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Protecting Persons with Disabilities in the Baltic States: Empowering by Law

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Part of the European Union and its Neighbours in a Globalized World book series (EUNGW,volume 8)


In the Baltic States, the protection and empowerment of people with disabilities remain areas that still call for reconsideration and improvement. Persons with physical disabilities, and more particularly with mental disabilities, face various barriers that hinder enjoyment of their rights and thus their full participation in society. First and foremost, discrimination against people with disabilities still occurs and efforts should be devoted to overcoming this. Secondly, the instruments designed for the general population often fail to take account of additional measures of protection needed for this vulnerable group. Moreover, compliance with international human-rights standards and the persisting gap between these standards and practices also need to be addressed.

This chapter aims to identify and examine the legal-regulation shortcomings related to the protection of the persons with physical and mental disabilities and to suggest legal means for improving the situation. It covers the three Baltic States—Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, although the primary focus is on Lithuania. The author bases her research on the comparative analysis of legal documents, as well as on national and international reports, reports of non-governmental organisations and other available sources.


  • People with disabilities
  • UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
  • Empowering by law
  • Discrimination
  • Additional measures of protection

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  1. 1.

    Closing of institutions where persons (including children) with disabilities (including mental disorders) reside in isolation from the community, receive care and support.

  2. 2.

    E.g., amendments to the draft Law on Alternative Fuels were adopted. Article 29 of this Law (“Accessibility of alternative fuels infrastructure”) states that the planning, design and installation of refueling points for public use and (or) recharging access points for electric vehicles shall be followed in accordance with the procedure established by the Minister of the Environment and shall ensure access to the installed infrastructure for all groups and persons of society; refueling points and (or) recharging access points for electric vehicles intended for public use shall comply with the provisions on compliance with universal design requirements.


Books, Book Chapters, Journal Articles

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Legal Acts and Their Travaux Préparatoires

Case Law

  • A.N. v. Lithuania, Application No. 17280/08, ECtHR, 31 May 2016

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Correspondence to Lina Beliūnienė .

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Beliūnienė, L. (2022). Protecting Persons with Disabilities in the Baltic States: Empowering by Law. In: Limantė, A., Pūraitė-Andrikienė, D. (eds) Legal Protection of Vulnerable Groups in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. European Union and its Neighbours in a Globalized World, vol 8. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-06997-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-06998-7

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