As the State is the main human rights guarantor, it has to ensure that human rights are respected and protected in the country. Human rights have to be respected and included in the decision making and in actions by all state institutions – courts, law enforcement, governmental, municipal institutions and etc. The courts can also review whether state institutions acts of actions violate human rights. Also, in Lithuania, the national ombudspersons – Kontrolieriai – oversee the respect and protection of human rights in the country. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania can review whether different laws and regulations violate the human rights provisions enshrined in the Constitution.

European & International institutions

Sometimes, when a State is responsible for human rights violations, its national protection scheme is not sufficient to address the problem. There are, therefore, several international institutions that supervise and enforce human rights obligations on the States. Such institutions can be international courts (like the European Court of Human Rights) or monitoring types of institutions (like the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment).

Read about which institutions are accessible to you as an individual.


Human rights are also monitored and defended by national and international non-governmental organizations. These are most often private non-profit organizations that work for the advocacy of certain rights at different levels, offer legal aid to the victims of human rights violations and/or organize awareness raising campaigns. Many non-governmental organizations worldwide have been instrumental in achieving changes to combat insufficient protection of human rights.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education