National Forum on Human Rights. Rights of a child - rights of a human
The National Forum on Human Rights (NFHR) is an annual event organised on Human Rights Day which invites the public to discuss the current situation and what could be done to make Lithuania a good place to live for people of all nationalities, races, genders, social statuses, beliefs, and convictions – for everyone. In 2019, the NFHR is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This year’s motto is “Rights of a child – rights of a human”.
The NFHR is a unique event which unites the academia, the public and private sectors, and hundreds of participants. The topics for this year will invite the public to discuss everything from the protection of children’s rights to youth activism and legal tech.
11th grade pupil at Vilnius Užupis Gymnasium
Julija Bakševičiūtė is studying in the 11th grade of Vilnius Užupis Gymnasium. They take an interest in various socioeconomic issues and are one of the founders and organisers of the climate justice movement Fridays For Future in Vilnius.
Cultural historian, essayist, associate professor at Vilnius University
Aurimas Švedas is a culture historian, essayist, associate professor at the Faculty of History of Vilnius University. His research is dedicated to theory of history, cultural and communicative memory, and historical imagination. For his essays, Švedas was awarded the Prize of the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania.
Philosopher, lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University
Viktoras Bachmetjevas is a philosopher, essayist, lecturer at the Dept. of Philosophy of Vytautas Magnus University, translator, and publisher. His research priorities include ethics and intersections between morality and politics.
Art historian, curator of exhibitions
Laima Kreivytė is an art historian, curator of exhibitions, and a lecturer at Vilnius Academy of Arts. In 2013, she also curated From Dusk Till Dawn. 20 Years of LGBT Freedom in Lithuania, the first exhibition dedicated to the history of the art of LGBTQ community in Lithuania.
Sociologist, professor at Vytautas Magnus University
Aušra Maslauskaitė is a sociologist and professor at the Dept. of Sociology of Vytautas Magnus University. Her research priorities include family sociology, family demographics, and gender sociology. The scientist has researched the situation of single mothers in Lithuania and published work about love and marriage in Lithuania, young families, the development, factors, and consequences of divorces, transnational families etc. Maslauskaitė has also been awarded the Lithuanian Science Prize.
Art historian, photography and fine arts critic
Agnė Narušytė is an art historian, photography and fine arts critic, essayist, curator of exhibitions, and Associate Professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Since 1995, she has been regularly writing articles for the Lithuanian cultural press, scientific journals, and various photography publications. In 2014-2016, Narušytė was the editor of the weekly 7 meno dienos.
Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Mantas Adomėnas is a Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, a political figure, and a philosopher. In 2000, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (UK). Later Adomėnas taught at Cambridge’s Gonville & Caius College and Faculty of Classics. Previously he also served as council member and president of Institute of Democratic Politics, international programme director at Civil Society Institute, and Associate Professor at Vilnius University Faculty of Philology. Since 2008, Adomėnas is a member of the Seimas of Lithuania.
Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Gediminas Kirkilas is a Lithuanian politician, Chairman of Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDLP), Member of the Seimas (since 1992), Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs (since 2012). Throughout his political career, Kirkilas supported human rights, gender equality and tolerance.
Ambassador of Finland to Lithuania and Belarus
Christer Michelsson is the Ambassador of Finland to Lithuania and Belarus (formerly to Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia). He has accumulated over 30 years of diplomatic experience at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, including positions at embassies in China, Spain, Germany and other countries. Christer Michelsson’s native languages are Swedish and Finnish, he also speaks English, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, and French.
Advisor at Prison Department under Ministry of Justice of Lithuania
Gintaras Motuzas is an advisor at the Resocialization Unit of the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.
Lawyer, disability activist
Egidijus Grigonis is a lawyer and disability activist.
Vice-Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania
Algirdas Šešelgis is the Vice-Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania in charge of public health, including emotional and mental health. His professional experience in the Administration of the Vilnius City Municipality and the State Data Protection Inspectorate allows him to employ a broader perspective in solving pressing issues through the combination of current needs and values, legal opportunities and European standards.
Ambassador at Large
Darius Gaidys is a lawyer and a diplomat. He has been serving in the Lithuanian diplomatic office since 1991. Gaidys has worked in New York, London, Sofia, and Los Angeles. Since 2019, he is the Ambassador for Digital Affairs.
Senior Advisor, Health Legislation Department, Ministry of Health and Care Services, Government of Norway
Marianne works in the Health Legislation Department in the Ministry of Health and Care Services. She works on drafting and developing health care legislation and other legal questions concerning health care. In the field of health legislation, Marianne works with mental health care services, abortion, biotechnology and legal gender.
Head of the SOGIGESC Unit within the Human Rights and Integration Directorate, Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, Government of Malta
Gabriella Calleja is the Head of the SOGIGESC Unit within the Human Rights and Integration Directorate, Ministry for European Affairs and Equality. She served as the Coordinator of the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement between 2007 and 2018. In 2011-2014, Calleja served as co-chair of ILGA-Europe. She has played a key role in the legislative initiatives that have placed Malta at the top of ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map Index.
President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania
Prof. Dainius Žalimas is the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania. He is a professor and holds a PhD in social sciences in the field of law. The main areas of his scientific interest include international law and constitutional law. Dainius Žalimas held the positions of a legal adviser to the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He is the author of several books and numerous articles dealing with the issues of public international law and constitutional law. Although he has earned more than one award of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign states, he is most proud of the distinction of honor “Defender of the Lithuanian Parliament” from the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union for taking part in the defense of the Supreme Council (Reconstituent Seimas) of the Republic of Lithuania against the Soviet aggression in January–August 1991. Dainius Žalimas adheres to the principle that the essence of the whole philosophy of human rights is the freedom not to be afraid.
Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius
Marcus Micheli, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is currently the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania.
He previously served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, Russia; as a Director at the National Security Council; and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova. In addition to tours at the Department of State in Washington, DC, he also has served overseas in Montenegro, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, and Poland. Mr. Micheli was a Pearson Congressional Fellow with the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and he has an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University, an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a B.A. in History from Reed College.
Student of Vievis Gymnasium, Chair of Elektrėnai Sub-Division of Student Union of Lithuania
Liveta Kazlauskaitė is an 11th grade student at Vievis Gymnasium who is very passionate about extracurricular activities. Currently she is the chair of the Elektrėnai Sub-Division of the School Student Union of Lithuania and a volunteer at Vievis Cultural Centre.
UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Special Coordinator for Refuge and Migrant Response in Europe
Afshan Khan is the UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and the Special Coordinator for the Refuge and Migrant Response in Europe. She is based in Geneva. Ms. Khan has been an international public servant for over 30 years. Previously she was the Director of Emergency Programmes for UNICEF, and she has also held other senior positions including Director of Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization; Associate Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa; and the UNICEF Representative in Jamaica. Ms. Khan has extensive field experience including assignments in Kenya; Mozambique; Democratic Republic of Congo; and Colombia. She also has broad UN-wide expertise stemming from assignments with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (IASC) in Geneva; the Executive Office of the Secretary- General; and the United Nations Development Group. From 2012 to 2014 Ms. Khan took leave from the United Nations to become the CEO of Women for Women International. In that role, she was responsible for setting the strategic vision and mobilizing the necessary resources for women rebuilding their lives after war.
Representative of NGO Civil Rights Defenders
Peter Öholm is a representative of non-governmental organisation Civil Rights Defenders (Sweden). The Stockholm-based international organisation defends people’s civil and political rights and cooperates with human rights defenders who work in some of the world’s most repressive regions.
Professor, Dean of Law School at Mykolas Romeris University
Lyra Jakulevičienė is Dean of the Mykolas Romeris Law School and Professor at the Institute of Institute of International and European Union Law at Mykolas Romeris University. Her research priorities include international and EU asylum law, human rights law, international agreements, and EU law in free movement of individuals.
Professor at the Dept. of Foreign Language, Literary and Translation Studies of Vytautas Magnus University
Jūratė Ruzaitė is a Professor at the Dept. of Foreign Language, Literary and Translation Studies of Vytautas Magnus University who has accumulated a wealth of experience in national and international scientific projects and earned her PhD in Humanities at the University of Bergen (Norway). Prof. Ruzaitė also taught Lithuanian as a foreign language at the University of Glasgow (UK) in 2010-2012. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, language and ideology.
Head and co-founder of the national LGBT rights organisation LGL
Vladimir Simonko is the head and co-founder of the national LGBT rights organisation LGL, who served as a board member of ILGA-Europe, an international LGBTI rights organisation, for two terms. He is also the initiator and head of the Baltic Pride festival as well as organiser of the National Equality and Diversity Awards.
Journalist and head of Lithuanian National Radio and Television radio news service
Rasa Tapinienė is a journalist and head of Lithuanian National Radio and Television radio news service.
Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR)
Massimo Introvigne is the founder and Managing Director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) in Turin, Italy and editor of the daily magazine on religious liberty in China, Bitter Winter. Until 2016, he was Professor of Sociology of Religions at Pontifical Salesian University, also in Turin. He is the author of more than 70 books and several hundred peer-reviewed articles in the field of Sociology of Religions, mostly dedicated to new religious movements. In 2011 Introvigne served as the Representative of OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) for combating racism, xenophobia, and intolerance and discrimination against Christians and members of other religions. From 2012 to 2015, he chaired the Observatory of Religious Liberty under the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Religion researcher, MA in Religious Studies
Donatas Glodenis is a religion researcher who has an MA in Religious Studies. He specializes in the research of Church-State relations and has also explored new religious movements and problems of their expression in society. Currently Glodenis is working at the Ministry of Justice in the areas related to the registration of religious communities and Church-State relations.
Sociologist, religion researcher, and professor at Vytautas Magnus University
Milda Ališauskienė is a sociologist, religion researcher, and professor at Vytautas Magnus University. For the last two decades she has been researching relations between society and religion in the post-communist societies, problems of expression and acceptance of new religions in society, and the relationship between religion and politics.
Public relations specialist, political scientist, and priestess in the Family Romuva religious community
Miglė Valaitienė is a public relations specialist, political scientist, and a priestess in the Family Romuva religious community. She has been participating in the Romuva religious community for more than 15 years. Valaitienė is actively involved in organizing celebrations, lectures on Baltic mythology and religion, and teaching on crafts and ethnic culture.
Director of the Prison Department
Virginijus Kulikauskas is the Director of the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania. He acquired a lawyer’s qualification in penitentiary activities at Mykolas Romeris University. In 2002, Kulikauskas started working at the Prosecutor’s Office, and was eventually appointed the Prosecutor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Division at Šiauliai Regional Prosecutor’s Office. Later he was transferred to the position of the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Šiauliai Regional Prosecutor’s Office.
Journalist at 15min
Roberta Tracevičiūtė is a journalist at 15min.
Director of Aukštelkė School/Multifunctional Center (Šiauliai District) and Bubiai Secondary School
Vaidas Bacys is Director of Aukštelkė School/Multifunctional Center (Šiauliai District) and Bubiai Secondary School and member of Šiauliai City Council.
Head of Advocacy at Galiu Gyventi Coalition
Girvydas Duoblys is the Head of Advocacy at Galiu Gyventi Coalition.
Deputy Director for Social Affairs at Valakampiai Social Service Home
Virginija Paulauskytė is Deputy Director for Social Affairs at Valakampiai Social Service Home. The institution provides social services to individuals with intellectual, psychosocial and multiple disabilities. Currently Virginija is also the coordinator for the implementation of the European Quality in Social Services (EQUASS) in the institution. Virginija also contributed to the establishment of the homes of Independent Living and Group Living in Vilnius. In 2017, she was awarded the commemorative badge “For the Merits to Vilnius Self-Government”
Resident of Home of Independent Living at Valakampiai Social Service Home and an employee of BSS Grupė
Kęstutis Rudzinskas is a resident of Home of Independent Living at Valakampiai Social Service Home and an employee of BSS Grupė. He is a Lithuanian patriot, member of the association Savarankiškas Gyvenimas and the society Vilniaus Viltis. In the public life, Rudzinskas is an actively self-advocating citizen of Lithuania who is alert to social (in)equality and human rights issues. As a result of discrimination on the grounds of disability, he has independently appealed to the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson.
Representative of Transgender Community
Simas Kuliešius (pronouns: he/him/his) is a graduate from media studies in the United Kingdom and a human rights proponent. In 2015 he volunteered with the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL, where he contributed to the “TRANS* Pizza” events, i.e. the first attempt to mobilize the local transgender community in Lithuania.
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health
Dainius Pūras is a human rights expert and director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute in Vilnius, Lithuania. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vilnius University. In 2007-2011 he was a member and expert of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Since 2014 Dainius Pūras has been appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and serves as a UN Special rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health. The areas of his expertise are the following: human rights-based health related policies and services, development of mental health services for children and adults, children’s rights, rights of persons with disabilities, prevention of violence.
Advisor to the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, Government of Portugal
Manuel Abrantes is a sociologist who has conducted research on issues of employment, gender and migration. He has participated in several initiatives of civil society organizations for the rights of LGBTI persons since 2005, including changes in legislation, involving the youth and training professionals. Since March 2018, he is an Advisor to the Portuguese Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, covering issues of gender equality, healthcare and non-discrimination.
ILGA-Europe’s Senior Policy Officer
Cianán Russell (pronouns: they/they/theirs) is a Senior Policy Officer at ILGA-Europe and works on intersex rights, education, health, trans rights, and the anti-gender backlash in Europe and Central Asia, as well as monitoring and engagement with the Council of Europe and United Nations institutions. Personally, they run a support space for transmasculine and nonbinary survivors of sexual assault and rape, are a member of the International Working Group on Trans Men and HIV, and serve on a Chapter Working Group with the WPATH Standards of Care version 8.
Representative of the Council of Europe’s SOGI Unit
Emma Smith (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is from the UK but has lived in continental Europe since the early 1990s. They became involved in support work and defending human rights on the grounds of gender identity through involvement with a French activist group in the mid-2000s. Their activity has since included sharing information and experience in many diverse areas, through national and European activities. They joined the Council of Europe’s SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Unit in 2019 having collaborated with the Council since the publication of the Human Rights Commissioner’s issue paper “Human Rights and Gender identity”.
Advisor of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania
Rasa Svetikaitė is the Advisor of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, responsible for the monitoring and improvement of the national legal framework and the maintenance of relations with self-governance of courts. Previously she served as the Chief Legal Advisor to the President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Dalia Grybauskaitė. Svetikaitė has accumulated a wealth of experience working in the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, also in the Court of Appeal of Lithuania. The lawyer holds a PhD in law and has been teaching at Vilnius University since 2008.
Intern at UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, member of Prime Minister's Youth Council (Canada)
Nancy Mitchell is from Toronto, Canada. She holds a Masters in Political Science with a Graduate Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She currently interns at UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific where she supports the Ending Violence Against Women team and the Strategic Partnerships team. Further, as a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, Nancy provides non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister and Government of Canada and advocates for youth engagement in political decision-making. She is passionate about human rights, gender equality, and public policy, and believes that it is our responsibility as a community to support one another so that each individual has equal opportunity to quality of life.
Senior Advisor at the Central Union for Child Welfare (Finland)
Julia Kuokkanen is Senior Advisor at the Central Union for Child Welfare (Finland) who has a long experience and solid expertise in the field of child protection at both practical and strategic levels. The child and family policy expert has been involved in many international EU, Nordic, Russian and other projects and initiatives dedicated to child protection. Kuokkanen’s interests lie in the field of child and family policy, including advocacy work for promoting children’s rights and development of child protection systems. For the last few years she has been engaged in campaigns that draw attention to the importance of children’s rights and the implementation of the CRC recommendations for alternative care in Finland.
Saulius Baradinskas is a film director who has repeatedly spoken out against homophobia in the public sphere. He upholds ideas of gender equality and often challenges stereotypes of normative masculinity.
Gender equality expert, Vilnius University lecturer, Senior Advisor to Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Donatas Paulauskas is an expert on gender equality. He teaches gender theories at Vilnius University, works for the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, and produces and hosts the “Modern Men” podcast on 15min.lt. In September, his second book, Why We Need Crying Men, was published.
Expert on gender equality at the Center for Equality Advancement
Margarita Jankauskaitė is an expert on gender equality at the Center for Equality Advancement. She is one of the creators and trainers of jauciuosigerai.lt, a programme dedicated to prevention of sexual harassment at work.
Sociologist, cultural researcher, poet, Professor at Vytautas Magnus University
Artūras Tereškinas is a sociologist, cultural researcher, poet, and professor at the Department of Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University. He is also the head of the Social Research Center and chief researcher. Professor Tereškinas devotes his research activities to cultural sociology, gender sociology, studies of men, pop culture, social exclusion, and minority groups. He has also been awarded the Lithuanian Science Prize.
Radio journalist and radio host at LRT
Darius Matas is a radio journalist and radio host at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) who is interested in a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from politics to culture. For a number of years Darius has been involved in the field of human rights, observing and analyzing challenges faced by our society.
Head of Human Resources Division at Swedbank Lithuania
Agnė Jonaitytė-Karalienė is the Head of Human Resources Division at Swedbank Lithuania. The organisation declares that a progressive and happy society is impossible without equal opportunity and inclusion. For over five years, Swedbank has been focused on equal opportunities, gender equality and diversity.
Director of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration
Povilas Poderskis is the Director of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration. The administration has over 900 employees. Almost a year ago, it adopted a safe work environment programme, which was the first one of its kind in Lithuanian municipalities.
Chief Executive Officer at the Lithuanian Employers' Confederation
Danas Arlauskas is the Chief Executive Officer at the Lithuanian Employers’ Confederation. Currently, the Confederation unites more than 1,800 companies as well as regional and branch business associations. It is the largest organization representing small and medium businesses in Lithuania.
Lawyer, Senior Adviser to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Laima Vengalė-Dits is a lawyer and the Senior Adviser to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. Vengalė-Dits has been working at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson since its inception in 1999. During this time she has worked on numerous complaints of sexual harassment at work.
Professor of VMU Dept. of Public Communication, Chair of Media Council of Lithuania
Auksė Balčytienė is Professor of the Dept. of Public Communication at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and Chair of Media Council of Lithuania. She is also the founder and coordinator of the studies of journalism and communication at VMU, an active researcher involved in international scientific projects whose work has been published in internationally recognised publications.
The professor’s research is focused on media sociology and political communication. Her main research priorities include the role of the media in democracy, the issues of journalism culture and the European public sphere, political communication, information and communication policies, Central and Eastern Europe, and the transformations of the post-soviet space.
Editor-in-chief of the news portal 15min
Raimundas Celencevičius is the editor-in-chief of the news portal 15min.
Inspector of Journalist Ethics
Gražina Ramanauskaitė is the Inspector of Journalist Ethics.
Editor-in-chief of Delfi.lt
Rasa Lukaitytė-Vnarauskienė is the editor-in-chief of the news portal Delfi.
Member of Advisory Board of Human Rights Monitoring Institute, political analyst, philosopher
Paulius Gritėnas is a member of the Advisory Board of Human Rights Monitoring Institute, political analyst and philosopher who is similar in appearance to another participant of the forum, Paulius Ambrazevičius. He is tired of having arguments on the Internet but admits to being a supporter of the Kaunas Žalgiris basketball team.
Director of a public enterprise, actress, comedian, lecturer, event hostess
Aistė Krušinskaitė is a director of a public enterprise, theatre actress and stand-up comedian who also works in advertising, holds lectures, and hosts various events.
Comedian, member of Humoro Klubas, organiser of pub quizzes, and reader of books
Paulius Ambrazevičius is a comedian, member of Humoro Klubas, organiser of pub quizzes, and reader of books. When he is not doing the aforementioned things, Paulius gets into arguments with strangers on the Internet who are usually xenophobes or fans of the Žalgiris basketball team.
Chair of Lithuanian Chamber of Mediators
Rokas Uscila is an associate professor at the Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure of Mykolas Romeris University, a lawyer, criminologist, and mediator. He is also a senior researcher at the Lithuanian Institute of Law. Uscila’s research priorities include penal law, criminology, restorative justice, probation, and mediation. For over two decades, he has carried out research on various criminological and victimological phenomena, including social deviations. Rokas Uscila has been a member of the expert coalition I Can Live since 2004 and the Chairman of its Council since 2016. Since 2017, he has served as the Chair of the newly founded Lithuanian Chamber of Mediators.
Minister of Social Affairs and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania
Linas Kukuraitis has been the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania since 2016. The minister’s key goals include reduction of violence against children and promotion of equal and effective social services for families with children in all municipalities. Kukuraitis was a strong supporter of an initiative by members of the Parliament which centralized the children’s rights protection system and abolished violence and corporal punishment against children. The minister is also one of the leading advocates for all municipalities to invest in social services for families with children and for general population.
Co-founder and director of Children Support Centre, psychologist, psychotherapist
Aušra Kurienė is a psychologist, psychotherapist, director and co-founder of the Children Support Centre. For over 30 years, she has provided support to children who have behavioural and emotional difficulties, offered consultations to parents and specialists, organised training, and promoted ideas of positive parenting. Kurienė is a lecturer of Vilnius University post-graduate study programs dedicated to preparation of adult and child psychotherapists. She has also prepared several methodical publications about working with children who suffered from abuse and two books, Ką kiekvienas vaikas turi žinoti apie smurtą and Kaip užauginti žmogų.
Chair of the Lithuanian Society for Criminology
Gintautas Sakalauskas is the Chair of the Lithuanian Society for Criminology (LSC), Associate Professor of Law at Vilnius University, and Doctor of Science (MSc) with expertise in key areas of criminal law, criminology, criminal policy, the penal system and juvenile justice. He has also been an Associate Member of the International Fund for Punishment and Punishment Enforcement since 2016. Sakalauskas is an author of numerous scientific articles and a member of editorial boards of scientific journals.
Head of Centre for the Consulting of Sentenced Persons at Vilnius Archdiocese Caritas
For the last seven years, Raimonda Čižauskaitė has been working at Vilnius Archdiocese Caritas, where she oversees the activities of the Centre for the Consulting of Sentenced Persons. In addition, she organises and implements projects dedicated to pursuing positive change and successful integration of ex-convicts in the society.
Director of Mental Health Perspectives, psychologist, human rights expert
Karilė Levickaitė is a psychologist, mental health and human rights expert and activist, director of non-governmental organisation Mental Health Perspectives, council member of Mental Health Europe, member of the Interinstitutional Monitoring Group for Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services for the Disabled and Children Deprived of Parental Care 2014-2020 Year Action Plan.
Head of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office
Vytautas Valentinavičius is the Head of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office, PhD candidate in political science of Kaunas University of Technology, and master of political science Cum Laude of the Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science.
Working in the field of human rights protection for over a decade, he has been a board member of several non- governmental organizations and has contributed to the establishment of the Human Rights Coalition (Coalition of Human Rights Organizations since 2014).
Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office
Augustinas Normantas is the Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, professor of practice of the Law Faculty of Vilnius University, constitutionalist.
CEO of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT)
Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė is the CEO of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT). She is former longtime editor-in-chief of the online news portal DELFI. Since August 2017, Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė is a member of the International Press Institute.
Ambassador of Sweden to Lithuania
Ambassador Maria Christina Lundqvist has during her career focused on European and transatlantic affairs. She has since September 2016 been Ambassador to Lithuania and has also served as Ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg, Chile and Peru. Ambassador Lundqvist has been Deputy Political Director, Head of the Americas Department and Head of the European Correspondent Department. She has also served as DCM in Berlin, at the Swedish EU-representation in Brussels and in other EU capitals. Ambassador Lundqvist has academic degrees from Sweden and the College of Europe in Brugge as well as ENA in Paris. She has been a board member of i a the Swedish Institute for International Affairs and the Swedish Women´s Forum.
Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, a diplomat
Kevin Rex is Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, a diplomat. His past positions include Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister in the Privy Council Office, acting Director of the Canadian International Development Agency’s Afghanistan Task Force, and Deputy Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START). He also worked in Canada’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and led the START team to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and to Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. He was awarded the Humanitas Operational Service Medal for his work in disaster response. Kevin Rex most recently served in Belgrade, Serbia as Political Counsellor and Chargé d’affaires a.i. from 2012 to 2016. His last assignment in Ottawa was as Director of Eastern Europe and Eurasia, where he was responsible for managing Canada’s political, commercial and development relations with the 19 countries of the region.
Ambassador of Norway to Lithuania
HE Mr. Karsten Klepsvik has been serving as the Ambassador of Norway to Lithuania since 2018. The diplomat started his career at Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981. Previously he has worked in embassies in the Philipines and the U.S. Before his appointment in Lithuania, Mr Klepsvik served as the Norwegian Ambassador to Poland.
Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Seimas
Valerijus Simulik is Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Seimas, Member of the Seimas of Lithuania since 2000, member of Seimas Commission for Youth and Sports Affairs. He is also Member of the Commission for Youth and Sport Affairs,
Deputy Head or Member of the Groups for Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Head of the Seimas Delegation to the Baltic Assembly.
Mathematician, full member of Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University Rector
Juozas Augutis is a mathematician, Habil. Dr. in Technology, full member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, energy expert, Rector of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Head of the Energy Security Research Centre under VMU and Lithuanian Energy Institute, member of VMU Senate and Council.
Director of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights
Birutė Sabatauskaitė is the Director at the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights and an expert in law and advocacy. At the centre, she analyses the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities in Lithuania, prepares shadow and other types of reports for international institutions on discrimination of various groups, hate crimes, domestic violence, and violence against women. Sabatauskaitė also organises training on ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace and education institutions and on the prevention of and protection from domestic violence. Previously, she was a human rights trainer at the Falcon Movement, an international organization for children and youths. For many years, Sabatauskaitė also volunteered in various children’s organizations.
Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Agneta Skardžiuvienė is the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson appointed in 2015. Before that she was the Vice Minister of Culture, the Advisor to the Speaker of the Seimas, and worked in other positions of the Parliament. Agneta Skardžiuvienė graduated from Mykolas Romeris University where she obtained the Master of Laws degree.
Head of Communications at Lithuanian Human Rights Center and editor of manoteises.lt
Jūratė Juškaitė is the Head of Communications at the Lithuanian Human Rights Center and editor of the website manoteises.lt. Juškaitė has a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies and is interested in the topics of feminism, gender expression, and identities.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Linas Linkevičius is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, a political and public figure. He has worked as the Member of the Parliament of Lithuania, Head of the Seimas Delegation to the North Atlantic Assembly, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Lithuania to Belarus. In 1997-2000 and 2005-2011, he served as the Head of the Lithuanian Mission to the WEU and NATO and Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the North Atlantic Council. Linkevičius has been awarded a number of decorations from Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Sweden and other countries, including the Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas and many others.
Ombudsperson for Children's Rights of the Republic of Lithuania
Edita Žiobienė is the Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights of the Republic of Lithuania. Previously she was the head of Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, also an associate professor at Mykolas Romeris University, Department of Constitutional Law of the Faculty of Law, and lecturer at the Law Institute of Vytautas Magnus University.
Legal Assistant, Lawyer at the European Foundation of Human Rights
Evelina Dobrovolska is a legal assistant and a lawyer at the European Foundation of Human Rights. She specializes in the rights of national minorities, represents applicants in legal cases regarding the original transcription of personal names, and works on cases related to discrimination and hate crimes. Evelina is currently the only legal assistant in Lithuania who represents transgender applicants in court proceedings on legal gender recognition.
Pediatrician, Representative of Transgender Community
Alice Alasevičė (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a medical doctor. In 2011 she graduated from medical school and in 2017 she became a fully qualified pediatrician.
Head of the Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Division at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius (pronouns: he/him/his) is the Head of the Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Division at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. In 2017 he initiated strategic litigation process which resulted in removal of the abusive sterilization requirement for obtaining legal gender recognition in Lithuania.
President of Lithuanian Disability Organisations' Forum
Dovilė Juodkaitė is the president of Lithuanian Disability Organisations’ Forum and the member of European Disability Forum’s Board of Directors. She is also an expert in the fields of human rights, rights of people with disabilities, mental health care. D. Juodkaitė specializes in mental health law. She conducted the analysis of Lithuanian mental health care system.
Member of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen is a Member of the Committee on Human Rights, Member of Provisional Group of Women, Chair of the Liberals Movement Political Group, Chair of Liberals Movement. European Chess Champion (2011).
Editor-in-chief of lrt.lt
Mindaugas Jackevičius is the editor-in-chief of lrt.lt and the anchor of the television show “Topic of the Day” (Lith. “Dienos tema”) at the Lithuanian national television and the radio section “LRT News Studio” (Lith. “LRT aktualijų studija”) at the Lithuanian national radio. He specializes in the topics of politics, emigration, human rights, social policy and education.
11.30 – 12.00 Coffee break (Leisure space, 5th floor)
Award ceremony of visual arts competition Human Rights (Atrium space, 3rd floor)
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch break (Leisure space, 5th floor)