Lithuania - Advocacy and Awareness
The Lithuanian Red Cross: Providing legal assistance and advocating for migrants’ rights.
The Lithuanian Red Cross (LRC) is nowadays one of the leading non-profit actors on migration in Lithuania with activities running since 1996. Among other activities, it employs several lawyers dedicated to providing legal advice, assistance and representation to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants at various stages of the procedure.
The lawyers of the LRC also visit the Foreigners’ Registration Centre in Pabrade, where irregular migrants and asylum seekers are accommodated, to provide legal consultations regarding detention and asylum procedures and are regularly called to monitor the procedure and reception conditions at the border points of Lithuania, such as airports, when asylum seekers arrive in the country to request international protection. Through these activities they are able to document key issues within the national asylum system, as well as to identify people in vulnerable situations and potential needs for assistance in upholding their fundamental rights.
Photo: Lithuanian Red Cross
By representing asylum seekers before national courts, the LRC lawyers have, with the financial support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), successfully pushed for numerous key improvements in the detention and asylum system in Lithuania.
Based on its valuable knowledge and expertise, the LRC was a partner in a research project in 2010-2011 called Steps to Freedom. Monitoring detention and promoting alternatives to detention of asylum seekers in Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. This research culminated in a report focusing on each of the countries of study and the LRC was in charge of coordinating the one on Lithuania.This publication proved to be a very useful tool to conduct advocacy activities towards national authorities.
There is still room for improvement in the Lithuanian asylum system. However, the LRC is proving that law and litigation are powerful tools to advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
More information is available on the Lithuanian Red Cross website.Contact:email@example.com