review sessions Lithuania is actively involved in presenting recommendations and assessing the overall human rights situation in other countries.
The Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism that emerged in 2008. The Universal Periodic Review is considered as one of the most successful Human Rights Council’s processes ensuring equal treatment to all States. The overall human rights situation in each of the UN Member States is beeing assessed during this process. The human rights situation is reviewed every 4-5 years. Other countries, both Human Rights Council Member States and States observers, carry out the evaluation.
The human rights situation in Lithuania was rewieved for the first time in October 2011. The delegation lead by the Minister of Justice of Republic of Lithuania has participated during the review and presented the human rights situation in Lithuania.
Second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review has started in 2012 and will continue till the end of 2016. The second review of the human rights situation in Lithuania is foreseen in 2016.
- Business & Human Rights
In accordance with the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy approved by EU Foreign Affairs Council on the 25 June 2012 (11855/12), all EU Member States were obliged to develop their national implementation plans of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (A/HRC/17/31).
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved Lithuania’s Action Plan on the Implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights on 18 August 2014. The document provides for various existing instruments relating to human rights promotion in business sphere, e.g. Government approved actions and measures that have been implemented, are implemented, or are planned to be implemented in the near future regarding the implementation of UN principles on business and human rights.
The document lists already implemented actions or planned measures and legislative provisions aimed:
- to strengthen Lithuania’s responsibility to protect, defend and respect human rights,
- to encourage enterprises to ensure respect and responsibility for human rights,
- to ensure effective remedies.