|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
The Law on Equal Treatment (Art. 6, last amended in 2017) establishes that educational, scientific, and academic institutions are obliged to ensure equal admission, scholarship/funding and evaluation conditions for persons regardless of their sexual orientation. More specifically, it states that educational and academic institutions and as well as other bodies carrying out the informal adult education programmes must, within the scope of their competence, ensure that the curricula and learning materialsdo not promote discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The law also foresees that educational and academic institutions are required to ensure a harassment-free environment including harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. The law does not explicitly mention discrimination on grounds of gender identity and expression, or variations in sex characteristics.
Moreover, the Law on Education (last amended in 2018) establishes the objectives, principles and structure of the education system in Lithuania.It also sets out the State’s obligations in the field of education. Article 23,introduced to the law in 2016, states that cyberbullying on the basis of sexual orientation maybe reported through the official website www.draugiskasinternetas.lt which is administered by the Lithuanian Communications Regulatory Authority.
The Law on Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information (as last amended in 2011) prohibits dissemination of information that may have detrimental effect on mental or physical health, or physical, intellectual or moral development of minors. Under Article 4 of the law, dissemination of any public information that incites bullying or humiliation on the basis of sexual orientation is considered to be detrimental to minors and is therefore prohibited. However, the same article of the law prohibits dissemination of information which promotes different concepts of “marriage” and “family values” than the concepts established in the Lithuanian Constitution and Civil Code. This makes it complicated and often impossible to display non-heterosexual relationships in the public sphere. This limitation of information makes it difficult to objectively perceive the diversity of real life. It distorts young people’s worldviews and promotes the formation of various misconceptions, stereotypes and negative attitudes concerning LGBTQI people.
The Health and Sexuality Education, and Preparation for Family Life Programme is a general programme that sets outs the objectives and guidelines for the health and sexuality education and preparation for family life in schools. The programme was approved by order of the Minister of Education and Science in 2016. The programme prohibits any discrimination on the basis of a person’s or their parents’/fosters parents’ sexual orientation. It also prohibits acts or behaviour that could encourage discontent with a person’s body, appearance or sexual orientation. However, the programme does not provide for specific measures on how to tackle potential discrimination or how to include content that is inclusive of LGBTQI people in the curricula.
The national curriculum does not include LGBTQI content.
There is currently no mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI awareness.
There are no legal measures for gender recognition and the current provisions of the Civil Code are not sufficient. Currently, gender recognition can only be obtained before the national courts, but medical services are not available.
On 10 November 2017, a group of 31 MPs in the Lithuanian Parliament registered a legislative proposal, which aims at banning legal gender recognition (i.e. change of identity documents for transgender persons) and all medical procedures pertaining to gender reassignment treatment. This proposal stands in contrast with the jurisprudence of the national courts, granting legal gender recognition based on self-identification of a trans individual and corresponding mental diagnosis.
The government is not supporting data collection the situation of LGBTQI students in schools. This information is being collected by civil society organisations. In 2015, the National LGBT Rights Organisation presented a publication (Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations), introducing one of the most pressing, yet unrecognised issues in Lithuanian schools. This publication was the first step towards tackling the problem of homophobic and biphobic bullying in Lithuanian schools and aimed to provide teachers and other professionals working with young people the knowledge to help the fight against violence in the learning environment. This publication was intended to determine the actual extent of this problem, to find out about teachers’ needs and their experience with the issue of homophobia in their daily work, and to learn about the experiences, needs and views of non-heterosexual students on this matter.
The Youth Line is a service that provides emotional support for young people, including learners who face discrimination. The service is free of charge and is operated by a non-governmental organisation that operates through private individuals, business and government support. They support students who struggle with difficult situations at school, but it is not specifically for LGBTQI students.
LGL publication Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations is the first step towards tackling the problem of homophobic and biphobic bullying in Lithuanian schools and aims to provide teachers and other professionals working with young people the knowledge to help combat violence in the learning environment. This resource, however, was not funded by the public sector.
The government provides no support to LGBTQI civil society organisations working in the area of education.
– Lithuania has not signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– Lithuania is not a member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
According to LGL’s publication “Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations”, bullying based on sexual orientation is a common issue in schools. More than one-third of students who took part in the study stated that they feel unsafe at school, and more than half of them revealed their sexual orientation only to the people closest to them.
Bullying based on sexual orientation is faced by eight out of ten surveyed students. Gay and bisexual students primarily faced verbal bullying. Homophobic language is very common and often incites bullying based on sexual orientation. However, the fact that most non-heterosexual students have experienced name-calling, teasing or jokes based on sexual orientation should alarm all adults who work with youth. Homophobic language, especially when ignored by teachers and other school personnel, provokes stereotypes and negative attitudes towards LGBTQI people, and enables students to discriminate against non-heterosexual persons and those who do not reflect the stereotypical image of a man or a woman.
In Summer, 2017 LGL carried out a survey in which respondents – 580 LGBTQI high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 – elaborated on what is taught in moral education lessons, and what LGBTQI adolescents who are still discovering their sexuality and gender identity face in Lithuanian schools. LGL’s data reveals that when high school students struggle with bullying due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the school environment, they’re forced to deal with it on their own. 82% of LGBTQI students participating in the survey reported being bullied due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last year, and of these respondents, 90% reported feeling unsafe at school for this reason. 50% of survey respondents also declared that their teachers either did not respond appropriately to homophobic bullying, if they responded at all. The report of the survey will be published in 2018.
In 2015, LGL sent out the publication, “Homophobic Bullying in Lithuanian Schools: Survey Results and Recommendations” to schools and educational institutions throughout the country. 250 Lithuanian schools, all of the pedagogical psychological service providers working in Lithuania, higher learning institutions training educators and social workers, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, the Committee on Education, Science and Culture of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian School Students’ Union and the Lithuanian Pupil’s Parliament all received this publication.