Ethnic minorities in Lithuania


Ethnic minorities in Lithuania

Contents

Independent Lithuania (1918–1940)

From 1918 to 1924 two ministries were specifically dedicated to ethnic minorities, the Ministry for Belarusian Affairs and the Ministry for Jewish Affairs.

On May 12, 1922 a Declaration concerning the protection of minorities in Lithuania was signed at Geneva under the auspices of the League of Nations. Its article 1 stipulated that "The stipulations of this Declaration are recognized as fundamental laws of Lithuania and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action now or in the future prevail over them.".[1]

art.4 §4 Notwithstanding the establishing by the Lithuanian Government of an official language, appropriated facilities will be given to Lithuanian citizens with another language than Lithuanian, for the use of their language, be it by oral way or by written way, before the courts.[1]

World War II (1939–1945)

Soviet Lithuania (1944–1990)

In 1989, a Law on National Minorities was voted and a Committee of Nationalities for the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was established.[2] Since 1999, it has been renamed Department of National Minorities and Émigrés.

Independent modern Lithuania (1990–present)

The Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities was signed on February 1, 1995, and ratified on March 23, 2000. It came into force on July 1, 2000.[3] Several other national laws have a direct or indirect link to minorities, e.g. the State Language Law (1995) and the Law of Education (1991, amended in 2003).[4]

According to the census conducted in 2001, about 16,5% of Lithuania's population was composed of ethnic minorities:[5]

Ethnic groups Total population Compared to all
population, %
Total 3,483,972 100
ethnic Lithuanians 2,907,293 83.45
Poles 234,989 6.74
Russians 219,789 6,31
Belarusians 42,866 1.23
Ukrainians 22,488 0.65
Jews 4,007 0.12
Germans 3,243 0.09
Tatars 3,235 0.09
Latvians 2,955 0.08
Roma 2,571 0.07
Armenians 1,477 0.04
Other 6,138 0.18
No response on
the ethnicity question
32,921 0.94

The percentage of ethnic Lithuanians has increased from 79.6% in 1989 to 83.5% in 2001; the percentage of Poles has decreased from 7.0% to 6.7%, Russians from 9.4% to 6.3%.[6]

According to the 2001 census, in Vilnius and Šalčininkai district municipalities as well as in the town of Visaginas (which enjoys a special status) ethnic Lithuanians are in minority (22, 10 and 15 per cent respectively).[7][8]

Samogitians

The respondents in the various censuses do not have the option to choose for the Samogitian ethnicity, a situation similar to the Polish Kashubians. This was contested before a court by the Žemaitē bova, īr ė būs ("Samogitians were, are and will be") Association, also named Žemaitiu soeiga, which considers that it is a violation of the Constitution, more particularly of the provision that everyone has the right to decide on his nationality.[9] According to Egidijus Skarbalius, the founder of the Samogitian Party‎, a new Samogitian autonomist party founded in April 2008, Samogitians could be as many as one million, thus representing a third of Lithuania's total population.[10][11]

Discrimination against ethnic minorities

Since 1990 Lithuanian authorities have been accused of discrimination against ethnic minorities (especially Polish minority). Some journalists claim Lithuania's government tries to make minorities play a secondary role in the society[12]

Sources

  1. ^ a b "Declaration concerning the protection of minorities in Lithuania". League of Nations. 1922. http://untreaty.un.org/unts/60001_120000/20/30/00039471.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Law on Ethnic Minorities". 23 November 1989. http://www.litlex.lt/litlex/Eng/Frames/Laws/Documents/215.HTM. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  3. ^ November 2009&CL=ENG "Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities". Council of Europe. Status as of: 14 November 2009. http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=157&CM=7&DF=14 November 2009&CL=ENG. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Lithuania - Cultural minorities, groups and communities". Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 10th edition. Council of Europe. 2009. http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/lithuania.php?aid=421. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Population by ethnicity (2001 Census)". Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania), 2005. http://www.stat.gov.lt/en/pages/view/?id=1731. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  6. ^ "2002 Edition – Country Reports - Lithuania". Recent Demographic Developments in Europe. Council of Europe. 2002. http://www.coe.int/t/e/social_cohesion/population/demographic_year_book/2002_edition/RAPNAT2002%20%20Lithuania%20e.asp. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  7. ^ "Population by some ethnicities by county and municipality (2001 Census)". Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania), 2005. http://www.stat.gov.lt/en/pages/view/?id=1732. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  8. ^ Budryte, Dovile and Pilinkaite-Sotirovic, Vilana, Lithuania: progressive legislation without popular support, pp.151-165, in Rechel, Bernd, ed (2009). Minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 242. ISBN 9780203883655. http://books.google.be/books?id=xkS0NcM24SUC&pg=PA151. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  9. ^ IAR (August 2, 2007). "Żmudzini chcą być uznani za naród" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80708,4358628.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  10. ^ PAP (April 21, 2008). "Żmudzini chcą być narodem" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80708,5141627.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  11. ^ "Żmudzki niedźwiedź się budzi (The Samogitian bear wakes up )" (in Polish). Kurier Wileński (Vilnius Courier). January 2009. http://www.kresy.pl/serwis-polski,goniec-kresowy?zobacz/zmudzki-niedzwiedz-sie-budzi. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  12. ^ "Discrimination of Polish minority in Lithuania". rogalinski.com.pl - Journalist blog. September 11, 2011. http://www.rogalinski.com.pl/jezyki-obce/english/discrimination-of-polish-minority-in-lithuania/. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ethnic minorities in Poland — Main article: Demographics of Poland 96.7% of the people of Poland claim Polish nationality, and 97.8% declare that they speak Polish at home (Census 2002). The population of Poland became one of the most ethnically homogeneous in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic groups in Europe — See Demography of Europe for population statistics. The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe. Pan and Pfeil (2004) count 87… …   Wikipedia

  • Lithuania — Lithuanic /lith ooh an ik/, adj., n. /lith ooh ay nee euh/, n. a republic in N Europe, on the Baltic: an independent state 1918 40; annexed by the Soviet Union 1940; regained independence 1991. 3,635,932; 25,174 sq. mi. (65,200 sq. km). Cap.:… …   Universalium

  • Ethnic history of the Vilnius region — Following is a list of censuses that have been taken in the city of Vilnius/Vilna/Wilno/Wilna and its region since 1897. The list is incomplete. Data are at times fragmentary.Ethnic and national backgroundFollowing the decline of the Polish… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic groups in the United Kingdom — This article is about ethnic groups in the United Kingdom regardless of birthplace. For foreign born groups in the United Kingdom, see Foreign born population of the United Kingdom. People from various ethnic groups reside in the United Kingdom.… …   Wikipedia

  • LITHUANIA — (Lithuanian Lietuva; Pol. Litwa; Rus. Litva; Heb. Lita ליטא or ליטה; Yid. Lite ליטע), southernmost of Baltic states of N.E. Europe; from 1940 Lithuanian S.S.R. (for early period, see poland lithuania ). (See Map: Lithuanian Communities). For the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lithuania — Infobox Country native name = Lietuvos Respublika conventional long name = Republic of Lithuania common name = Lithuania map caption = map caption |region=on the European continent |subregion=the European Union | national motto = Tautos jėga… …   Wikipedia

  • Lithuania–Poland relations — Polish–Lithuanian relations date to 13th century, when Grand Duchy of Lithuania under Mindaugas took over some of Rus lands and thus established a border with then fragmented Kingdom of Poland.Medieval agesUntil late 14th century most of contact… …   Wikipedia

  • Minorities in Greece — Indigenous minorities in Greece are small in size compared to regional standards.[1] The country is largely ethnically homogeneous. This is mainly due to the population exchanges between Greece and neighboring Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne) and… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethnic Germans — German Argentines celebrate Oktoberfest in Villa General Belgrano. This article is about the ethnic German diaspora. See Germans Abroad for German citizens with residence abroad. See Emigration from Germany for disambiguation. Ethnic Germans… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.