National Forum on Human Rights. We can stop violence
On 10 December, the Human Rights Day, the 4th National Forum on Human Rights (NFHR) will be organised at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and online. The event 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 2021, the NFHR is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women. This year’s motto is “We can stop violence”.
The NFHR is a unique event which unites the academia, the public and private sectors, and hundreds of participants.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Lithuania
Bonnie Horbach is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Lithuania. She has been working in the position since September 2018. Before her appointment as the ambassador, Bonnie Horbach worked as the Consul General for the Netherlands in Cape Town. Previously she worked as the Head of Recruitment, spokesperson and Senior Policy Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Bonnie Horbach also worked as Public Affairs Director at Sabic Europe and as Seconded EU Expert to the UN Election Commission under the UN Mission in Baghdad, Iraq. Before this, among other activities, she worked in the embassies of the Netherlands in Baghdad (Iraq) and Bangkok (Thailand), volunteered in international organisations in Mali and worked as Suntaa Nuntaa Agroforestry Coordinator in Ghana.
Director of the United Nations, International Organizations and Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Darius Staniulis is the Director of the United Nations, International Organizations and Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Second Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius
Fredrik Åhsberg is the Second Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius.
Lawyer, Seimas Ombudsperson
Erika Leonaitė is the Seimas Ombudsperson for investigating the complaints regarding the activities of state institutions and officials. Erika Leonaitė holds a PhD in Law and works as a lecturer at Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science and the Faculty of Law. Her academic interests include the development of international human rights standards and international law. Erika Leonaitė has worked in the Constitutional Court. In 2017, she started working at the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, where she focused on the issues of domestic violence, the rights of victims and the right to a fair trial.
Director of the Open Lithuania Foundation
Sandra Adomavičiūtė is the Director of the Open Lithuania Foundation.
President of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, former ECHR judge, professor of MRU Law School
Prof. Dr. Danutė Jočienė has been a judge at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania since 2014. In June 2021, she was appointed the President of the Constitutional Court. Jočienė is also professor at Mykolas Romeris University’s Law School. In 2004–2013 m. she was a judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and, between 2011–2013, she held the position of the Vice-President of Section II of the European Court of Human Rights. In 2003–2004, Jočienė was the representative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania at the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. Between 1994–2003, Danutė Jočienė was an an associate professor and the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University. She is the author of many scientific publications. Her research and professional priorities include human rights, constitutional jurisprudence, international organizations, and jurisprudence of the ECHR, the Court of Justice of the EU, and the General Court of the EU.
Vice-Minister of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania
Vitalij Dmitrijev is the Vice-Minister of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Gabrielius Landsbergis is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Journalist, Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow, Atlantic Council fellow
Hanna Liubakova is a journalist, Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow, Atlantic Council fellow
Blogger, wife of the political prisoner and blogger Eduard Palchys
Victoria Palchys is a blogger, wife of the political prisoner and blogger Eduard Palchys.
Co-founder of Women in White, winner of Jeane Kirkpatrick Award
Anastasia Kostyugova is co-founder of the Women in White movement, winner of the Jeane Kirkpatrick Award, daughter of political prisoner and scientist Valerya Kostyugova.
Head of Panevėžys Roma Community, activist, educator
Rasma Pažemeckaitė is the head of Panevėžys Roma Community, activist and educator who talks actively with youths in schools and educates the public on the Holocaust of the Roma and the important distinction between Roma and gypsies.
Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, Chair of Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrat Political Group, member of Committee on Education and Science
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė is Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, Chair of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrat Political Group, and member of the Committee on Education and Science.
Volunteer at Kėdainiai Division of Lithuanian School Student Union, school student
Ignas Pankratjevas is a volunteer at the Kėdainiai Division of the Lithuanian School Student Union and a school student. Currently Ignas is studying in the 12th grade and preparing for school-leaving exams. He has spent a large portion of his adolescence playing video games. While his interest in this hobby has faded, according to Ignas himself, the experience will remain an enduring memory.
Regional Youth Policy Coordinator at Lithuanian School Students' Union and member of Utena Youth Affairs' Council
Akvilė Juškaitė is the Regional Youth Policy Coordinator at the Lithuanian School Students’ Union and member of the Utena Youth Affairs’ Council.
Coordinator of Be Patyčių program at Vaikų Linija
Eglė Tamulionytė is coordinator of the Be Patyčių program at public enterprise Vaikų Linija (Child’s Line).
Co-author of General Education Life Skills Program Project and head of Institute for Social and Emotional Learning
Dr. Daiva Šukytė is a co-author of the General Education Life Skills Program Project and the head of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning.
Psychologist and coordinator of the Rainbow Challenge program for schools by Tolerant Youth Association and the FRIDA Foundation
Rasa Katinaitė is a psychologist and coordinator of the Rainbow Challenge program for schools by Tolerant Youth Association and the FRIDA Foundation.
Communication Project Manager at Lithuanian Disability Forum
Simona Aginskaitė is a Communication Project Manager at Lithuanian Disability Forum (LDF).
Deputy Chief Prosecutor at the Department of Criminal Prosecutions of the Prosecutor General's Office
Arūnas Meška is a Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Department of Prosecution at the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania.
Deputy Chair of the Republican Center of the Lithuanian Association of the Blind and Visually Handicapped
Irma Jokštytė is the Deputy Chair of the Republican Center of the Lithuanian Association of the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
Criminologist, the Chair of the Norwegian Civil Rights foundation Stop Discrimination
Berit Vegheim is a criminologist and a human rights expert. She has been a disability and feminist activist for more than forty years. Since 2002 she has been working as the Chair of the Norwegian Civil Rights foundation Stop Discrimination (Norwegian: Borgerrettsstiftelsen Stopp Diskrimineringen). The organization was set up by the Norwegian Independent Living movement to campaign for a robust and strong anti-discrimination legislation, including legal protection against hate crime. Stop Discrimination is the leading expert NGO in Norway in the field of anti-discrimination, hate crime and civil and political rights.
Head of LRT Klasika
Julijus Grickevičius is the head of LRT Klasika.
Investigator in the National Center of Expertise on Hate Crime (Oslo Police district)
Sami Nedal Achim Müller is a police officer within the Norwegian police. He works as an investigator in the National Center of Expertise on Hate Crime (Oslo Police district). Sami Nedal Achim Müller has worked as a police officer since 2019 and started working with hate crimes in early 2021. Currently he is one of six investigators with the National Center of Expertise on Hate Crime.
Ieva Sargautytė is a designer and programmer.
Head of the mobile app's development group, IT specialist
Karina Klinkevičiūtė is head of the mobile app’s development group, IT specialist.
Chair of Tolerant Youth Association
Artūras Rudomanskis is Chair of Tolerant Youth Association.
Member of the Seimas and Committee on Social Affairs and Labour
Justas Džiugelis is a Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour. His interests include ensuring of the rights of persons with disabilities and inclusive education. He is also a volunteer of the project Pradėsiu Mokyti(s).
Project Manager at welfare society for persons with mental disability Viltis
Ramunė Lebedytė-Undzėnienė is project manager at welfare society for persons with mental disability Viltis. She is raising four children, including a son who was born with Down’s syndrome. Currently she is actively participating in work groups dedicated to solving issues of inclusive education.
Adviser to the Minister of Education, Science and Sport
Agnė Andriuškevičienė is an Adviser to the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania.
Social Worker at Open Youth Centre of Algimantas Raudonikis Art School in Joniškis
Erika Dagytė is a social worker at the Open Youth Centre of Algimantas Raudonikis Art School in Joniškis and a student of Social Pedagogy and Legal Fundamentals. Dagytė has been working to prevent bullying since her days in high school, where she participated in a play that was based on letters of children who wanted to commit suicide. She organized and led camps, volunteered at an open youth center and a children’s day center, organized preventative events and projects. Currently she works at Open Youth Center of Joniškis Algimantas Raudonikis Art School and coordinates beginning volunteers.
Psychologist, head of Vaikų Linija (Child Line)
Dr. Robertas Povilaitis is a psychologist and the head of Vaikų Linija (Child Line).
Associated Professor of Mykolas Romeris University, Vice-Dean of Law School
Ingrida Danėlienė is Associated Professor of Mykolas Romeris University, Vice-Dean of Law School.
Member of European Committee of Social Rights
József Hajdú is a Member of European Committee of Social Rights.
Deputy Minister of Social Security and Labor
Vytautas Šilinskas is the Deputy Minister of Social Security and Labor. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister, he was a lawyer and a partner at the TGS Baltic Association.
Investigative journalist at Laisvės TV
Birutė Davidonytė is an investigative journalist at Laisvės TV.
Journalist at LRT Radijas
Agnė Skamarakaitė is a journalist at LRT Radijas.
Policy and Projects Adviser at Stay Safe East (UK)
Ruth Bashall is Policy and Projects Adviser at Stay Safe East (UK), an independent trainer and consultant on disability, equality and human rights. She had been working as an independent adviser on disability and hate crimes at Metropolitan Police (London) for 10 years.
Head of Division of Public Information Monitoring and Analysis at the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics
Aliona Gaidarovič is a lawyer and the Head of Division of Public Information Monitoring and Analysis at the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics. Since 2016 she has been assigned to be a contact person to collaborate with the biggest IT companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft in eliminating hate speech. Her daily work includes human rights protection in the media and defending the freedom of expression. Aliona Gaidarovič also organizes and ensures the work of expert groups that classify public information as hate speech.
Professor and Dean of Faculty of Informatics at Vytautas Magnus University
Prof. Tomas Krilavičius is the Dean of Faculty of Informatics at Vytautas Magnus University and a program committee member in many international conferences. He represents Lithuania in the NATO Science and Technology Organization working group. His main research interests are the applications of artificial intelligence and language technology.
Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania
Justina Jakštienė is the Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.
Head of the Refugee Council of Lithuania
Yusuf Muhammadzoda is the Head of the Refugee Council of Lithuania.
Director of Refugee and Migrant Program at Lithuanian Red Cross
Eglė Samuchovaitė is Director of Refugee and Migrant Program at Lithuanian Red Cross.
Lawyer and Assoc. Professor at the Mykolas Romeris University Institute of International and EU Law
Laurynas Biekša is a lawyer and Assoc. Professor at the Mykolas Romeris University Institute of International and EU Law.
Editor of English news at LRT.lt
Benas Gerdžiūnas is an editor of English news at LRT.lt.
Representative of Lithuania's Government at ECHR
Karolina Bubnytė-Širmenė is a doctor in the field of social sciences. Since 2014, she has been a representative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania at the European Court of Human Rights.
Her scientific and professional priorities include the role of courts in the implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Lithuania.
Member of Seimas and Seimas Committee on Human Rights
Arūnas Valinskas is a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Seimas Committee on Human Rights.
Krive (chief priestess) of Romuva
Inija Trinkūnienė is the Krive (chief priestess) of Romuva, the indigenous religion of Lithuania, member of the Council of European Congress of Ethnic Religions. She is a singer and teacher of Lithuanian sacred chanting – sutartines, and leader of Romuva Ritual folklore group Kulgrinda, which recorded 10 CDs devoted to Lithuanian Gods and Goddesses.
Head of the MO Museum
Since 2016, Milda Ivanauskienė has been the head of the MO Museum. She has implemented the transformation of the museum from a “museum without walls” into a new institution in the centre of Vilnius, shaped the organisation’s strategy and positioning.
Artist, writer, essayist, cultural commentator, exhibition curator
Paulina Pukytė is an artist, writer, essayist, cultural commentator, exhibition curator. She creates site-specific installations and interventions, conceptual projects, writes critical and satirical articles on cultural topics, experimental literature and poetry.
Sculptor, performance and video artist
Dainius Liškevičius is a sculptor, performance and video artist. He is one of the most active artists of the “breakthrough generation”, whose work is distinguished by social engagement, criticism of society and social reality. His works are in Lithuanian museum collections, private collections in Lithuania and abroad. In 2015, his installation “Museum” represented Lithuania at the Venice International Art Biennale.
Director of Vilnius ORT Sholom Aleichem Jewish Gymnasium
Ruth Reches is the Director of Vilnius ORT Sholom Aleichem Jewish Gymnasium. She acquired a bachelor’s degree in social sciences (sociology, psychology, criminology) at Bar-Ilan University in Israel in 1996, as well as a BA in psychology (1998) and an MA in clinical psychology (2001) at Vilnius University. From 2011 until 2019, Reches was enrolled in joint PhD studies of psychology implemented by Mykolas Romeris University, Vytautas Magnus University, and the University of Córdoba. Since 2020, she has been the Director of Vilnius ORT Sholom Aleichem Jewish Gymnasium. Her research priorities are identity, trauma, and the Holocaust.
Anthropologist, mediator in Vilnius Roma community, educator at Padėk Pritapti
Agnieška Avin is a mediator in the Vilnius Roma community of the Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and educator at Padėk Pritapti. She acquired a master’s degree in social anthropology at Vytautas Magnus University. Agnieška Avin’s interests include migrations and history of the Lithuanian Roma as well as the memory of the Holocaust.
Lawyer and chair of the Lithuanian Jewish Community
Faina Kukliansky is a lawyer and lobbyist who has been the chair of the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community since 2013. Kukliansky is a member of Lithuanian and international law associations, the Lithuanian delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and the Executive Committee of the European Jewish Congress (EJC). Faina Kukliansky devoted a lot of effort to the returning of the property of Jewish communities. Finally, after almost 12 years of work, the Law on Restitution was adopted and the Good Will Foundation, whose chair is Faina Kukliansky, was established. In 2016, she participated in the steering group of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania dedicated to amendments to the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania that ensure the rights to citizenship to the Jews who left Lithuania during the interwar and their offspring.
Professor at Law School of the Mykolas Romeris University
Prof. Dr. Justinas Žilinskas is a Professor at Law School of the Mykolas Romeris University.
Biomedical Sciences PhD, pediatric dentist
Rasa Račienė holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and works as a pediatric dentist. She is a member of the LGBTQ + support group and as a mother of an LGBTQ + child participates in LGBTQ + activism. In February 2021, Rasa initiated an open letter “LGBTQ + people – our children and loved ones”, which was supported by almost 19,000 people.
Sociologist, Lithuanian Center for Social Research
Dr. Liutauras Labanauskas is a sociologist and researcher at the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences. In 2019 he conducted a qualitative study on the hate crime experienced by the vulnerable communities which was commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior of Lithuania. In 2020–2021 he worked on a joint project together with the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights and conducted a qualitative study on the possibilities of legalization of gender-neutral partnership and the needs of LGBTQIA + individuals.
Lawyer, National LGBT Rights organization LGL
Monika Antanaitytė is a lawyer and the project manager at the National LGBT rights organization LGL. She obtained a Master’s degree in Law at Mykolas Romeris University, studied at Maastricht University, participated in ESBO ODIHR training, interned in Belgium, Germany, Japan and other countries. Monika Antanaitytė has been working in the field of human rights since 2013. She was a member of board of Coalition of Human Rights Organizations in 2017–2019 and joined LGBT activism in 2019.
Member of the Human Rights Committee of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Tomas Bičiūnas is a member of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party. In 2000 he graduated from Vilnius Pedagogical University, with a degree in geography. Later he graduated from the Lithuanian University of Law (now Mykolas Romeris University) with a degree in public administration. He worked as a geography teacher in Kėdainiai for several years and was a member of the Kėdainiai District Municipal Council. From 2020 he is a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
Advisor at the Dept. of Illegal Activity Supervision of the State Labour Inspectorate
Gediminas Noreika is an advisor at the Dept. of Illegal Activity Supervision of the State Labour Inspectorate.
Member of the May 1st Trade Union
Vladislovas Žurba is a member of the May 1st Trade Union.
Lecturer, medical anthropologist at Dept. of Sociology of Vytautas Magnus University
Dr. Daiva Bartušienė is a lecturer and medical anthropologist at the Dept. of Sociology of Vytautas Magnus University. Currently, her research is focused on neuro-diversity, cultural psychiatry and related topics: the socio-cultural aspects of autism.
Special pedagogue, methodologist at Dovilai Lower Secondary School
Svaja Venckienė is a special pedagogue, methodologist at Dovilai Lower Secondary School. She conducts special initial assessment of students ‘needs, identifies the causes of learning difficulties, provides assistance during lessons, eliminates gaps in students’ knowledge, consults parents, educators, working teachers.
Chairman of Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour
Mindaugas Lingė is the Chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs and Labour of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
Director of Lithuanian National Anti-Poverty Network
Aistė Adomavičienė is the Director of Lithuanian National Anti-Poverty Network.
Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy, Vilnius University
Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy, Vilnius University
Council member of the Lithuanian Human Rights Center
Dr. Laima Vaigė is a lecturer at the Örebro University in Sweden. She has defended two doctoral theses in Law: the first one about the combat of violence against women under international law (Mykolas Romeris University) and the second one about the recognition of same-sex marriage and partnership in Europe (Uppsala University). She is a feminist, an author of numerous academic and media articles concerning the prohibition of violence. She has worked for the NGOs both in Lithuania and Sweden and is a council member of the Lithuanian Human Rights Center.
Professor at Vytautas Magnus University, member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Dalia Leinartė is a member and former chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a professor at Vytautas Magnus University and an affiliated member of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.
Night Mayor of Vilnius
In 2015, Markas was elected to the Vilnius City Council and became the first non-Lithuanian citizen to swear to defend the Lithuanian Constitution. In the council, he initiated the municipality’s sexual harassment prevention policy, campaigned for minority rights, opposed hate speech, marched for LGBT equality, provided facilities for children’s daycare centers, and persuaded the city to establish a 24-hour harm reduction center in Vilnius Old Town. In 2018, Markas became known as the first night mayor of Vilnius and, after leaving Vilnius City Council in 2019, he founded the Vilnius Night Alliance, which advocates for better regulation and development of nightlife in Vilnius.
Associate Professor and Senior Researcher at Vytautas Magnus University, Assoc. Prof. at LCC International University
Ignas Kalpokas completed PhD studies in political science at the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2016. Since 2015, he has been working at Vytautas Magnus University, currently as an associate professor and senior researcher. Kalpokas also works as associated professor at the LCC International University and is a member of the Comittee for the Doctoral Studies in Communications at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Ignas Kalpokas did an internship at the University of Pavia (on scholarship from the Government of Italy) and Marymount University (on Fulbright scholarship). His main research priorities include the social impact of artificial intelligence theories, digital transformations, algorithmic governance and information security.
Researcher/Post-Doc at University of Siegen (Germany)
In 2020, Miglė Bareikytė acquired a PhD in cultural and media studies at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany), at the prestigious Cultures of Critique group funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). After completing her first MA studies at Vytautas Magnus University in the field of political science, she also acquired a second MA degree in communication at the Free University of Berlin. Since 2021, Bareikytė has been working as researcher/post-doc at the University of Siegen (Germany) and involved with the interdisciplinary project Organizing Human-Nonhuman Cooperation, in which she is analysing the impact of algorithmic systems on work processes and focusing on the explainability of algorithmic systems to their users as well as the possibility of critiquing them. Bareikytė participates frequently in international conferences and is also a member of Germany’s community of social sciences, stsing, as well as an alum of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung).
Member of the Seimas and Seimas Commitee on Health Affairs, former child psychiatrist
Linas Slušnys is a former child psychiatrist who is currently a member of the Seimas Committee on Health Affairs as well as the Commission of Suicide and Violence Prevention. He has been actively supporting children’s rights, the significance of children’s psychological state and school attendance’s impact on it. Linas Slušnys is also a member of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrat Political Group who supports the necessity of testing in schools and wholesale vaccination against COVID-19.
Epidemiologist doctor at the Infectious Disease Management Division of the National Public Health Center
Daiva Razmuvienė is an epidemiologist doctor at the Infectious Disease Management Division of the National Public Health Center.
Professor of the Institute of Public Law of the Mykolas Romeris University Law School
Toma Birmontienė is a professor of the Institute of Public Law of the Mykolas Romeris University Law School. In 2005–2014, she was a judge of the Constitutional Court. Toma Birmontienė’s scientific and professional priorities include constitutional law, human rights, and health law.
Judge of ECHR, Chief Researcher at Faculty of Law of Vilnius University
Since 2013, Prof. Dr. (HP) Egidijus Kūris has been a judge at the European Court of Human Rights and Chief Researcher at the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University. He was the first Director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) at Vilnius University (1992–1999). Previously Egidijus Kūris was a judge (1999–2008) and chair (2002–2008) of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania. In 2005–2008, he chaired the Conference of European Constitutional Courts. Egidijus Kūris is an author of many scientific publications. His research and professional priorities are theory of law, constitutional law, and human rights.
Journalist and show host at LRT
Rūta Kupetytė is a journalist and show host at LRT.
Research fellow of the Cultural Research Center at Vytautas Magnus University
Jurga Jonutytė is a research fellow of the Cultural Research Center at Vytautas Magnus University. She teaches philosophy and researches the concept of disability. Jurga Jonutytė is also a co-author of the monograph “Snakes’ Feet: The Concept of Disability in Life Stories”.
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania
Robert S. Gilchrist is the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania. He was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Lithuania by Under Secretary of State David Hale on January 13, 2020. Ambassador Gilchrist is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. His last position at the Department of State was that of Director of the Operations Center 2016-2019.
Prior to holding that position, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Sweden, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Estonia, and the Director of Nordic and Baltic Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Among his earlier assignments, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Iraq, Chief of the Political Section of the United States Embassy in Romania, and a Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State.
Mr. Gilchrist earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University and holds a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia. He speaks Spanish and French and has working knowledge of Romanian and Estonian.
Canada’s Ambassador to Poland and the Republic of Belarus
Leslie Scanlon (BA of Journalism (Minor in Political Science, Honours), Carleton University, 1986) joined the Department of Global Affairs in 1990.
During her time at Global Affairs, Ms. Scanlon has most recently served as Director General in the International Platform Branch and before that as Director General of Consular Operations where she was responsible for delivering the consular program and managing the consular network abroad. She has served overseas in Tokyo (Japan) from 1992 to 1996 as a trade commissioner and in Paris (France) from 2007 to 2011 as Minister-Counsellor, Communication and Public Affairs. Ms. Scanlon has also served twice in regional offices in Halifax (1990-1991) as a trade commissioner and Westminster, B.C. with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (1996-1998), again as a trade officer.
She has been Ambassador to Poland since 2018, and to the Republic of Belarus since 2019.
She is married and has two children.
Legal assistant, doctoral student at Vytautas Magnus University
Julija Kalpokienė is a legal assistant and doctoral student at Vytautas Magnus University. Her research priorities include intellectual property law and technology law, privacy, data security, resolution of disputes, and human rights. Julija is a lecturer at VMU (technology law) and Kazimieras Simonavičius University (consumer law). She also provides training on privacy and intellectual property. Since 2019, Kalpokienė has been Deputy Chair of Kaunas Division at the Lithuanian Young Bar Association. Currently she is doing an internship at the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network in Paris as part of the Young Professional program, where she is examining issues of internet regulation and jurisdiction.
Professor at the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University
Vytautas Mizaras is a professor at the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University, former Chairman of the Council of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, and a member of the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Commission of the Republic of Lithuania. In 2021, he was appointed a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania.
Freelance human rights educator
Agnė holds a degree of Bachelor of Social Sciences (SciencesPo Paris Institute of Political Science) and specializes in history and transatlantic relations. She also studied at McGill University in Canada. In 2019–2021, Agnė worked at the Lithuanian Center for Human Rights as a project manager and educator. Currently, she is a freelance human rights educator.
Project Director and Director of Vilnius Office at Freedom House
Vytis Jurkonis is a project director at Freedom House and leads its Vilnius office. He lectures at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University since 2006. Vytis Jurkonis is primarily known as the expert of Belarus-related issues, Eastern Partnership region and Russia as well as Lithuanian foreign policy. However, his previous engagementsalso included fact-finding missions to and trainings for civil society activists and human rights defenders in Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Prior to joining Freedom House, Vytis Jurkonis led the Policy Analysis and Research Division at Vilnius based think-tank Eastern European Studies Centre and was a national researcher for European Foreign Policy Scorecard by the European Council on Foreign Relations. He also participated in the premier professional exchange visit within International Visitor Leadership Program by the U.S. State Department and holds an expert diploma of the Institute of Human Rights of the Law Faculty of the Complutense University.
Analyst at Neurotechnology, board member at AI Association of Lithuania
Linas Petkevičius is an analyst at Neurotechnology and a board member at the Artificial Intelligence Association of Lithuania. Neurotechnology is a company of biometrics and artificial intelligence technologies which also creates solutions of autonomous robotics. Apart from the developed AI solutions, it also works on robotic and multi-robotic platforms and their management systems for work in enclosed spaces. Linas’ activities are not limited to work in the industry: in 2020, he completed his doctoral studies and is currently lecturing and working on research at Vilnius University.
Mother of two
Živilė Bagdonavičiūtė is a mother of two. She has had a disability from the age of two due to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis with eye damage. “Growing up, I wanted to be physically able to do what my peers were doing, but the constant tiring pain didn’t allow me,” says Živilė. “Later, I realized that I could do everything in some other way. I really wanted to be a mom. Now I live this dream by raising 16 and 9 year old children. Everything is possible if you go in the desired direction.”
Psychologist, human rights activist
Aurelija Auškalnytė is a psychologist, human rights activist. She is an expert working in the non-governmental sector with human rights issues: the right to mental health, the rights of people with disabilities, gender equality, etc. Activities in different fields allow her to see unexpected intersections. Currently, Aurelija Auškalnytė is involved in empowerment activities for women with disabilities at the Center for Equality Advancement.
Project manager of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute
Goda Jurevičiūtė is the project manager of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute. She mainly works on projects related to the prevention of hate crimes and hate speech. Jurevičiūtė conducts research, as well as organises and leads trainings, conferences and seminars on this topic. She also belongs to the Working Group for Promoting an Effective Response to Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in Lithuania, which was established under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
Psychologist at Child Line, supervisor, training manager
Dr. Jurgita Smiltė Jasiulionė is a psychologist at Vaikų Linija (Child Line) – a help line which provides emotional support to children, one of the initiators of the anti-bullying campaign Be Patyčių, and training manager at the Friends program for the prevention of bullying and other degrading behavior. For more than 15 years, she has been studying the issues of bullying and other derogatory behavior between children and adolescents, leading seminars and training on the prevention of bullying and derogatory behavior for employees of educational institutions and parents.
Advocate, the author of recommendations on investigating hate speech and hate crimes
Dr. Dovilė Murauskienė is an Advocate at international law firm Glimstedt. She specializes in Dispute Resolution and is a lecturer at Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure (Mykolas Romeris University). Dr. Murauskienė is interested in fields of freedom of expression, hate speech, and protection of the rights of vulnerable parties. She leads training sessions for prosecutors, police officers, psychologists and other professionals.
Chairman of the Criminal Division of Supreme Court of Lithuania, judge
Aurelijus Gutauskas is the chairman of the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, a judge and professor at the Faculty of Law at Vilnius University. He has almost 25 years of scientific-pedagogical experience in teaching various courses on criminal law and conducting trainings in Lithuanian and foreign universities, as well as other institutions. At present, he combines scientific activities with the practical work of a judge in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Lithuania, where he examines criminal cases. He has completed traineeships and advanced training courses in various foreign countries.
Aurelijus Gutauskas’ main areas of interest are the problems of application of national and international criminal and criminal procedure law. He has published over 50 scientific articles, textbooks and monographs (alone and with co-authors) in Lithuanian and other languages on relevant topics of criminal justice.
Legal expert and project manager at Lithuanian Center for Human Rights
Monika Guliakaitė is a member of the European Network of Non-Discrimination Law Experts. At the Lithuanian Center for Human Rights, she manages projects and participates in advocacy activities. Monika holds a Master’s degree in Law from Vilnius University and focuses on non-discrimination, hate crime and hate speech.
Deputy Police Commissioner General
Arūnas Paulauskas is a Deputy Police Commissioner General. He graduated from Mykolas Romeris University. Previously he was the head of several departments of Lithuanian Police Department.
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
Mantas Adomėnas is the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Professor, Dean of Faculty of Law at Vytautas Magnus University
Prof. Dr. Dainius Žalimas is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Vytautas Magnus University. In 2014–2021, he was the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania. Dainius Žalimas 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 the 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 numerous awards of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign states, he is mostly 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.
TV show host, journalist
Daiva Žeimytė-Bilienė is a journalist, host of DELFI.lt current affairs programs. She has previously worked for Lrytas TV, leading discussion shows, political debates and working with other similar journalistic genres. D. Žeimytė-Bilienė has repeatedly spoken about socially sensitive issues such as ensuring the rights of people with disabilities and participated in social campaigns aimed at drawing attention to violence against women and children.
Journalist at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television
Rasa Tapinienė is a journalist at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
Professor at Vytautas Magnus University, sociologist and scholar of the study of religion
Dr. Milda Ališauskienė is a professor at Vytautas Magnus University, sociologist and religion researcher. 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.
Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute
Prof. Dr. Dainius Pūras is Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, former member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Gender equality expert at the Center for Equality Advancement
Margarita Jankauskaitė is an expert of the Center for Equality Advancement, doctor of Humanities, who has been working in the field of gender equality and discrimination prevention for more than 15 years. She conducts trainings, seminars, lectures for various target groups in Lithuania and abroad on gender mainstreaming, prevention of violence against women, and women’s representation. In 2019, Margarita was awarded the Medal of the Order of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas for promoting human rights, democratic values, social exclusion and the reduction of domestic violence against women.
Head of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office
Vytautas Valentinavičius is the Head of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania, PhD student in Political science at Kaunas University of Technology, and a junior researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. He was awarded Cum Laude Master’s degree in Political Science by Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science. He has been working in the field of human rights protection for 15 years, has been a member of the board of several non-governmental organizations, and contributed to the formation and activities of the Human Rights Coalition (since 2014). Vytautas Valentinavičius also writes op-eds on various topics related to human rights.
Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Birutė Sabatauskaitė is the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, legal and advocacy expert. Previously she was the director of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights. In the organization, she performed analyses aimed at the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities in Lithuania, prepared reports for international institutions and conducted trainings on discrimination against various groups, hate crimes, domestic violence, and violence against women. Birutė Sabatauskaitė has also worked in the Working Group for Promoting an Effective Response to Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in Lithuania, which was established under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
Head of Lithuanian Human Rights Center
Jūratė Juškaitė is the Head of the Lithuanian Human Rights Center, board member of the Coalition of Human Rights Organisations, and editor of the human rights portal manoteises.lt.
Until July 2021, she was the Lithuanian Human Rights Center’s head of communication and has contributed to the implementation of many of the center’s initiatives: organizing of the festival Inconvenient Films, bringing the first Stumbling Stones, which are dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust, to Lithuania, initiatives aiming to reduce poverty etc. Jūratė Juškaitė is actively involved in the public life and has contributed to initiatives such as the National Emancipation Day, Vilnius Queer Festival “Kreivės” etc.
Expert on Diversity Management and Human Rights Trainer
Vilma Gabrieliūtė is the Head of Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Group at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. She conducts training on discrimination prevention and how to ensure equal opportunities, provides consultations to employers, personnel and education professionals. Vilma Gabrieliūtė is also highly experienced in conducting training on sexuality education and the prevention of identity-based bullying.
Ombudsman for the Protection of the Rights of the Child of the Republic of Lithuania
Edita Žiobienė is the Ombudsman for the Protection of the Rights of the Child of the Republic of Lithuania. Previously, she headed the Lithuanian Center for Human Rights, was an associate professor at the Department of Constitutional Law of the Faculty of Law of Mykolas Romeris University and taught at the Institute of Law of Vytautas Magnus University.
Head of the Center Against Human Trafficking and Exploitation
Kristina Mišinienė has been engaged in the support of victims of human trafficking, prostitution and sexual violence for 20 years. Currently she is the Head of the Center Against Human Trafficking and Exploitation.
Aivaras Žilvinskas is a lawyer.
Member of Seimas of Lithuania, Chair of Seimas Committee on Human Rights, LGBT activist
Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius is a member of the Seimas of Lithuania, Chair of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights, a politician and lawyer, an LGBT activist, former member of Vilnius City Council, Head of the Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Division at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. He is also one of the founders and board members of the political party Laisvės Partija (Freedom Party).
President of the Lithuanian Disability Forum
Dovilė Juodkaitė is the President of the Lithuanian Disability Forum, board member of the European Disability Forum, and member of the European Economic and Social Committee. For more than 15 years, she has been actively working in the field of advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities, participating in the process of drafting legislation related to disability, and preparing reports for international organizations on the situation of persons with disabilities in Lithuania.
Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen is the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
Professor at Vytautas Magnus University Dept. of Social Work, Vice-Chair of UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Professor at the Department of Social Work, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania , Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations, and Chairperson of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO.
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.
Chair of the Lithuanian Trade Union Alliance
Audrius Cuzanauskas, the chair of the Lithuanian Trade Union Alliance, represents his members in defending the professional, labor, economic, social rights and interests of the working people.
11.15 – 11.45 Coffee break. Presentation of caricature exhibition “Darai Pokytį Tu” (“You Make the Change”). Atrium Space, 3rd floor.
13.00 – 13.45 Lunch break
16.30 – 16.45 Break
18.00 – 18:15 Coffee break