Equal opportunities are one of the most important values and principles of modern society. The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, many laws of the Republic of Lithuania regulating various public relations, enshrines the principle of equality of all persons before the law. Every member of society must have equal opportunities to pursue education, career, improvement, and activities in all areas of political and social activity.

The main law regulating equal opportunities in Lithuania is the Law on Equal Opportunities (hereinafter - the Law). The purpose of the Law is to ensure the implementation of the provisions of Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which enshrine equality and prohibition of restricting human rights and granting privileges based on gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, religion, beliefs or views.

To establish better protection of the rights of individuals and to improve the legal framework governing equal opportunities, the Law transposes EU directives: 2000/43/EB, 2000/78/EB, 2006/54/EB, 2010/41/ES and 2014/54/ES.

The Law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, nationality, citizenship, language, origin, social status, religion, beliefs or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity and religion.

The Law states that state and municipal institutions, educational institutions, workplaces, providers of goods and services as well as professional organizations must ensure equal opportunities.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, a person who has suffered discrimination on the grounds listen in the Law has the right to demand compensation for damages from guilty persons.
Importantly, the law provides for the transfer of the burden of proof in discrimination cases to the defendant. When dealing with discrimination complaints, the defendant must prove that the principle of equal opportunities was followed.

Main equal opportunities regulation in Lithuania:

Useful links:

Last updated: 17-01-2024