Outcome 3: Increased support for human rights 

 

Small projects

Partners: Salcininkai Education and Information Centre

Granted amount: 9 500,00 Eur

Summary:

Educational institutions do not implement continuous and effective prevention of gender-based violence for children and young people as they lack knowledge and practical educational tools in this field. The increasing availability of the internet and the rapid development of information in social networks have contributed to gender-based cyber-violence. Children and young people exploit cyberbullying for the purpose of spreading gender-based violence, bullying, hate speech and gender discrimination.

The project will contribute to the following objectives and impact areas of the APF Program: combating hate speech, especially in social networks, as for the young people social networks are the main communication space; tackling gender equality among young people; combating gender-based discrimination and violence.

The project aim is to reduce gender hate speech among young people, combat gender stereotypes, gender discrimination and gender-based violence by promoting their critical thinking and active engagement in problem solving.

The main target group: young people, pupils from 10-12 grades from secondary schools (16-19 years old). It is planned that 75 youth representatives will participate in the project. Other target groups: school communities; teachers and youth workers and the general public.

Using of developed game Strategic Reactions is an effective tool for educating and engaging young people in addressing the issues of gender-based discrimination and violence. It is an innovative tool to help young people, teachers and youth workers break traditional and stereotypical approaches to gender; to recognize domestic and gender-based violence; to increase respect for human rights.

This tool will be tested by young people during the trainings organized and it will be distributed to other schools to be used.

Implementation period: 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2021

Granted amount: 13 155,48 Eur 

Summary:

The aim of the Project is to strengthen the base for the improvement of parturient women rights in Lithuania. Although Lithuania’s quantitative indicators of birth outcomes are high, a significant number of women remember their births as a negative or even traumatic experience. Women in labour are a vulnerable group in two ways: as women in a rather patriarchal society, and as patients at a very sensitive time during childbirth. 

In the course of the project, an information campaign on birth experience in Lithuania will be carried out: a large-scale comprehensive survey of mothers will be conducted, the collected data will be analysed, systematized and presented on a dedicated website and published on social media and mass media. Also, during the round table discussions with the stakeholders and the public presentations in various Lithuanian cities, we will seek solutions to improve the situation and to prepare recommendations for changes in policies and procedures. Target groups are the following: pregnant and parturient women, their families, medical and administrative staff of the hospitals, officers from the Ministry of Health. 

Results of the Project: more pregnant and parturient women and their families will be informed about patients’ rights and their importance; hospitals and Ministry of Health staff will be acquainted with the current situation from perspective of the patients and will be able to make changes in the field of maternity care, with greater regard for maternal rights. The aim is to create a bigger and smoother dialogue between all relevant target groups, and to reduce the tensions that arise periodically.

Implementation period: 01/10/2020-10-01 - 30/09/2021

Medium projects

Partners: Lithuanian Journalists Association

Granted amount: 31 903,20 Eur 

Summary:

According to social research data, majority of religious minorities in Lithuania experience discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief. According to 2012 and 2019 public survey respondents, the media is a medium in which members of religious minorities often face discrimination as texts and images constructed by the media are often stereotypical, biased in their presentation of religious communities, and thus do not guarantee the rights of freedom of religion. Therefore, journalists are the target group that could ethically present information about religious minorities in the media. Support from the Active Citizens' Fund (APF) program focuses on ensuring human rights and equality in the fight against all forms of discrimination. The purpose of this project is to provide correct information for the public on religious diversity in Lithuania, thus securing human rights, particularly religious freedom and the right to practice one's religion, promoting the principle of equal treatment of people of diverse beliefs and raising awareness on these topics. 

The project will address journalists, provide workshops for them on religious diversity and will encourage them to write and picture religious diversity and thus inform public and increase religious tolerance and non-discrimination. This will be done by organizing trainings for journalists on the correct provision of information on religion and beliefs, involving religious minorities in activities, giving residents of cities in different regions the opportunity to get acquainted with the exhibition of religious diversity photographs and religious communities operating in Lithuania. New Religions Research and Information Center (NRTIC) in cooperation with the Lithuanian Journalists' Union, dissemination of information on religious diversity and freedom of religion will encourage critical public attitudes towards stigmatization of religious minorities. This will help to reduce discrimination against members of religious communities and increase tolerance for religion and belief in the society.

Implementation period: 01/01/2021 - 30/06/2022

Partners: Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights

Granted amount: 77 650,56 Eur 

Summary:

Failure to implement quality, science-based, age-appropriate sexuality education in schools leads to the reproduction of prevailing stereotypes, gender inequality, discrimination against LGBTI+ persons, prevalence of homophobic and transphobic bullying, gender-based violence, and low reproductive rights. According to various statistics, we are the first among European countries where children and adolescents experience the most bullying, have a high number of unplanned pregnancies among adolescents, LGBTI+ people are afraid to talk about being LGBTI+ and only a small number of people can be open about their identity. Gender inequality, bullying on the grounds of gender, identity, sexual orientation, and poor knowledge of reproductive rights are some of the biggest human rights challenges.

The main goal of this project is: using an advocacy campaign and sexuality education as an information tool to increase public awareness of reproductive rights and to raise awareness of the importance of implementing sexuality education to encourage representatives of various communities to critically evaluate gender stereotypes and raise their awareness of sexuality education as a preventive measure. Also to ensure its availability in schools, and to reduce bullying on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity through sexuality education.

The goal will be achieved by involving students in grades 1-12 of ten Lithuanian regions, 12-18 years old Lithuanian students with active Instagram profiles, communities of schools (including students in communities) participating in the project, education support specialists, representatives of municipalities, members of Vilnius City Municipality Administration and Council.

The advocacy campaign and the sexuality education plan will raise awareness of gender equality, gender-based violence, discrimination against LGBTI+ people, knowledge and understanding of reproductive rights, and the target group will be introduced to gender education as a part of human rights and its impact on LGBTI+ equality, a module of sexuality education for future implementation in Vilnius city schools will be developed.

Implementation period: 05/10/2020 - 04/04/2022

Partners: UN Women Iceland

Granted amount 44 937,55 Eur

Summary:

This project is aimed at combating gender stereotypes and discrimination against women on the labour market and building more effective women’s economic empowerment. Based on the opinion surveys carried out, men make a huge impact on the formation of gender stereotypes in society.

The majority of projects relating to gender equality engage women and are intended for women. We believe that gender equality will be ensured only when this theme will be equally important for both sexes. 

Our objective is to encourage men to become advocates for gender equality, to promote active discussions on the well-established gender stereotypes in society and to break them. The Barbershop methodology is new in Lithuania but has already been tested by the Islandic partners and provides clear guidelines and tools for men who want to become agents of change for gender equality. By implementing this Project, we will mobilize men who support the idea of equality, provide them with the tools to implement gender equality projects and publicize the benefit and the necessity of men’s engagement. Our target groups are these: 1) men – opinion leaders, with a higher educational background and higher income; 2) young men; 3) the public – which will be reached through the publicity measures.

This Project is aimed at training professional moderators–facilitators who will take over the Barbershop methodology and will independently implement and further develop it in Lithuania, and this will encourage men to become gender equality champions in their workplaces, organisations and communities.

Implementation period: 14/10/2020 - 13/10/2021

Large projects

Partners: Association “Kaunas Women’s line”

Granted amount: 145 818,00 Eur

Summary:

The project “Sustainable support to human rights through advocacy and awareness raising” aims: a) to strengthen the monitoring of human rights situation in Lithuania by proposing to policy and decision makers’ public policy solutions that are in line with international human rights standards; b) to mobilize public support for these solutions and build public resilience towards undemocratic and human rights' restricting initiatives. The project also aims to change the attitudes towards vulnerable groups among the specialists encountering people from vulnerable groups in their work and journalist reporting on these groups, by engaging them into awareness raising activities and including in these activities representatives from vulnerable groups. 

The impact of the project will be complex and will encompass several target areas and target groups: a) regular monitoring of the general human rights and civil liberties' situation in Lithuania, and providing relevant information to international human rights bodies; b) regular monitoring of the legislative process and submitting legal and policy proposals to national policy and decision makers; c) awareness raising and educational events for specialists and journalists, aimed at reducing bias towards vulnerable groups; d) meetings with youth in 10 regions on gender-based violence, with a purpose to engage the youth and enable them to recognize various forms of gender-based violence; e) advocacy and awareness raising campaigns, that would engage the public at large into the discussion on human rights issues, and would mobilize public support to policy solutions respectful of human rights. 

It is expected that after the implementation of the project, the observance of international human rights standards in Lithuania will be strengthened, the awareness of the needs of vulnerable communities will be raised among specialists and journalists, and youth in the regions will be better able to recognize gender-based violence and find ways of responding to it.

Implementation period: 03/11/2020 - 02/11/2023

Partners: Centre of Family Ideas

Drug Free Treatment Unit, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, University Hospital of North Norway

Granted amount: 140 297,72 Eur

Summary:

“Wings of Change” aims to respond to complex and systemic problems related to human rights abuses and discriminatory attitudes towards people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of Lithuania have been carrying out a reform aimed at deinstitutionalization since 2014. However, there has been a lack of investments into awareness raising activities about the right of people with disabilities to live in the community (UNCRPD, Art.19). Societal attitudes need to become more open, inclusive and respectful of diversity. 

This project aims to foster this change through awareness raising campaigns and mental health literacy trainings for leaders of regional communities. Additionally, through raising competencies of professionals at social care services, e.g., at Group Living Homes. This would be done systematically, using the WHO ‘QualityRights’ toolkit: an evaluation of human rights standards and quality of care, comprehensive analysis and development of recommendations, as well as trainings and supervision of staff. Thirdly, decision makers would be made aware of problems identified and offered potential solutions for improvement on the municipal and national level. The media would also be empowered to inform the public about related topics in an ethical way, in line with human rights standards. Whilst working in parallel with all these groups, the rights of people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities would be better protected. It would increase the quality of their lives and services they receive, thus, stimulating the broader development of society and its support for human rights. A special emphasis on the regional action would strengthen Lithuanian civil society; at the same time the project would provide an opportunity for sharing good international practice examples, whilst collaborating with Norwegian partners.

Implementation period: 03/11/2020 - 02/01/2023

Partners: Women's Rights Association 

Klaipeda Social and Psychological Support Center 

Taurage Women's Employment and Information Center 

Women's Activities Innovation Center 

Granted amount: 133 200,00 Eur

Summary:

Project unites the forces and resources of the Lithuanian women lobby organizations and 4 active women organizations from Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Tauragė and Kaunas, in order to increase the availability of specialized integrated assistance. It will be achieved by enabling Specialized Comprehensive Assistance Centers (hereinafter - SKPC) specialists to help women with physical disabilities and / or sexual abuse and violence by their intimate partner. According to experts and data based on various studies, neither female victims of sexual abuse nor women with disabilities receive specialized comprehensive assistance in Lithuania, which is specifically tailored to these groups. During the project, a detailed analysis of the current situation will be performed, gaps will be identified and good practices of foreign countries will be examined. There will be a suitable model of SKPC assistance prepared and implemented accordingly. Furthermore, in accordance with the results, recommendations will be made to the representative and executive government authorities, social partners and CSOs (Civil society organizations). 

A publicity campaign will increase the visibility of the problem and a number of social network users. Women with physical disabilities and / or women who have experienced sexual abuse and violence by their intimate partner will not accept gender-based violence, and therefore more people will seek help and support. 

The implemented activities will: 

- lay the foundations for the development of a well-functioning system for supporting women with physical disabilities and / or women experiencing sexual abuse and violence by their intimate partner, thus increasing the support for human rights; 

- strengthen and improve SKPC specialists´ capacity and ability to analyze, organize, plan and make better decisions, when providing support to women with physical disabilities; / or women who have been sexually abused and violence by their intimate partner;

 - increase awareness of human rights and the principle of equal treatment.

Implementation period: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

Partners: Klaipėda Social and Psychological Support Centre

State Scientific Research Institute Lithuanian Social Research Centre

Granted amount: 147 981,98 Eur 

Summary:

The project aims at improving the implementation of international human rights standards in Lithuania, encouraging the execution of existing international commitments and raising greater popular support for these changes. 

The main objectives of this project are 

1) to monitor the implementation of international human rights standards and to promote the harmonization of the Lithuanian legal framework in accordance with these standards to ensure that the rights of vulnerable communities (esp. women and LGBTI+) are enacted; 

2) to strengthen popular support for groups that face violence, discrimination, and hate crime (especially women, LGBTI+, ethnic, and religious communities) and to promote the support for legal and political initiatives aimed at ensuring their rights. 

To pursue these objectives, we will join advocacy, communication, awareness raising, and civil society involvement activities. In order to improve the implementation of the rights of these vulnerable communities’ suggestions for change in legislation will be prepared and partner organizations will actively participate in working group meetings and other political initiatives. Together with the advocacy-based activities, action will be taken to promote civil participation. Partners will organize public discussions and demonstrations, initiate petitions, posts on social media, create social advertisements, and provide accessible information about the principle of equal treatment using contemporary and effective instruments (e.g. animated videos, documentary films, etc.). 

The target groups of this project are national and regional decision makers, representatives of human rights NGOs, victims of gender-based violence, communities that are affected by hate crime as well as the moderates of the civil society, especially the youth, who lack knowledge about human rights. 

By joining the strengths of the academia and the NGO sector, improving national legislation and further developing the dialogue with state institutions, the project will achieve better protection for victims of gender-based violence and hate crimes. The project will also increase public support for LGBTI+ rights.

Implementation period: 01/10/2020 - 31/03/2023

Granted amount: 134 010,00 Eur 

Summary:

The images that media create affect how society thinks and treats people. According to Lithuanian Ethnic Research center (2019), 63% of Lithuanian citizens would not want to live next to a Romani neighbor, 35% would not want to live next to a Muslim. 22% have said that they would not want to work with a colleague, who is gay or lesbian.

With the “New Norm” project we aim to create a media platform where human rights are important. 

We aim to reach out to smaller cities and towns in Lithuania; we want to renew our online presence; we plan to change the name of our media platform to make it more connected with local context. We believe that Lithuania needs human rights-oriented media and we have knowledge and energy to provide it.

In order to do that we are applying to the Active Citizens Fund. In three years during the project, we commit to:

- Regularly publish new NYLA podcast documentaries and multimedia stories covering human rights issues in Lithuania;

- Publish op-eds by people who have been discriminated against in Lithuania to share their first person experiences;

- Build ties with journalists working in smaller towns in Lithuania and work together with them to share human rights stories from different parts of Lithuania;

- Share Nanook’s pieces for free with regional media in Lithuania;

- Organize public debates in small towns and bigger cities in Lithuania on the different topics of human rights.

Our hope is that they will be willing to participate in defending human rights in their own personal lives.

Implementation period: 24/09/2020 - 23/09/2023

Partners: Charity and Support Foundation FRIDA

Granted amount: 144 882,66 Eur 

Summary:

LGBT+ people in Lithuania are one of the most discriminated groups in the EU. LGBT+ rights are perceived differently in both cities and regions, and there is little desire to protect them: due to passive adaptation in cities; for fear of action, lack of contact with supporters; due to strongly expressed internalized homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. There are no inclusive, accessible, and safe measures in Lithuania that would encourage individuals to take an interest and act individually or through associations. The project will address key impact challenges by raising awareness among the LGBT+ community, especially young people, about international human rights standards and equal treatment, respect for HR and equality, and involvement in civic activities to support positive changes in HR and compliance with HR standards.

The main objective of the project is to raise awareness about LGBT+ human rights and equal treatment, enabling LGBT+ youth and other groups in society to take an active interest in human rights issues and engage in public activities in cities and regions.

Project`s target groups: LGBT+ youth (14-29 years old), LGBT+ persons, general education school staff, parents with LGBT+ children, relatives, and LGBT+ straight allies, HR organizations and activists.

The following outcomes are expected to be achieved through the interlinked project activities: publications on specific topics relevant to the LGBT+ community will be issued, and a digital platform for mobile devices will be created, where project participants will be able independently to perform gamificated tasks to improve the situation of LGBT+ rights. The GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) network in Lithuanian schools will be established. Participants will strengthen their capacity in trainings and events. 

At the end of the project, an increase in the number of members of civil society, especially among young people from the regions, who will contribute to positive change in the field of HR is expected. The project promoters' organizations (Tolerant Youth Association and Charity and Support Foundation Frida) will strengthen their capacity, increase organizational sustainability etc.

Implementation period: 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2023

Granted amount: 111 662,85 Eur 

Summary:

The project aims to address the lack of equality, tolerance at school, as well as the issue of insufficient protection of rights of different minority groups. One of the main challenges for guaranteeing human rights for everyone are the entrenched societal prejudices, which are still enshrined in the Lithuanian system of education. 

Using diversity literature, we plan to encourage:

1) reflection upon and review of teacher's beliefs; 

2) to foster tolerance, empathy, and appreciation of diversity. 

The project has two target groups: teachers and schoolchildren residing in various regions of Lithuania. School environment is an ideal place to find solutions to ensure the protection of rights of the most vulnerable groups, because it is at school that we transfer knowledge, meaning and initiate change. The project will reach 90 teachers and around 2250 schoolchildren in various regions of Lithuania, thus contributing to the promotion of inclusion and advocacy of human rights. 

Diversity literature is a tool that helps to understand, sympathize with and identify oneself with characters from different contexts and realities, thus developing the social skills of inclusion and respect for others. It is important to emphasize, that diversity literature in Lithuania is virtually non-existent: there is an acute shortage of both local and translated works. We aim to present literary works, which include different viewpoints and represent different groups of society, as a new way to human rights education. In the framework of the project, we will create a digital library freely accessible to teachers and their pupils. The library will include 10 books (already translated, newly created by Lithuanian authors and newly translated) accompanied by specially created teaching materials. The teaching materials will conform with official teaching programs, so that teachers could use them in their daily work, integrating into lesson plans, because we aim to make diversity literature a part of official teaching programs. We will organize training for teachers on how to use diversity literature in the classroom.

Implementation period: 03/11/2020 - 02/09/2023