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TITLE:  LITHUANIA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                           
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

                         LITHUANIA


Lithuania regained its independence in 1991 after more than 50 
years of Soviet occupation.  A parliamentary democracy, 
Lithuania has a popularly elected unicameral legislature, the 
Seimas, a popularly elected President, who functions as Head of 
State, and a government formed by a Prime Minister and other 
ministers, appointed by the President and approved by the 
Seimas.  The Government exercises authority with the approval 
of the Seimas and the President.  In the free and fair 1992 
parliamentary elections, the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party 
(LDDP)--the successor to the Communist Party of Lithuania, 
which in 1989 broke away from the Soviet Communist party--won a 
majority of seats and formed the Government.  On February 14, 
voters elected Algirdas Brazauskas, the then chairman of the 
LDDP, as President.

The security structure includes the military forces 
administered by the Ministry of Defense, the domestic police 
subordinate to the Interior Ministry, two regiments of 
militarized police subordinate to the Interior Ministry and 
responsible for maintaining prison security and public order, 
and a security service charged with internal security.  All 
forces stationed by the Soviet Union in Lithuania were 
withdrawn by the end of 1993.

Lithuania is gradually transforming a centrally planned economy 
into a market-oriented system.  Most housing and small 
businesses are now in private ownership, but large enterprises 
continue to be state owned.  The Government has been unable 
thus far to stem the general economic deterioration 
characterized by a steady fall in industrial output, rising 
unemployment, and declining per capita income.  Inflation, 
however, has come down significantly with the introduction of a 
stable national currency and the reduction of government 
deficits.  Over 100,000 new private farmers cultivate over a 
third of the arable land.

There is respect for basic freedoms and civil liberties.  The 
preventive detention law, aimed at those suspected of violent 
criminal activity, extended the period of investigative 
detention from 72 hours to 2 months.  Although it was broadly 
hailed as a useful tool in dealing with gangs of criminals, its 
possible extension beyond January 1, 1994, while generally 
popular, caused some concern that law enforcement officials 
might abuse its provisions.  Reform of the judicial system 
still awaits the completion of civil and criminal procedure 
codes.  The holding of elections in February for two district 
councils in areas predominantly inhabited by ethnic Poles eased 
relations between Lithuanian authorities and the Polish 
community.  

Lithuania was accepted as a full member of the Council of 
Europe on May 14, 1993.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of politically motivated killings by 
Lithuanian authorities in 1993.  The local press did report one 
instance of a man who died in police custody as a consequence 
of police brutality.  Otherwise, media reporting of alleged 
police brutality has been scarce.  The Ministry of Internal 
Affairs generally has been reluctant to publicize statistics on 
reported cases of police brutality.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of abductions or disappearances caused by 
Lithuanian officials.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

There were no reports that Lithuanian officials engaged in or 
condoned torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading 
treatment or punishment.  The press has occasionally reported 
on police beatings of travelers passing through Lithuanian 
border crossings, which often are choked with thousands of 
motorists awaiting their turn to go through customs.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

By law, police may detain a person for up to 72 hours based 
upon reliable evidence of criminal activity.  At the end of 
that period, police must decide whether or not to make a formal 
arrest, and a warrant must be approved by a magistrate.  The 
authorities have a total of 10 days to present supporting 
evidence.  Once a suspect is formally charged, prosecutors may 
keep the suspect under investigative arrest for up to 2 months 
before taking the suspect to court.  In exceptional cases, 
investigative arrest may be extended by a further 6 to 9 months 
with the written approval of the Procurator General.  The right 
to an attorney is protected by the Constitution from the moment 
of detention.

In an effort to cope with rapidly growing organized crime, 
Parliament passed in July a temporary law on preventive 
detention of persons suspected of being violent criminals; it 
extended the period of investigative detention from 72 hours to 
2 months.  Those apprehended must be released after 2 months if 
an investigation does not lead to formal charges.  Local police 
commissioners must obtain the Procurator General's approval of 
each arrest carried out under the provisions of this law.

Lithuanian legislators voted in December to extend the 
temporary law for 1 additional year.  Several new provisions 
were attached to the July version of the law in an apparent 
effort to improve the legal rights of detainees.  The 
authorities must now inform a suspect within 3 hours following 
arrest about the length of preventive detention, which may not 
exceed 2 months.  Within 48 hours of the arrest, the detainee 
must be brought before a district judge, who must rule on 
whether the suspect had been lawfully detained.  A suspect is 
legally guaranteed the right to consult with an attorney during 
the period of detention.

Although the law is widely perceived as useful in tackling the 
organized crime problem, its provisions give law enforcement 
officials wide latitude in making arrest decisions and may be 
open to abuse.

There is no exile.  

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The Lithuanian legal system is in a state of transition from a 
Soviet to a democratic model.  To date, progress towards 
judicial and legal reform has been limited.  The judicial 
system consists of a two-tier structure of district courts and 
the Supreme Court, which hears appeals from the district 
courts.  Court decisions are arrived at independently.  The 
Procurator General exercises an oversight responsibility 
through a network of local prosecutors who work with police 
investigators from the Ministry of Interior in preparing the 
prosecution's evidence for the courts.  Jury trials are not 
used in Lithuania.


A law reforming much of the structure and procedures of 
Lithuania's judicial system, scheduled to take effect in 
November 1992, was suspended, pending the completion of new 
civil and criminal procedure codes.  The new civil procedure 
code should be ready for parliamentary consideration in 
mid-1994.  

The newly created Constitutional Court began its deliberations 
in September.  The Constitution specifies that the 
Constitutional Court shall settle disputes about the 
constitutionality of official acts of the Government, 
Parliament, and the courts.  Only official bodies such as the 
Government, Parliament, and the courts may appeal decisions to 
the Constitutional Court, in contrast to the Supreme Court, 
which hears appeals involving private citizens and 
organizations.

The Constitution provides defendants with the right to 
counsel.  Public defense attorneys are routinely assigned to 
persons charged with serious offenses.  Defendants also have 
the right to hire an attorney of their choice.  In practice, 
the right to legal counsel is constricted by the shortage of 
trained lawyers--only about 340 registered lawyers practice in 
Lithuania--who reportedly find it difficult to cope with the 
estimated 40-percent rise over 1992 in criminal cases before 
the courts in 1993.  Outside observers have recommended the 
establishment of a public defender system to regularize 
procedures for provision of legal assistance to indigent 
persons charged in criminal cases.  By law, defense attorneys 
have access to government evidence and may present evidence and 
witnesses.  Routine, written requests for evidence generally 
are honored by the courts and law enforcement agencies.  There 
were no political trials.

Government rehabilitation of over 50,000 persons charged with 
anti-Soviet crimes during the Stalinist era led to reports in 
1991 that some people alleged to have been involved in crimes 
against humanity during the Nazi occupation had benefited from 
this rehabilitation.  Such rehabilitation clears the person of 
any wrongdoing during the Stalinist period and is essentially 
of moral significance.  A special judicial procedure was 
established to examine each case in which an individual or 
organization raises an objection that a rehabilitated person 
may have committed a crime against humanity.  In 1993 the 
Supreme Court overturned the rehabilitation of four persons 
whose cases were pending from 1992.  The Procurator General has 
appealed to the Supreme Court to annul the rehabilitation of an 
additional three persons suspected of committing war crimes.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The authorities do not engage in indiscriminate or widespread 
monitoring of the correspondence or communications of 
citizens.  With the written authorization of the Procurator 
General, however, law enforcement and national security 
agencies may engage in surveillance and monitoring activities 
on grounds of national security.  The evidence collected in 
this way must be regularly submitted to a parliamentary 
committee for review and approval.  Except in cases of hot 
pursuit or the danger of disappearance of evidence, police must 
obtain search warrants signed by a procurator before they may 
enter premises.  It is, however, widely assumed that law 
enforcement agencies have increased the use of a range of 
surveillance methods to cope with the expansion of organized 
crime.  There is some question as to the legal basis of this 
police surveillance activity, but there are no known legal 
cases challenging the legality of the surveillance.  The former 
President of the Lithuanian National Bank, who claimed that 
eavesdropping devices were found in his office, publicly called 
on the Procurator General to investigate the incident.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech is widely respected.  

Prior restraint over either print or broadcast media and 
restrictions on disclosure are prohibited, except in cases 
determined by the Government to involve national security.  

Investigative journalists reporting on the organized crime 
problem have been harassed and have received death threats; a 
copublisher and editor of a widely read daily, who wrote 
extensively on organized crime, was murdered.  Four persons 
suspected of killing the editor are being held in investigative 
detention.  

The Government made efforts to prevent private printing 
enterprises in Kaunas from printing two extreme rightwing 
German publications promoting anti-Semitism.  By law, 
Lithuanian publications are prohibited from propagating racist 
views or inciting hatred against ethnic groups.  At last 
report, the Lithuanian partner of this printing venture 
withdrew his participation; the printing enterprises have 
ceased printing the two German publications. 

Five private radio stations, including one broadcasting in 
Polish, are on the air.  Two private television stations also 
broadcast regular programming to a wide audience.  The owners 
of both the private radio and television stations, however, 
have complained about unfair broadcasting rates that are set by 
the Government and allegedly favor the state radio and 
television stations.  

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

There are no laws that prohibit public gatherings.  During 1993 
a large number of public meetings and demonstrations took 
place, with rightwing groups, blue-collar workers, pensioners, 
and farmers being especially active.

The Constitution respects the right of Lithuanians to associate 
freely, requiring only that they inform local government 
authorities of planned demonstrations.  Parliament, however, 
outlawed the Moscow-backed Communist party in Lithuania in 
light of its support for the January 1991 military crackdown 
and the August 1991 Soviet coup attempt.  Other organizations 
associated with the Soviet occupation were also banned.  Former 
officials of Communist-era Lithuania were not arrested, except 
those charged with specific crimes.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

There were no restrictions on the exercise of religious freedom 
in 1993.  The Government recognizes no state religion, although 
the Roman Catholic Church has the largest following in the 
country, and its clergy are the most visible in public life.  
Religious instruction was widely introduced in Lithuanian 
schools in 1992, but parents have the right to enroll their 
children in secular "ethics" classes as an alternative.  
Forty-one Russian Orthodox churches and an additional 47 Old 
Believer churches are in use and mainly serve the spiritual 
needs of the ethnic Russian community (9 percent of the 
population).  Protestant groups began proselytizing activity, 
organizing public prayer meetings and religious instruction.

Representatives of some Protestant religions and smaller 
religious communities protested against a draft law on religion 
that classifies religions according to whether they are 
considered "established" or "unestablished."  There is some 
concern that the draft law, if it is not amended, could result 
in preferential treatment (i.e., financial aid and access to 
the state-owned media) of the larger and older religious 
communities by the Government, while the more recently 
introduced religions would be denied these benefits.

The Government supports the small Jewish community by helping 
fund several schools and a Jewish cultural center and museum in 
Vilnius.  Considerable progress has been made in restoring and 
maintaining Jewish cemeteries as well as memorials that testify 
to the Jewish community's cultural life and tragic past in 
Lithuania.  

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Under Lithuanian law, citizens and permanent residents are 
permitted free movement within, and return to, their country.  
There are no restrictions on foreign travel.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy.  Lithuanian election 
law requires that parliamentary elections be conducted by 
secret ballot.  Suffrage is universal.  

Of 141 parliamentary seats, 71 are elected directly and 70 
through proportional representation.  In the October-November 
1992 elections to Parliament, which international observers 
determined were free and fair, 27 registered party, 
association, or coalition slates participated.  Only 6 won 
enough votes to enter the new Parliament.  A party must draw a 
minimum 4 percent of the national vote to be represented in 
Parliament.  National minority slates are exempt from this 
rule.  Two of the four Union of Poles representatives won their 
seats on a proportional basis, even though the Union slate 
captured only 2 percent of the nationwide proportional vote.  
The other two won in district races.  In addition, two other 
ethnic Poles were elected, representing other political groups.

The Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDDP) won an absolute 
majority, with 73 of the 141 parliamentary seats.  The Homeland 
Union (which originated from the rightwing Sajudis), the 
mainstream Christian Democratic Party, the Social Democratic 
Party, the Union of Poles, and one representative from a 
separate Christian democratic group make up the opposition.  

The generally inclusive citizenship law of December 11, 1991, 
extends citizenship to persons who were born in the territory 
of the Republic of Lithuania, who were citizens prior to 1940, 
as well as their children and grandchildren, and who became 
citizens under the legislation in effect prior to the new 
effective date of December 11, 1991.  All applications for 
retention, restoration, and naturalization must go through a 
citizenship committee appointed by Parliament.  In order to 
qualify for naturalization, an applicant must pass a Lithuanian-
language examination, have been resident in Lithuania for the 
last 10 years, have a permanent job or source of income, and 
renounce his current citizenship.

Moreover, the 1991 Lithuanian-Russian agreement offered 
Lithuanian citizenship to Russian residents who had taken up 
residence in Lithuania as of the date of the agreement's 
signing.  Well over 90 percent of ethnic Poles, Russians, and 
others residing in Lithuania in 1991 were granted Lithuanian 
citizenship.

There are no de jure restrictions on women's participation in 
politics or government, but for cultural and historical reasons 
they are underrepresented in political leadership positions.  
There are only 10 female deputies in the 141-member Seimas, and 
no female ministers serve in the current Cabinet.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Lithuania is 
an umbrella organization for several small human rights groups, 
which operate without government restriction.  However, the 
Association is not very well known nor particularly active.  
Lithuanian authorities actively encouraged international and 
nongovernmental human rights groups to travel to Lithuania.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

Lithuanian constitutional law prohibits discrimination based on 
race, sex, religion, disability, or ethnic background.  


     Women

The Constitution provides equal rights for men and women, and 
official policy specifies equal pay for equal work.  Generally, 
men and women receive the same pay for comparable work, but 
women are largely underrepresented in some professions and in 
the managerial sector as a whole.  Women enjoy maternity and 
day-care benefits.  There are, however, significant 
inequalities in Lithuanian society based on sex.  A growing 
number of formal and informal women's organizations are active 
in promoting women's rights in Lithuania, but women's rights 
activists report that public awareness of women's issues is 
still at a rudimentary stage, and there are no known lawsuits 
charging discrimination.  

Abuse of women in the home is reportedly common, especially in 
connection with alcohol abuse by husbands, but institutional 
mechanisms for coping with this problem are generally not 
available.  Statistics on the incidence of abuse of women in 
the home are not filed separately from other categories of 
assault.  Women's groups report some resistance among law 
enforcement officials to collecting and releasing such 
statistics.  Persons convicted of rape generally receive 
sentences of from 3 to 5 years in prison.

     Children

The Ministries of Social Protection and Internal Affairs shared 
official responsibility for the protection of children's rights 
and welfare in 1993.  As of January 1, 1994, the Children's 
Rights Service of the Ministry of Social Protection will take 
on many of the functions formerly handled by the Internal 
Affairs Ministry and its subordinate police offices throughout 
the country, thereby presumably focusing more attention on the 
social welfare needs of children.  

The Soviet-era family code, which until recently has governed 
legal relationships between children and their families, is 
undergoing reform with a view to enhancing children's rights 
generally and improving adoption procedures and legal 
protection against child abuse specifically.  Legal experts are 
working on a separate law regulating the rights and 
responsibilities of children vis-a-vis their parents.  
Lithuania is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the 
Child.  


A number of private organizations are active in children's 
welfare issues, including monitoring and supporting the work of 
orphanages and distributing charity to children in socially 
deprived families (see also People with Disabilities below).  

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Non-Lithuanian ethnic groups, comprising about 20 percent of 
the population, include Russians, Poles, Belarusians, 
Ukrainians, and Jews.

Minority nationalities have ready access to primary and 
secondary education in their own languages.  State radio and 
television programs include a fair selection of programs in 
minority languages.  In addition, Lithuanian television 
regularly rebroadcasts programs from two television stations in 
Russia and one in Poland.  Numerous periodicals are readily 
available in Russian and Polish.  Relations between the 
Lithuanian authorities and the sizable ethnic Polish community 
in the southeast region of Lithuania have improved following 
elections on February 14 of two district councils that had been 
suspended immediately after the August 1991 Soviet coup 
attempt.  The members of the councils, which represent 
predominantly Polish constituencies, had been charged with 
upholding Soviet rule during Lithuania's independence struggle 
and supporting the August 1991 coup attempt.  Parliament also 
suspended on the same grounds a county council in Snieckus (now 
called Visaginas) representing a predominantly Russian 
community, but, despite repeated elections to the county 
council in late 1992 and February 14, 1993, local voter turnout 
was too low to elect new representatives under Lithuanian 
election law.  The county remained under the authority of an 
ethnic Russian administrator appointed by the central 
Government.  

Polish special interest groups have long demanded cultural 
autonomy and recognition of a Polish university.  
Non-Lithuanians, especially Poles, have expressed concerns 
about the possibility of job discrimination arising from 
implementation of the language law.  Many public sector 
employees were required to attain a functional knowledge of 
Lithuanian within several years.  Language-testing committees 
began their work in early 1993.  During the first 9 months of 
1993, about 2,000 persons were tested for their Lithuanian 
language ability, of whom 1,786 were certified as language 
qualified.  There is no documented evidence of dismissals based 
on this law.  Lithuanian authorities have indicated that the 
intent of the law is to apply moral incentives to learn 
Lithuanian as the official language of the State; they have 
asserted that no one would be dismissed solely because of an 
inability to meet the language requirement.

In its negotiations for a Friendship Treaty with Poland, 
Lithuania has insisted on a declaration affirming its historic 
sovereignty over Vilnius.  The Vilnius-based Union of Poles and 
the Warsaw-based Citizens Committee for the Defense of Poles in 
the Vilnius Region claimed that such a declaration could be 
used to legalize discrimination against the Polish ethnic 
minority in Lithuania.

     People with Disabilities

A law on integrating disabled people, passed in 1991, provided 
for a broad category of rights and government benefits to which 
disabled people are theoretically entitled.  A number of 
government agencies or government-supported public bodies are 
engaged in protecting the rights and defending the interests of 
the disabled, who number over 300,000, according to official 
statistics.  The Hope Society promotes public awareness of the 
problems of disabled children through the mass media and raises 
funds to support the treatment and care of disabled children.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The 1991 law on trade unions and the Constitution recognize the 
right of workers and employees to form and join trade unions.  
The law on trade unions formally extends this right to 
employees of the police and the armed forces, although the 
Collective Agreements Law of 1991 does not allow collective 
bargaining by government employees involved in law enforcement 
and security-related work.  

The Lithuanian branch of the U.S.S.R.'s All-Union Central 
Council of Trades Union (AUCCTU), grouping 23 of 25 trade 
unions, renamed itself the Confederation of Free Trade Unions 
(CFTU) in 1990 and began asserting increased independence from 
its Soviet parent and promoting the interests of the Lithuanian 
state industrial sector.  In March the CFTU joined eight other 
unions that had also been a part of the AUCCTU to form the 
Lithuanian Trade Union Center (LTUC).  The Lithuanian Workers 
Union (LWU) was formed in 1990 as an alternative to and 
competitor of the CFTU.


Since its formation, the LWU has adopted policies clearly 
supportive of the proindependence Sajudis movement and sought 
contacts with Western free trade unions.  The LWU now claims a 
dues-paying membership of 50,000, organized in 35 regional 
groupings.  The LWU signed an agreement on February 26 with the 
then Prime Minister and several other labor unions (including 
its rival, the CFTU, now called the LTUC), setting forth a 
cooperative relationship between the Government and Lithuania's 
trade unions.  Although the LWU and LTUC remain rivals on the 
national scene, there are indications that the two 
organizations cooperate on the local level.

There are no restrictions on unions affiliating with 
international trade unions.  The Union of Teachers (which is 
associated with the LWU) is affiliated with the International 
Federation of Free Teachers.  The LWU and its component 
organizations currently maintain loose cooperative contacts 
with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Polish Solidarity union, and other 
international labor organizations.  The CFTU/LTUC has also 
begun pursuing closer contacts with Western labor unions.

The 1991 law on trade unions and the 1992 Constitution provide 
for the right to strike, although strikes by public officials 
providing essential services are not permitted.  A nationwide 
strike of primary and secondary schoolteachers protesting low 
wages took place during April and May.  Bus drivers in the port 
city of Klaipeda stayed off their jobs from March to April.  
Both the schoolteachers and the Klaipeda bus drivers called off 
their strike after agreement was reached to increase their 
wages.  The teachers received an immediate 10-percent wage 
increase while the drivers' pay went up about 30 percent.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Collective bargaining and the right of unions to organize 
employees are protected by the collective agreements law, 
although several provisions of this law reportedly hinder the 
establishment of new union organizations.  According to the 
Collective Agreements Law, unions, in order to be registered, 
must have at least 30 founding members in large enterprises or 
have a membership of one-fifth of all employees in small 
enterprises.  Difficulties commonly arise in state enterprises 
whose employees are represented by more than one union.  LWU 
officials charge that managers in some state enterprises 
discriminate against LWU organizers and have on occasion 
dismissed employees as retribution for their trade union 
activities.  The LWU also charges that the Lithuanian judicial 
system is slow to respond to LWU grievances regarding 
dismissals from work.  LWU representatives charge that state 
managers sometimes prefer the old-style CFTU/LTUC over the LWU 
unions as collective bargaining partners.

In general, trade union spokesmen say that managers often 
determine wages without regard to trade union wishes, except in 
larger factories with well-organized trade unions.  The 
Government issued periodic decrees that served as guidelines 
for state enterprise management in setting wage scales.  The 
LWU and the LTUC engage in direct collective bargaining over 
wages at the workplace level.  Wage decisions are increasingly 
being made at the enterprise level, although government 
ministries still retain some control over this sphere in 
state-owned enterprises.  The LWU reports that it supplements 
its bargaining efforts with active lobbying in government 
ministries that own enterprises.  During the first 11 months of 
1993, wage increases appear to have kept pace with price rises.

No export processing zones have been established.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Constitution prohibits forced labor, and this prohibition 
is observed in practice.  

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The legal minimum age for employment of children without 
parental consent is 16.  The legal minimum age with the written 
consent of parents is 14.  Free trade union representatives 
assert that the mechanisms for monitoring minimum age 
legislation are rudimentary.  Complaints about infringements of 
child labor regulations generally are referred to local 
prosecutors who investigate the charges and take legal action 
to stop violations.  Available evidence suggests that child 
labor is not a widespread phenomenon.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The legal minimum wage is $11 (43 litai) per month, while the 
average wage in the state industrial sector is $45 (180 litai) 
per month.  The Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Social 
Protection periodically set the minimum wage.  Every 3 months 
these two government bodies must submit their minimum wage 
proposals to the Parliament, which has the right to approve or 
revise the minimum wage level.  Enforcement of the minimum wage 
is almost nonexistent, in part because the Government does not 
want to exacerbate the current unemployment problem.

The Constitution provides that workers have the right to safe 
and healthy working conditions.  In October a labor safety bill 
went into effect, setting down the rights of workers confronted 
with hazardous conditions and providing legal protection for 
workers who file complaints about such conditions.  The State 
Labor Inspection Service, which was established by the law, has 
been charged with implementing the labor safety law.  Regional 
labor inspection offices, each of which is staffed by two or 
three officials, have already been set up in four of 
Lithuania's largest cities and have begun their work.  
Nevertheless, severe financial constraints faced by both the 
state budget and state industrial enterprises will complicate 
efforts to rectify unsafe conditions caused by worn, outdated 
industrial technologies.   

Lithuanian labor safety experts estimate that 150,000 
production workers are employed in enterprises with substandard 
hygienic working conditions.  Half of the nation's production 
work force is thought to be exposed to excessively high levels 
of noise, vibrations, and air pollution in factories and 
enterprises.



[end of document]

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