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Online Discussion “Protection of human rights in practice”

Human rights promotion would not be achieved without tremendous work done by human rights defenders. On April 22, we discussed human rights promotion with Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, the chair of Lithuanian Parliament Committee on Human Rights of Lithuanian Parliament.

During the discussion we deepened the knowledge on human rights promotion from the standpoint of human rights defenders. We discussed the differences between a person who is pursuing his human rights and a human rights defender; the challenges human rights defenders face; and the qualities needed to be a human rights defender.

During the meeting T. V. Raskevičius explained the concept of strategic litigation. He described two examples of strategic litigations that he was a part of: the one on legal gender recognition and medical treatment of transgender persons (L. v. Lithuania) and another on homophobic online hate speech (Beizaras and Levickas v. Lithuania).

We discussed issues related to human rights and technologies, including the role of social media in promoting human rights. We also raised a difficult question of the limits of freedom of expression and the need to discuss the threshold to restrict speech, implementation of human rights standards, the status of human rights defenders. T. V. Raskevičius recommended future human rights activists to find the passion in what they do, choosing an inconvenient topic and specializing in it.

The event was moderated by dr. Donatas Murauskas. This discussion was part of the course “Protection of Human Rights in Practice”.