The Lithuanian child rights protection system

Protection of children

INSTITUTIONS ENSURING THE CHILD RIGHTS PROTECTION

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania – participates in the process of the Children Rights Protection Policy making, adopts the laws governing the Children Rights Protection and other legal acts, carries out parliamentary scrutiny over their implementation.

The Ombudsman for Children Rights – in accordance with the procedure laid down by the law exerts a role of supervision and control of ensuring children rights and legitimate interests and their protection, investigates cases of violation of children's rights and legitimate interests, seeks to improve the situation of the children's rights protection in Lithuania.

The Government – ensures the implementation of the Children Rights Protection Policy, coordinates the activities of the ministries and government agencies in implementing the laws and other legal acts governing the Children Rights Protection.

The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania – participates in the process of the Children Rights Protection Policy making, is responsible for this policy and coordinates its implementation, draws up family policy and coordinates its implementation:

1) along with other state and municipal authorities and institutions ensures proper Children Rights Protection as per the requirements of this law;

2) analyses the information on Children Rights Protection provided by the state and municipal authorities and institutions, assesses the status of Children Rights Protection in the country;

3) prepares draft legal acts and provides the Government with them, delegates assignments to the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service regarding the enforcement of Children Rights Protection, the proposals for the municipal authorities regarding adequate ensuring of Children Rights Protection;

4) finances the programs intended for strengthening families, ensuring the child's welfare;

5) cooperates with the Prosecutor‘s Office, the Police Department and other authorities on matters concerning ensuring Children Rights Protection.

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania – participates in the process of the Children Rights Protection Policy making within regulatory scope of the Ministry:

1) presents findings within its competence regarding compatibility of draft laws with the rights and freedoms of a child;

2) implements the measures ensuring the provision of the state-guaranteed legal aid to children;

3) ensures Children Rights Protection in the authorities and institutions that are within its scope of management;

4) along with the National Courts Administration, the Council of Judges, the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of the Interior) organises the basic and specialized training and refresher courses for judges, prosecutors, police officers who work in the field of prevention and assistance for a family and the child who lives in the family.  

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania – participates in the implementing the Children Rights Protection Policy in the field of public education policy:

1) ensures access to formal and non-formal education, educational support and the quality of education;

2) implements in accordance with the procedure established by law the educational measures intended to protect a child against violations of the child‘s rights, prepares the recommendations for the implementation of prevention of violence at schools;

3) coordinates provision of educational assistance to a pupil, teacher, family and school;

4) approves the recommendations for the organisation, coordination and control of the implementation of the child's minimum and average care measures or educative measure in the municipality;

5) collects, systematizes and analyses data in accordance with the indicators of monitoring of the state education approved by the Minister of Education and Science and in accordance with the procedure established by the Minister.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania – participates in the process of the Children Rights Protection Policy making in the healthcare field and implements it in the following ways:

1) guarantees children‘s access to healthcare services and their adequacy;

2) ensures the implementation of Children Rights Protection through health activities by the authorities and institutions that are within its scope of management;

3) prepares and carries out the programs related to the improvement of children's health status;

4) collects, systematizes and analyses information on children's health;

5) creates legal preconditions for the medics of healthcare institutions to have the obligation to refer parents or other legal representatives of a child to the institution providing social services to families in the specific territory of the municipality regarding the possibility of receiving by a family the necessary services or other assistance.

The Ministry of the Interior – participates in the process of the Children Rights Protection Policy making within regulatory scope of the Ministry:

1) collects, systematizes and analyses information on the criminal offences and misdemeanors committed by children and in their respect, on other matters of Children Rights Protection that fall within the competence of the Ministry;

2) prepares and implements within its area of expertise the programs relating to child crime, violence against children, child trafficking and other matters relating to the prevention of violations of Children Rights Protection;

3) ensures that the legal and administrative preconditions for the police officers who within their competence carry out Children Rights Protection to have special knowledge necessary for working with children are created by the Police Department;

4) takes steps of prevention in the field of preventing juvenile violations;

5) creates legal and administrative preconditions for ensuring the cooperation of the territorial police divisions with the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service or its authorized territorial division when there is a threat to the child‘s safety, health or life in order the child would be taken immediately from his or her parents or other legal representatives of the child, or from other neutral environment that is unsafe for the child.

The State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service – the central institution for the protection and defence of the rights of the child that implements the Children Rights Protection Policy in the territories of the municipalities and participates in the process of the state policy making in the field of Children Rights Protection itself or through its territorial structural divisions.

The functions of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour are governed by the Regulations of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour approved by the Resolution No 293 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 28 March 2018. (https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/eb5c9690373811e881f2ba995b003ed2).

The Prosecutor‘s Office of the Republic of Lithuania; in the exercise of the functions stipulated in the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Prosecutor‘s Office related to prosecution and defence of the public interest carries out and leads pre-trial investigations. The prosecutors who have the special knowledge necessary for working with children support public prosecution in the criminal matters and defend the public interest.

The Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (the territorial police divisions) when there is a threat to the child‘s safety, health or life, in cooperation with the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service or its territorial division, takes necessary steps in order the child would be taken immediately from his or her parents or other legal representatives of the child, or from other neutral environment that is unsafe for the child.

The Interdepartmental Child Welfare Council under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania is a collegial institution that seeks to improve the coordination of the activities of the state and municipal authorities and institutions, their cooperation with non-governmental organisations and the implementation of the legislation in the field of Children Rights Protection, which:

1) analyses the situation of Children Rights Protection and puts forward proposals to the Government, ministers as per the fields of management assigned to them, to the municipal authorities and institutions regarding the practice being formed in implementing the measures of the Children Rights Protection Policy, regarding the preparation of draft laws and other legal acts that govern the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of the child or amendment of current legislation;

2) analyses whether the laws and other legal acts related to Children Rights Protection are not in conflict with the rights and freedoms of the child;

3) carries out other functions stipulated in the operating regulations of the Council;

Municipal authorities and institutions:

1) organise and finance the availability of social, healthcare, education, mediation and other necessary services for children and families and complexity of such services giving priority to the provision of the services in the community;

2) analyse the child welfare status in the municipality, plan and ensure the implementation of the measures of Children Rights Protection;

3) participate in the implementation of the functions of the state Children Rights Protection and cooperate with the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service and its territorial structural divisions, other state authorities and institutions and those of other municipalities, non-governmental organisations in the field of Children Rights Protection;

4) ensure the initial information and counseling assistance to the child and family, organise provision of social services and other assistance to a family, ensure that the case managers and, when necessary, other specialists of case management are timely appointed by the heads of social service institutions or other institutions authorized by the municipality to provide social services to a family in the particular territory of the municipality or in a part thereof, take care of the provision of the measures and services that are set out in the assistance plans;

5) ensure proper organisation of the services provided in a coordinated manner to the families with children with special needs, school-avoiding children and those committing offences. Organise, coordinate and control the implementation of the child's minimum care measures in the municipality. Coordinator for Inter-institutional Cooperation reports to the municipality administration about the implementation of the child's minimum and average care measures or educational measure, the progress and results of their execution;

6) promote and support the activities of the communities and non-governmental organisations in the field of Children Rights Protection;

7) oblige the elders to take care of Children Rights Protection in the eldership and to encourage parents to take proper care for the safety, care and upbringing of their children;

8) mobilise the local community councils, family councils, education councils, community councils of Children Rights Protection, non-formal family movements, active community members and the municipal non-governmental organisations operating in the field of child welfare for a joint work with a child and family;

9) organise pre-school, pre-primary, general education, vocational training and occupational guidance, non-formal education of children, establish the implementation of non-formal education programs for children during school holidays;

10) organise and keep records of the children living in the territory of the municipality; ensure that all children are learning as per compulsory education curricula;

11) organise and coordinate the provision of educational assistance to a pupil, teacher, family, school, the execution of the child's minimum and average care measures;

12) ensure the implementation of the rights of children with special educational needs;

13) draw up and confirm a list of carers on call, the families of foster parents (guardians), households and children's social care institutions that agree to accept a child removed from parental care 24 hours a day;  

14) ensure the organisation of services provision to persons seeking to foster (take care for) or adopt a child, also to those who foster (take care for) or have adopted a child.

Non-governmental organisations – participate in ensuring the rights of the child and in providing services to children.

Non-governmental organisations in cooperation with state and municipal authorities and institutions can:

1) put forward proposals to the state and municipal institutions for ensuring Children Rights Protection and improvement of implementation;

2) provide the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service and its territorial structural division with the available information on a child and family for the purposes of ensuring Children Rights Protection;

3) participate in examining the child‘s case if they provide services to a child or family, or at the request of the members of the family;

4) ensure organisation and provision of services to a child and family in the relevant municipality or in the part of its territory assigned to it by the municipality if it complies with the statutory requirements posed for the providers of social services;

5) establish children‘s day centers, family centers providing assistance to a child and/or family;

6) help families to educate the children with special needs, children with disabilities, socially vulnerable children, the children who have committed offence; provide assistance to children who are victims of crime.

Public or non-governmental organizations can establish:

• crisis centers,

• crisis services,

• family centers,

• children‘s day centers,

• centers of complex assistance,

• telephone help lines,

• etc.

Further information on public organisations providing services to a child and his or her family can be obtained from the territorial child‘s rights protection division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service located in the place of residence.

 

 

 

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