Lithuania (CEDAW 12-11-2019)
The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of Lithuania (CEDAW/C/LTU/6) at its 1734th and 1735th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1734 and CEDAW/C/SR.1735), held on 31 October 2019. The list of issues and questions raised by the pre-sessional working group is contained in CEDAW/C/LTU/Q/6, and the responses of Lithuania are contained in CEDAW/C/LTU/Q/6/Add.1.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Access to justice and legal complaint mechanisms
- The Committee welcomes the legal aid reform of 2019 that provides for primary legal assistance (except in proceedings before courts) for all persons in vulnerable situations, including women, and secondary legal assistance in court proceedings to all victims, inter alia, of gender-based violence, including sexual and domestic violence, and hate crimes, irrespective of their financial status. However, the Committee notes that, in 2018, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson did not receive any complaints from women or girls with disabilities and that there was a low number of complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex or gender overall, due in part to the absence of regional and local branches of the Office.
- In the light of its general recommendation No. 33 (2015) on women’s access to justice, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure full access to justice for disadvantaged or marginalized groups, such as women belonging to minority groups, migrant, rural and older women, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons;
(b) Raise awareness among women of the remedies available to them to claim violations of their rights under the Convention;
(c) Expand the scope of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson so as to facilitate access to justice for all women at the regional and local levels.