National Forum on Human Rights. Endorsing diverse Lithuania in Europe
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 2020, the NFHR is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights. This year’s motto is “Endorsing diverse Lithuania in Europe”.
The NFHR is a unique event which unites the academia, the public and private sectors, and hundreds of participants. The topics this year will invite the public to discuss the pandemic’s impact on public mental health and education, the fathers’ involvement in children’s early development, effective response to hate crime, human rights violations in Belarus, gender equality, data protection, the right to privacy, and other issues.
Director of the Education Quality and Regional Policy Department at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
Aidas Aldakauskas is the Director of the Education Quality and Regional Policy Department at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania. He is a teacher of mathematics by trade, having worked as one for twenty years. He also was the Director of Žiburys Gymnasium for three years. For the last nine years, he has been the Director of the Education Quality and Regional Policy Department at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, commuting between Prienai and Vilnius every day.
Member of the Seimas and Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats
Monika Navickienė is a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and, since 2011, a member of the political party Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD). In 2012 she was the coordinator of the HU-LCD’s election campaign to the Seimas and an assistant of a Seimas member. Since 2013, Navickienė is the executive secretary of HU-LCD and a member of HU-LCD Presidium and Council. Since 2016, she is the HU-LCD’s candidate to the position of the Minister of Social Security and Labour. She has been elected to the Seimas in 2016 and 2020.
yra Lietuvos Respublikos Seimo narė, nuo 2011 m. – Tėvynės sąjungos – Lietuvos krikščionių demokratų (TS-LKD) narė. 2012 m. – rinkimų į LR Seimą TS-LKD kampanijos koordinatorė ir Seimo nario padėjėja. Nuo 2013 m. M. Navickienė yra TS-LKD vykdomoji sekretorė, taip pat TS-LKD Prezidiumo ir Tarybos narė. Nuo 2016 m. ji yra TS-LKD kandidatė į Socialinės apsaugos ir darbo ministro postą. Išrinkta į 2016 m. ir 2020 m. LR Seimą.
Freelance journalist, gender equality expert
Daiva Repečkaitė is a freelance journalist and a gender equality expert.
Associate Professor at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science
Liutauras Gudžinskas is an associate professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University. His research interests include issues of democracy and governance quality, Nordic and Baltic politics, and the phenomenon of successful societies. He has published about 20 scientific publications in English and Lithuanian. Gudžinskas is also the scientific editor of the collective monograph Pasitikėjimas valstybe: prielaidos, iššūkiai, sprendimai, which was published in 2017.
The scholar took part in traineeships in the universities of the U.S., Estonia, and Georgia. Previously, he was the President of the Lithuanian Political Science Association and the Secretary General of the Central European Political Science Association. Since 2014, Gudžinskas has been representing Lithuania in the International Political Science Association. In 2017, he came out as a member of the LGBT+ community. This year he participated in the elections to the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) with the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania and coordinated the preparation of this party’s programme. He is also a member of the party’s council.
Liutauras Gudžinskas cooperates with Freedom House, Varieties of Democracy and other expert agencies that monitor the status of democracy in the world.
Project Director and head 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.
OSCE Moscow Mechanism rapporteur
Wolfgang Benedek currently holds a position as Head of Institute of International Law and International Relations and as Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy of the University of Graz.
His main research interests are in the fields of human rights, human security and the regulation of the internet as well as international economic law where he has focused on the WTO and Global Governance. He also has a specific interest in South-Eastern Europe and Africa. Benedek has been involved in several research projects funded by national and European research foundations. He is the executive editor of the European Yearbook on Human Rights.
Wolfgang Benedek teaches at all levels in international law and human rights law, international economic and development law, human rights in the Balkans, human security and the governance of the information society. He is long-time chair of the NGO World University Service (WUS) Austria.
UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus
Anaïs Marin is an independent Belarus expert who joined the Russia and Eurasia programme as an associate fellow in December 2019 at an independent policy institute Chatham House. An IR scholar specialising on post-Soviet Eurasia, since 2014 she has been investigating the foreign policy of authoritarian regimes (“dictaplomacy”), first as a Marie Curie Fellow (Collegium Civitas, Warsaw), now with a grant from the Polish National Centre for Science (University of Warsaw). Her current research focuses on how Russian “sharp power” impacts European democracy and regional security.
Anaïs has been involved in policy expert and advocacy networks on Belarus, and published for various think tanks, notably the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA, Helsinki) and the EU Institute for Security Studies. She regularly participates in OSCE/ODIHR election observation missions in the region. In 2018 she was appointed UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus. She received her PhD and MA from Sciences Po Paris/CERI.
Member of Belarus human rights organisation Human Constanta
Enira Bronitskaya is a jurist and human rights defender. She has worked on human rights issues for over 15 years. Previously, she was the deputy head of the civil initiative Partnership, which observed the elections in Belarus. Later Bronitskaya worked as the deputy head of the Committee for the Protection of the Repressed Salidarnasts. In 2011, she became the head of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities. Enira is the founder and active member of the initiative Human Rights Defenders against Tortures. For almost a decade, she has been an expert for the OSCE/ODIHR in election observation and worked with 13 missions in different countries of the OSCE region.
Medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, lecturer at LUHS, Head of Psychiatric Clinic at Kaunas LHSU Hospital
Ramunė Mazaliauskienė is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist (systemic family psychotherapy). Ramunė has a degree in International Business Administration (Kaunas University of Technology, 2013). Currently, she teaches at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS) and is an assistant professor at the LUHS Psychiatric Clinic. Ramunė has many years of experience in management. At present she is the Head of Psychiatric Clinic at Kaunas LHSU Hospital. The medical doctor is also involved in public activities, including as a Chairwoman of the Kaunas Region Branch at the Lithuanian Psychiatric Association (LPA) (2011-2018), President of LPA (since 2018 until now), Representative of LPA at Nordic Psychiatric Association (from 2013), and Representative of Zone 7 (Northern Europe) at the World Psychiatric Association since 2020. In 2013, Ramunė was awarded the Nominal Badge for Deserving Health Care Worker nominal badge by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania.
Head of Mental Health Department at the Ministry of Health of Lithuania
Ignas Rubikas has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and a master’s degree from London School of Economics (United Kingdom). After returning to Lithuania, Ignas worked as a project manager on the programme Kurk Lietuvai (Create Lithuania) and was involved in the Government Office’s Strategic Planning and Monitoring Group. Since the beginning of 2019, he has been working as the Head of Mental Health Department at the Ministry of Health.
Journalist at LRT
Ieva Balsiūnaitė is a journalist at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT).
Founder of the festival Nepatogus Kinas
Gediminas Andriukaitis joined the Lithuanian Center for Human Rights in 2004 and during his years in the organization and abroad has contributed to many human rights education and advocacy projects. In 2007, he founded the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Inconvenient Films”. As a lawyer, he has been involved in the European Commission’s network of independent experts in the field of non-discrimination for several years, preparing reports from the NGO perspective for various international organizations, and contributing to the preparation of shadow reports for intergovernmental organizations. Currently, Gediminas Andriukaitis is the director of the festival “Inconvenient Films” and participates in the activities of the educational platform “Inconvenient Films Class” (www.nepatogauskinoklase.lt) as a project development manager.
Teacher at Šilas School in Vilnius, Renkuosi Mokyti! alumnus
Artūr Adam Markevič is a teacher at Šilas School in Vilnius and an alumnus of the program Renkuosi Mokyti! He works in the special classes with SEN pupils. Since 2019, Markevič has been the coordinator of Renkuosi Mokyti! participants and schools. In 2020, he was awarded the Meilė Lukšienė Prize.
Chancellor of VMU Education Academy
Prof. Dr. Lina Kaminskienė is the Chancellor of the Education Academy of Vytautas Magnus University, who has been a professor at VMU for many years and has been working on research of innovations in education, personalized learning, leadership and social partnership in education, and non-formal and informal learning. She is also a co-creator of Lithuania’s model of teacher preparation who has dedicated many years to preparing 21st century’s teachers in accordance to global tendencies.
Director of the Lithuanian Journalism Centre
Džina Donauskaitė is the Director of the Lithuanian Journalism Centre.
Lecturer and researcher of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University
Ieva Giedraitytė is a lecturer and researcher of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University who is interested in Latin American regional policy and EU external relations. Ieva also works as a freelance researcher and evaluator who contributes to the development and evaluation of projects and programs in the fields of human rights, social policy and media in various European and Latin American countries.
Head of the Creative Writing Division at Fabula Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Aidas Puklevičius is the Head of the Creative Writing Division at Fabula Hill + Knowlton Strategies, author of two novels, co-author of screenplays for nine TV series and 2 feature films, and host of the podcast “Daiktiniai įrodymai” (Material Evidence).
Co-founder and director of Artscape
Aistė Ulubey is the co-founder and director of Artscape. Since 2005 Aistė has been working in the non-governmental cultural sector, where Lithuanian and international scenes are constantly developing arts, education and social initiatives. With her projects, Ulubey pays special attention to national minorities and migrants arriving in Lithuania. In order to improve the society’s sense of unity and openness, she works in communities of 7 Lithuanian municipalities. Aistė believes in the significance of creating new connections between art and different communities: “It is important to recognize the potential of everyone’s right to cultural experiences. In this way, we give the opportunity of cultural participation to the vulnerable members of communities, enabling them to speak and be heard.”
Theatre director, co-founder of Apeiron Theatre
Eglė Kazickaitė is a director of the young generation theatre, one of the founders of the Apeiron Theatre. In her works (both creative and social projects) she pays great attention to such social problems as gender inequality, social exclusion, discrimination of various kinds, stereotyping on the basis of gender, age, religion, power (disability), etc.
Creator of interdisciplinary art, analyst, curator of exhibitions, and publicist
Algimantas Černiauskas is a creator of interdisciplinary art, analyst, curator of exhibitions, and publicist. In cooperation with the arts agency ARTSCAPE, Algimantas takes part in cultural education and social integration projects: “Increasing Cultural Accessibility for Refugees in Lithuania”, where he conducts creative workshops for residents of the Foreigners’ Registration Centre in Pabradė, in the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, where he organizes Human Aid events for the integration of the newcomers, and in the Mutual Assistance and Volunteering online platform initiative “Menas Sraute”, where Černiauskas develops online content for this target group. The artist’s experience in working with national minorities is not only an artistic but also a socio-cultural study – how art can function in integration processes.
Reserve soldier, father of twin boys
Tomas Šiliauskas is a reserve soldier, a father of twin boys.
Advertising specialist, singer, and organizer of women's movie nights
Dovilė Filmanavičiūtė is an advertising specialist, singer, and organizer of women’s movie nights who is actively involved in various social initiatives.
Lawyer, President of B.I.T.A., volunteer at Vaikų Linija
Liudas Basiulis is a lawyer-explorer with 15 years of legal, project management and problem solving experience at such organizations as Neste, Maxima, Ellex, and own business. He is the president of the in-house counsel association B.I.T.A. Basiulis also volunteers at Vaikų Linija (Child Line) and is a father of two.
Chief Economist at Swedbank Lithuania, PhD in Social Science
Nerijus Mačiulis works as Chief Economist at Swedbank Lithuania and holds a PhD in Social Science.
Deputy Head of the Police Activities Division of the Lithuanian Police School
Vilius Velička has a master’s degree in social sciences (law). He taught at the Public Security Academy of Mykolas Romeris University from 2005 to 2020 on topics related to police activities. Velička specialises in the prevention of hate crimes and hate speech, prevention and investigation of domestic violence, and prevention of human trafficking. For many years he has been conducting scientific and applied research in these fields, participating in scientific and applied projects both nationally and abroad, as well as preparing methodological and educational publications, and scientific articles. Velička actively participates in international scientific conferences by presenting reports on relevant topics. He has been working in the police since 1993 and has extensive practical work experience. Since 2015, he has been working at the Lithuanian Police School.
Director of the Irish Network Against Racism
Shane O‘Curry is a community development and human rights worker who has developed community-based hate crime monitoring since 1998. He is the Director of INAR, the Irish Network Against Racism, where in 2013 he co-developed and launched the iReport.ie online racist incident reporting system. Using data from iReport.ie, he has produced reports on racist incidents, monitoring, and institutional responses to hate crime, as well as policy recommendations and reports to national authorities, the Irish government and intergovernmental organisations. He has collaborated on pan-European projects on hate crime monitoring and responses, developing policies and resources with civil society organisations, national authorities and intergovernmental organisations. As a partner of several Facing Facts programmes, he has developed next generation online hate crime teaching modules for prosecutors and police forces, and collaborated with Irish national authorities to co-diagnose obstacles to effective hate crime data communication.
Inspector of Hate Crimes division within the Stockholm police, founder of the Swedish LGBT Police Association
Göran Stanton is 63 years old and has worked in the Swedish police for about 40 years. He has been working with LGBTQ+ issues in the police force since the late 1990s. In 2000, together with his colleagues, Stanton started the Association for Gaypolice in Sweden to raise awareness about the presence of LGBT-people in the police force and get their issues on the agenda.
Through the work of the association, the General Police Board in Sweden participated in a European project titled Normgiving Diversity to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation. Through the project, over 3,000 police officers were educated on the situation of LGBT people and their discrimination.
From 2010 until now, G. Stanton has participated in several Pride events throughout Europe. So far, he has been to Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, Warsaw, Belgrade, Riga, Prague, and Vilnius.
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.
Head of the Community Officers' Activity Division of Kaunas County Police Headquarters
Agnė Greblikaitė is the Head of the Community Officers’ Activity Division of Kaunas County Police Headquarters. She has been working for the police for 23 years. For more than 5 years, Grelbikaitė has been leading community officers. The main function of Greblikaitė’s work is crime prevention. Currently, a lot of attention is paid to the prevention of hate crimes.
Communication specialist at Swedish public service broadcaster, co-founder of Equalisters initiative
Seher Yilmaz is a communication specialist at the Swedish public service broadcaster and co-founder of the Equalisters initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of women experts in the public sphere.
IQ.Life Chief Editor, cultural journalist
Viktorija Vitkauskaitė is IQ.Life Chief Editor, cultural journalist.
Researcher at Diversity Development Group, gender equality expert
Ugnė Litvinaitė is a researcher at Diversity Development Group, gender equality expert.
Journalist and creator of the NARA podcast
Karolis Vyšniauskas is a journalist and creator of the NARA podcast.
LRT.lt Deputy Chief Editor, political commentator
Aleksandra Ketlerienė is Deputy Chief Editor and political commentator at LRT.lt.
Officer of Research and Development at Swedish NGO Friends
Henrik Karlsson previously worked for the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) as an expert on national youth policy and educator in LGBTQ living conditions and safe spaces, online sexual exploitation of young people, youth masculinity and violence. Henrik is currently the Officer of Research and Development for the Swedish NGO Friends, which aims to combat bullying and violence against children.
Psychologist at Vaikų Linija
Dr. Jurgita Smiltė Jasiulionė is a psychologist at Vaikų Linija – 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, which aims to prevent bullying and other disrespectful behavior. For more than 15 years, she has been studying the issues of bullying and other disrespectful behavior between children and adolescents, leading seminars and trainings on the prevention of bullying and disrespectful treatment for employees and parents of educational institutions. Jurgita is the co-author of several methodological publications on bullying prevention – “Bullying Prevention in Schools”, “Creating a Classroom Without Bullying”, and others. She also provides psychological support to children with emotional and behavioral difficulties and their families.
Communications Manager at National LGBT Rights Organization (LGL)
Eglė Kuktoraitė has been working in the National LGBT Rights Organization LGL since 2014. She has many years of experience in the implementation of LGL activities related to communication, media, and inclusive education. In the summer of 2017, Kuktoraitė conducted a survey of LGBT youth about their experiences in schools. At the expert level, she cooperates with the international LGBT youth organization IGLYO in the development of an inclusive education index and report. Currently Kuktoraitė is implementing two LGL projects aimed at improving the situation of LGBT children and young people in Lithuania and coordinates the LGL emotional support platform for LGBT children and young people.
Journalist and daily editor at 15min
Kristina Aržuolaitienė is a journalist and daily editor at 15min who works on human rights issues. She has worked on a number of initiatives at this online news portal that promoted equality and highlighted cases of discrimination. These include “Atvirumo galia” (Power of Openness), “Mes lygūs” (We Are Equal), “Diskriminacijos radaras” (the Radar of Discrimination), and others.
HR Manager at Rimi Lietuva
Vaida Kaikarienė is the HR Manager at Rimi Lietuva (Rimi Lithuania). During her decade-long career at the HR Department she has created and developed various programs on diversity in the workplace. Rimi Lithuania is one of the first employers in Lithuania who decided to recruit employees with various skills accommodating the working environment to their needs. In 2018, the company launched a well received awareness raising campaign “Age doesn’t matter”. The campaign addressed the situation of older employees in Lithuania. Rimi Lithuania is also an Ambassador of the Lithuanian Diversity Charter.
Lawyer, head of Legal Division and Working Group on Equal Opportunities Monitoring at the National Audit Office of Lithuania
Albina Radzevičiūtė is a lawyer, former Seimas Ombudsman. She is the Head of Legal Division at the National Audit Office of Lithuania. Albina Radzevičiūtė also is the leading person in organization’s Working Group on Equal Opportunities Monitoring. The Group monitors and evaluates the situation of employees’ equal opportunities and prepares proposals for the improvement of the existing equal opportunities policy and its implementation.
Author of The Equal Opportunities Ruler, employee at European Institute for Gender Equality
During her work at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, while being a project manager at the programme “Create Lithuania”, Skaidrilė Grigaitė-Mockevičienė created The Equal Opportunities Ruler. Her tool allows organizations to measure their efforts of ensuring equality at the workplace. Skaidrilė Grigaitė-Mockevičienė studied Political Science at universities in Vilnius and Vienna. Currently she works at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).
Journalist, TV and radio host at LRT
Živilė Kropaitė is a journalist, TV and radio host at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT).
Roma community representative, activist
Rasma Pažemeckaitė is a representative of the Roma community, an activist and the founder of a dance studio. Rasma recently appeared in a video testimony about a hate crime she had suffered in Lithuania.
Lawyer, head of legal program at In IUSTITIA, Czech counselling centre for hate crime victims
Petra Vytejčková is a lawyer, attorney, expert and trainer. She specialises in criminal law, victims’ rights and human rights. Her legal practice is dedicated to the promotion of hate crime victims law. In 2019, Vytejčková successfully represented a victim of online hate speech in the Constitutional Court. She is a OSCE/ODIHR trainer on hate crime and regularly trains state attorneys and the police. Currently Vytejčková is also the head the legal programme at In IUSTITIA, the Czech counselling centre for hate crime victims.
Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University Law School, UK
Awarded with a PhD in Social Policy by the London School of Economics, for two decades Paul has been researching, writing, teaching, and cooperating with policy and civil society organisations on the harmful impact of hate crime. His research aims to raise awareness about the support needed by the victims and offenders of hate crime from governmental and non-governmental organisations across Europe. His most recent publication focuses on civil courage as a response to hate-driven violence. He is currently writing another book, Vile Words, to be published in 2021, which critically evaluates the case for criminalising everyday hate speech as hate crime.
Paul has collaborated with many NGOs internationally, including the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Minority Rights Group International, RAA Sachsen (Germany), and Campaign Against Homophobia (Poland). He is an honorary member of Journalists for Tolerance (www.j4t.by). Most recently, he was commissioned in 2018-19 by the OSCE Mission to Skopje to design and report on the first-ever hate crime survey in the Republic of North Macedonia. In 2019-20 he was contracted by the Romanian equalities body, Consiliul National pentru Combaterea Discriminarii (CNCD), to deliver training workshops on hate crime and hate speech for police, gendarmes, prosecutors and judges. In 2020, he served as an external expert consultant for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights publication Understanding the Needs of Hate Crime Victims.
Ecuadorian vloger living in Lithuania
Fabian Sanchez is originally from Ecuador but has been living in Lithuania for the past 7 years. He graduated from ISM university and is currently working in a successful Lithuanian start-up. Apart from that, he is known for his vlog, where he shares moments from his life in Lithuania and his adaptation in the country as a foreigner. Recently, Fabian has appeared in a video testimony about a hate crime he had suffered in Lithuania.
Vaidotas Beniušis is a journalist with 15 years of experience in the media. He has been the editor in chief of BNS news agency since 2016.
CEO, Transparency International Lithuania
Sergejus has been the CEO of TI Lithuania since 2008. His main focus of interest is anti-corruption initiatives that lead to sustainable and measured change. Today Sergejus is a member of the Honorary Court of the Association of Public Relations Agencies in Lithuania. Alongside, he teaches Corporate Governance and Anti-Corruption at the International School of Management in Vilnius. From 2009 to 2015, Sergejus served two terms on TI International Board of Directors. Sergejus holds an MA Degree from Leiden University and Bachelor’s Degrees from Vilnius and Utrecht universities.
Head of State Data Protection Inspectorate and Lithuania's representative in European Data Protection Board
Raimondas Andrijauskas is the Head of the State Data Protection Inspectorate, the personal data protection supervisory authority in Lithuania. He is also Lithuania’s representative in the European Data Protection Board, an independent European Union institution which unites the Member States on the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.
Hate Crime Officer for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Viktor Kundrák (Czech Republic) has been ODIHR’s Hate Crimes Officer since February 2018. With master’s degrees in law, and human rights and democratisation (E.MA), Viktor is an internal human rights lawyer with more than ten years of professional experience. He has previously worked for Amnesty International and as an adviser to the Czech Government Agent before the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Treaty Bodies. Viktor is a published author on both hate speech and hate crimes, he has trained police officers, prosecutors and judges, as well as supported governments’ efforts to implement their international obligations at the domestic level, including through legislation and policy-making. He is responsible for ODIHR’s annual hate crime reporting at hatecrime.osce.org and has lead the Prosecutors and Hate Crimes Training (PAHCT) programme.
LGBT Community representative, human rights activist
Pijus Beizaras is a photographer, a member of the LGBT community and a human rights activist. Together with Mangirdas Levickas, Pijus Beizaras applied to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the actions of Lithuanian law enforcement in investigating incitement to hatred on the Internet. The court found that Lithuanian law enforcement had unreasonably discriminated against the applicants on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Prosecutor at the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Lithuania
Jurga Zieniūtė is a prosecutor at the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania, specialising in hate crime cases.
Lawyer, lecturer at MRU Law School
Dovilė Murauskienė is a lawyer, Senior Associate at Glimstedt law firm, and a lecturer at the MRU Law School. Her field of research includes proceedings involving vulnerable persons. For more than five years, Murauskienė has been actively participating in discussions and leading trainings on topics related to hate speech, freedom of expression, protection of victims’ rights and advocacy. In her practical work, Dovilė Murauskienė delves into protection of victims’ rights, compensation issues, and legal representation in “white collar crime” proceedings.
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.
Professor at Dept. of Social Work at Vytautas Magnus University, sociologist, education expert
Prof. Dr. Natalija Mažeikienė is a Professor at the Department of Social Work at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), a sociologist and an education expert. Her research interests are epistemology and methodology of social research (combination of qualitative and quantitative methods), critical theory (neo-Marxist, feminist, postmodern critique), feminist perspective of social research epistemology and methodology, gender studies, citizenship research, intercultural education, and philosophy of education.
Researcher at the Life Sciences Center of Vilnius University
Dr. Urtė Neniškytė is a researcher at the Life Sciences Center of Vilnius University. In 2019, she received the International Rising Talent Award from the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO For Women in Science program. Urtė has worked in the best laboratories in Europe, received her PhD from Cambridge University and returned to Lithuania to work as a researcher after spending eight years abroad. Currently, she is leading a group of researchers at the VU Life Sciences Center, whose research area is the interaction of neurons and immune cells in the brain. One of Urtė’s scientific ambitions is to understand the mechanisms that lead to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases (such as autism spectrum disorders or Alzheimer’s disease) and to apply these diseases in the search for prevention and treatment.
Project Leader at Gender Equality Team at University of Southern Denmark and Executive Coordinator of H2020 project SPEAR
With a specialization in linguistics, psychology, psychotherapy, and organizational counseling, Myers has extensive experience in university administration and management, focusing on processes of large-scale organizational changes. According to Myers, gender and diversity are essential for deep and far-reaching organizational change for a better work environment, equal opportunities, creativity, research quality, and collaboration. Eva is the Project Leader at the Gender Equality Team at the University of Southern Denmark and the Executive Coordinator of the EU-funded H2020 project SPEAR (2019-2022). She is a key initiator of gender equality in the current strategic program for the University of Southern Denmark.
Lawyer, project manager of the European Foundation of Human Rights
Monika Guliakaitė is a lawyer and project manager of the European Foundation of Human Rights. Guliakaitė prepares alternative reports for international organisations, coordinates projects aimed at the prevention of hate crimes, submits reports to law enforcement authorities regarding hate speech, and advises clients on human rights violations.
She is a member of 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.
Deputy Police Commissioner General
Arūnas Paulauskas is a Deputy Police Commissioner General. He has a master’s degree in law, and in 2018 he completed a CEPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training) master programme. He has been in the police service since 1993. Currently, A. Paulauskas is responsible for organizing the implementation of public policing, criminal policing and pre-trial investigation in the police system.
Hate Crime Officer for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Aleš Gião Hanek (Czech Republic) is ODIHR’s Hate Crimes Officer, who joined the OSCE/ODIHR in September 2013. Prior to that, Ales dealt with hate crime issues on a national level, working with targeted communities. With a professional background in security and diplomacy, he holds degrees in Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law. In ODIHR, Ales is responsible for monitoring, capacity-building and policy work on hate crime issues, including INFAHCT – a programme to improve national hate crime data collection, and ODIHR‘s work on support for hate crime victims. He is also in charge of the compilation of ODIHR’s annual hate crime reporting at hatecrime.osce.org. Ales is an experienced trainer for diverse audiences and has broad experience customising international approaches on hate crimes to varied national contexts.
Journalist at LRT and Laisvės TV
Rita Miliūtė is a journalist at LRT and Laisvės TV.
Member of the Lithuanian Union of Persons with Disabilities, disability rights activist
Ramunė Šidlauskaitė is a Member of the Lithuanian Union of Persons with Disabilities, disability rights activist, and expert on physical environment accessibility and universal design. In 2018, Ramunė was one of the applicants in the court case against the Central Electoral Commission and Vilnius City and District municipalities for not ensuring voting rights.
Senior Adviser in the Legal Division of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Audronė Daukšaitė-Timpė is Senior Adviser in the Legal Division of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. She conducts research on disability discrimination and consults on related issues.
Program Manager and lecturer at Women's Information Center
Rugilė Butkevičiūtė is the Program Manager and lecturer at the Women’s Information Center, who has been working in the field of gender equality and reduction of violence against women for 11 years. For more than eight years, she has been working at the Specialized Comprehensive Assistance Center, where she provides free legal advice to victims of domestic violence. In 2018, together with community leaders from around the world, Rugilė learned the secrets of leadership and community building while working in the United States. In order to delve into the topic of women, peace and security, in 2019 she participated in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations program in the Middle East.
Programme Coordinator for Research and Statistics at the European Institute for Gender Equality
Jolanta Reingarde PhD has been leading the research and statistics programme at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), which is based in Vilnius, Lithuania, since 2010. The two major research areas of this programme are the development of the Gender Equality Index and annual reports on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Jolanta Reingardė studied Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University and earned a doctoral degree with her writings on violence against women. Jolanta has extensive experience in research of EU gender equality policies, assessing gender equality, gender equality and the economy, work-life balance.
Sociologist, Chief Researcher at Lithuanian Social Research Centre
Diana Janušauskienė, PhD, is a chief researcher at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre. Her main research interests are political sociology, national minorities, discrimination, and social research methodology. She has authored over 30 publications in English, Lithuanian, and Polish.
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.
Journalist at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television
Rasa Tapinienė is a journalist at the Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
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.
Political reporter at 15min
Roberta Tracevičiūtė is a political reporter at 15min.
Director of Kurtuvėnai School/Multifunctional Center, Aukštelkė School/Multifunctional Center, and Bubiai Secondary School
Vaidas Bacys is Director of Kurtuvėnai School/Multifunctional Center, Aukštelkė School/Multifunctional Center, and Bubiai Secondary School.
Professor of Psychiatric Clinics at Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine, medical doctor and child and adolescent psychiatrist at Vilnius University Hospital
Dainius Pūras is a professor of Psychiatric Clinics at Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine, medical doctor and child and adolescent psychiatrist at Vilnius University Hospital. Since 2018 Dainius Pūras is the Director of Human Rights Monitoring Institute, a non-governmental organization based in Vilnius. Previously, Pūras was President of the Lithuanian Psychiatric Association, Dean of Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine and President of the Baltic Rehabilitation Association. During 2007-2011, he was a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. From 2014 until 2020, he was UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. Areas of his expertise include protection of human rights in health and other related sectors, mental health policy, rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities, modern approaches to support of children with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities, prevention of violence and suicide.
Gender equality expert, Vilnius University lecturer, Senior Advisor to Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Donatas Paulauskas is a Senior Adviser at The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson and gender equality expert who created The Gender Equality Ruler. He is also the author of two books about feminism and masculinity and a lecturer at Vilnius University.
Gender equality expert at the Center for Equality Advancement
Margarita Jankauskaitė is a gender equality expert at the Center for Equality Advancement. For many years she has been researching various human rights issues such as gender equality in the society, politics, and employment. She also conducts trainings and research. At the moment she is a gender equality expert in the project “Everybody’s Talking: Work-Life Balance Goes Mainstream”.
Inspector of Journalist Ethics
Gražina Ramanauskaitė is the Inspector of Journalist Ethics.
Advisor of Rector of Vilnius University, Member of the Board of Human Rights Monitoring Institute, political analyst, philosopher
Paulius Gritėnas is an advisor of the Rector of Vilnius University, member of the Board of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, political commentator, and philosopher.
Director of Mental Health Perspectives, psychologist, human rights expert
Karilė Levickaitė is a psychologist and expert of human rights and mental health who has an international diploma acknowledged by Indian Law Society and World Health Organization. Karilė has been a board member of Mental Health Europe since 2015. Currently, she is the head of non-governmental organization Psichikos Sveikatos Perspektyvos (Mental Health Perspectives), where she mainstreams a human rights approach on mental health and disability, participates in forming mental health policy in Lithuania, and is actively involved in NGO networking. In 2014, she was one of the initiators of the coalition Psichikos Sveikata 2030 (Mental Health 2030) and continued to coordinate its activities until 2018. Since early 2020, she has been the Chairwoman of the Board at the Coalition of Human Rights Organizations.
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.
Director of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, legal and advocacy expert
Birutė Sabatauskaitė is the director of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, a legal and advocacy expert. In the organization, she performs analyses aimed at the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities in Lithuania, prepares reports for international institutions and conducts trainings on discrimination against various groups, hate crimes, domestic violence, and violence against women. Birutė Sabatauskaitė 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.
Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
Agneta Skardžiuvienė is the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson (appointed in 2015). Previously she has worked as the Vice Minister of Culture and the Advisor to the Speaker of the Seimas, in addition to other positions in the Parliament. Agneta Skardžiuvienė graduated from Mykolas Romeris University, where she obtained the Master of Laws degree.
Senior Adviser at Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson's Office, diversity management expert and human rights education trainer
Vilma Gabrieliūtė is a Senior Adviser at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. She also works as an expert on diversity management and trainer of human rights education. In her thesis, written in 2019, she offers a mechanism of how to implement diversity management in the business sector. She also consults companies on various issues of equality mainstreaming and diversity management.
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.
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.
Singer and songwriter, activist, mother
Erica Jennings has been a successful singer and songwriter in the Baltics for the past 2 decades. Throughout her music career she has used her notoriety as a platform to raise awareness on social issues that are important to her, such as feminism, equality, racism, sexism, xenophobia, LGBTQ, children’s rights, women’s rights and conscious consumption. She has always been a social activist often speaking out difficult topics long before they became the fashionable issue to support and for this she was awarded “Woman of the Year” in 2017. She’s garnered every possible award many times over for musical merit in Lithuania. In 2014 she graduated university with a degree in Musical Theatre and launched a capsule clothing collection called “Little Cosmopolitan”. In 2011 her bi-lingual children’s book Mano Gyvunai, My Animals was published. She is also the proud mother of Pranas (12), Antanas (10) and Gaia Maria (3).
Head of Media and Democracy Program at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis
Donatas Puslys is the Head of the Media and Democracy Program at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis. He is also a publicist and the author of the program “Mažosios Europos pokalbiai” (Talks of Little Europe) broadcast by the LRT Klasika radio station. In 2014, for his journalistic work, Donatas was awarded by the Sugihara Foundation’s Diplomats for Life as the Man of Tolerance of the Year.
Professor at VMU 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.
11.15 – 11.45 Coffee break
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break