Under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as ‘UN Convention'), persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. The Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 provides a framework for action at the European level, as well as with national action, to address the diverse situation of men, women and children with disabilities. With regard to the objectives and the scope of the Strategy, statistics on persons with disabilities cover statistical information on their living conditions, social inclusion, labour force participation, accessibility of healthcare and education, etc.

In 2010, Lithuania ratified the UN Convention, whose implementation mechanism provides for the periodic assessment of the situation of persons with disabilities under the provisions of the said Convention. In 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the first time assessed the implementation of the UN Convention by Lithuania and on 20 April 2016 provided concluding observations and recommendations (DOC) for further actions.

The State Data Agency as part of the European Statistical System (ESS) participates in the implementation of the European Statistics Work Programme and, together with other EU countries, carries out statistical population surveys (interviews), covering various aspects of the European Disability Strategy.

In order to achieve international comparability, in statistical population surveys (interviews), persons whose daily activity has been largely or somewhat limited due to health problems for 6 months or longer are considered to be persons with disabilities.

Data sources for statistics on persons with disabilities

In Lithuania, the survey was for the first time conducted in 2005, for the second – in 2014 and 2019. Based on the survey results, the health status, lifestyle of and use of healthcare services by the population aged 15 and older were assessed. In the survey, the group of persons whose activity due to health problems has been limited, compared to activities people usually do, for at least 6 months is distinguished.

In 2011 and 2021, a statistical survey on employment of persons with longstanding disorders was conducted, where the proportion of the population aged 15–64 whose everyday activity due to health problems or functional disorders was limited for 6 months of longer in the total population of that age and their labour force participation were assessed.