2 March 2017
The Seimas Ombudsman Mr. Augustinas Normantas and the Minister of Justice Ms. Milda Vainiutė together with the representatives of Prison Department and the Ministry of Health have discussed possible ways to halt the spread of HIV in correctional institutions.
During the meeting, the Seimas Ombudsman noted that not only barriers to prevent drug entering prisons should be strengthened but also measures impeding the spread of HIV in penitentiaries should be fully implemented.
“Present plan does not encompass measures recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), which include education of convicts, voluntary counselling and testing for HIV and dissemination of condoms. Furthermore, a drug addiction treatment, as well as treatment for HIV-positive ones, should be provided too”, noted Mr. Normantas.
The representatives of the Ministry of Health supported the position of the Seimas Ombudsman by proposing the Prison Department to supplement the action plan aiming at HIV prevention in correctional facilities with measures recommended by WHO.
3 February 2017
EU Twinning Project “Implementation of the best European practices with the aim of strengthening the institutional capacity of the Apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to protect human rights and freedoms (Apparatus)” was launched last Friday, 3rd of February.
The goal of this EU Twinning Project is to ensure the effective prevention and response to violations of human rights by strengthening the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) institution as an efficient mechanism of parliamentary control over the observance of human rights and freedoms at the national level, taking into account the best European practices. The Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights is the main beneficiary of this Twinning Project.
Opening Ceremony, bringing together Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Austrian project partners, marked a launch of the Twinning Project. This event was opened by H.E. Hugues Mingarelli, Ambassador of the European Union and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, H.E. Marius Janukonis, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine, H.E. Hermine Poppeller,Ambassador of Austria to Ukraine,Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights and Mr. Augustinas Normantas, Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office of the Republic of Lithuania. Ms. Milda Vainiutė, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr. Dainius Žalimas, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania shared best Lithuanian and EU practices in the human rights protection area at the Opening Ceremony of the Project.
“The project aimed at building capacities of the most critical institution in democratic societies serves as a bridge between people and authorities and also seeks to forge the ties between local entities for a common goal”– stated in his speech during the opening ceremony Mr. Augustinas Normantas, Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office of the Republic of Lithuania.
2 February 2017
While in Ukraine, the Semas Ombudsman, Mr. Normantas, met with the Ukrainian justice minister, Mr. Pavlo Petrenko. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the justice system’s reforms of Ukraine and the issues concerning the strengthening of the apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
Speaking with Mr. Petrenko, Mr. Normantas stressed the importance of an independent ombudsperson institution in democratic societies and introduced the project implemented by the consortium of Lithuanian and Austrian teams, which is aimed at strengthening the apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.
The project focuses on the improvement of the legal system in Ukraine, with the aim of preventing human rights violations. It is implemented under the leadership of Mr. Normantas.
Mr. Žalimas, the chair of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, pointed out that the constitution must be a safeguard for all reforms, so they can be carried out without prejudice to the country's constitution.