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07.11.2003   Comments of the Latvian Human Rights Committeeconcerning the report submitted by the Republic of Latvia (2003)under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightsfor consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Committee



The LHRC considers the Report submitted by the Republic of Latvia for consideration by the UN Human Rights Committee at its 63-rd Session as profound and fair in general. Nevertheless, the authors of the Report have passed over a number of items especially pointed out by the Committee in its 26 July 1995 concluding observations. Therefore we would like to present our comparative review concerning the implementation of recommendations given by the Committee in 1995. 

Previous Concluding Observations:

While welcoming the attempts at bringing the naturalization and citizenship legislation in conformity with regional human rights instruments, the Committee remains concerned that a significant segment of the population will not enjoy Latvian citizenship owing to the stringent criteria established by the law and the policy deliberately chosen to consider each case on an individual basis and pursuant to a timetable calculated to delay the naturalization process for many years. In the view of the Committee, the legislation still contains criteria of exclusion, which give room to discrimination under articles 2 and 26 of the Covenant, and raises difficulties under articles 13 and 17 of the Covenant.

The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to guarantee that the citizenship and naturalization legislation facilitate the full integration of all permanent residents of Latvia, with a view to ensuring compliance with the rights guaranteed under the Covenant, in particular with articles 2 and 26.

1. Prohibition of discrimination



 



Legal



 

Article 91 of the Constitution contains a general equality clause stating that all persons in Latvia shall be equal before the law and the courts; human rights shall be observed without discrimination of any kind.

 

This principle is further elaborated in a number of laws. For example, Section 7 of the new Labour Law (adopted in 2001, came into force on June 1, 2002) provides that everyone has equal rights to employment, fair, safe and healthy working conditions, as well as to fair remuneration for work; these rights have to be ensured without any direct or indirect discrimination based on person’s race, colour, gender, age, disability, religious, political or other opinions, national (ethnic) or social origin, property and family status and other circumstances.

 

Section 3 of the Education Law (1998) provides that every citizen of the Republic of Latvia and every person who has the right to a passport of non-citizen issued by Latvia, person to whom a permanent residence permit has been issued, as well as citizens of the European Union states to whom temporary residence permits have been issued, and their children have equal rights to receive education regardless of property and social status, race, ethnicity, gender, religious or political opinions, health condition, occupation and place of residence.

 

Section 4 para. 2 of the Judicial Powers Law (1992) provides that judgements shall be delivered by the court irrespective of person’s origin, social or property status, race and ethnicity, gender, education, language, religious affiliation, type and nature of occupation, place of residence, political or other views.

 

The Law on the Unrestricted Development and Right to Cultural Autonomy of Latvia’s National and Ethnic Groups (1991) declares that the residents of the Republic of Latvia are guaranteed, regardless of their national (ethnic) origin, equal human rights which correspond to international standards (Section 1). Section 3 of the law specifically provides for equality in the employment sphere.

 

Section 2 of the law provides that every permanent resident of the Republic of Latvia is law competent according to his national consciousness or national origin indicate or restore in documents his national belonging according with the procedure defined by law. But the Law  on Changing Indication of First Name, Name and Nationality (1994) provides that there is the possibility to change the indication of nationality if the claimant wants to indicate in his passport or in the other identity document the nationality of his direct ascendant limited by two generations and if he can approve his belonging to such a relationship (Article 9). Moreover, if the desired nationality is "Lettish" than the nominee has to have Degree 3 (utmost) Latvian language command sertification (Article 11.7). The permit to change the indication of nationality gives the Citizenship and Immigration Department (Article 13).

 

The new  Law on Personal Identification Documents  that came into force on July 1, 2002,  prescribes that Latvian citizens and non-citizens has the right to fix ethnic origin in their passports, but this record is not mandatory. At the same time, a person doesn’t have any right to avoid declaration of his/her ethnicity, because the Law on the Registry of Residents (1991) features "ethnicity" as a mandatory category in the data base of Registry of Residents, including registration of births.

 

It should be mentioned that the data on, inter alia, person’s race and ethnic origin, are regarded as sensitive data by the Personal Data Protection Law (2000), which prohibits the processing of sensitive personal data except with the consent of the data subject and for limited other purposes (e.g. for protection of one’s life or health, court proceedings etc) (Section 11).

 

There are some specific grounds on which a person cannot be discriminated against mentioned in different acts of legislation. Importantly, with the exception of the out-dated Law on the Unrestricted Development and Right to Cultural Autonomy of Latvia’s National and Ethnic Groups, that contains rather declarative provisions and does not provide for an enforcement mechanism, there are no laws targeting specifically discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin, or nationality. However, all laws and subordinate acts have to conform with the equality clause of Article 91 of the Constitution as the highest legal norm, lest they be unconstitutional[1].

 

Implementation



 

Different acts of legislation require a person to be the citizen of Latvia and/or to have the state language proficiency certificate for employment, participation in public life etc. A big part of persons belonging to national minorities do not fulfil these requirements. According to data of the Population Register (as of January 1, 2003), 541,755 persons (55.6%) out of 974,352 persons belonging to national minorities do not have the citizenship of the Republic of Latvia. Most of these individuals (511,357) do not have the citizenship of any state, but they are not recognised by Latvian authorities as stateless. Adoption of the Law on the Status of Former Citizens of the USSR who are not Citizens of Latvia or Any Other State in April 1995 provided them with a unique form of legal status, that of “non-citizen”, thus legalising their permanent adobe in Latvia. A number of legal acts reserve certain rights and opportunities to citizens only, including political (e.g. the right to participate in national and local elections and to form political parties), social and economic rights (e.g. property rights, the right to work in a number of professions, both in the state and the private sector, and the right to receive some benefits). For the full list of differences between the rights of citizens and non-citizens, please refer to the Annex to these Comments.

 

An analysis of these restrictions, conducted by the National Human Rights Office in 1996 concluded that ten of them were contrary to both the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Five of the restrictions have been abolished since then, while, some new restrictions have been introduced. The last one – the restriction for non-citizens to work as firemen – was re-introduced on October 24, 2002, adopting the new Fire Safety and Fire-Fighting Law. Similar provision concerning the citizenship requirement for firemen was included into the Law on Fire Safety previously in force in December 1994. However, this provision was abolished in January 1997, following persistent recommendations of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, as well as conclusions of the National Human Rights Office. The most harmful difference in the social rights of citizens and non-citizens of Latvia is the one determined by the Law on State Pensions (1995). According to p.1 of the Rules of Transition applied to this Law, when calculating pension rates the years of employment outside Latvia on the territories of the former USSR are included into the citizens' employment record but are not included into the non-citizens' employment record.

 

International standards do not provide a clear-cut evaluation of this situation. For example, the International Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination stipulates that differences in rights of citizens and non-citizens are not covered by the Convention. On the other hand, legislative distinctions that result in unjustifiable, indirect discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity or language breach international norms[2]. The European Commission also criticised these differences in rights.[3]

 



Factual



 

Survey data suggests the problem of discrimination and human rights violations may be widespread. A survey conducted in 2000 showed 24% of all respondents (or 18% of ethnic Latvians and 31% of non-Latvians, 20% Latvian citizens and 33% non-citizens, 25% men and 22% women) believe they experienced discrimination in the last three years[4]. Among those respondents who acknowledged violation of their rights, the largest group (28%) indicated ethnic origin as the basis for the violations of their rights (11% of Latvians and 40% of non-Latvians, 17% of Latvian citizens and 43% of non-citizens). The second most usual basis for human rights violations (indicated by 24% of respondents) was language (7% of Latvians and 40% of non-Latvians, 15% of Latvian citizens and 37% non-citizens). Existence of the problem was further confirmed by another survey carried out in 2001. The survey revealed 3% of citizens and 46% of non-citizens consider citizenship to be the main cause for violations of their human rights, 7% of citizens and 39% of non-citizens see language as the basis for human rights violations and 6% of citizens and 31% of non-citizens consider ethnic origin as the basis for violations of their rights[5].

 

At the same time there is no information about any case in court concerning discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin. It shows that it is necessary to inform the residents about the existing legal mechanisms for the protection of their rights in the case of discrimination and to establish more effective system of protection.

 



2. Measures to protect persons who may be subject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity



 



Legal



 

Section 78 of the Criminal Law (1998) provides for punishment of actions that intentionally limit – directly or indirectly – a person’s economic, political or social rights or create direct or indirect advantages because of a person’s race or ethnicity. It does not qualify the crime as “discrimination”, although the title of the article speaks about “violation of ethnic and racial equality”. Section 156 of the Criminal Law provides for punishment in cases of intentional violation of person’s dignity or degrading her orally, in writing or by action. Offences based on the ethnic or racial origin of the person could be subsumed under this Section[6]. The same considerations apply also to Section 157 of the Criminal Law dealing with cases of intentional defamation, and Section 158 covering violation of person’s dignity and defamation if done by using mass media.

 

Article 2352a of the Civil Law (1937) provides that everybody has the right before the court to revoke information offending his/her honour and reputation unless the distributor of the information proves that the information is true. It is not clear whether an individual could use this provision in cases when he/she feels offended by discriminatory remarks. The crucial question here is, whether e.g. insulting a person because of his/her ethnic origin could be qualified as dissemination of false information about the person[7].

 

Implementation



 

Currently a number of remedies are available to persons who consider themselves wronged by differential treatment; however, none of them is specifically aimed at ensuring equal treatment. The institutions to which such persons can turn to are:

1) the same public institution that has treated the person differently, or a higher institution, or public prosecutor’s office;

2) the State Labour Inspection;

3) the National Human Rights Office;

4) courts of general jurisdiction

5) the Constitutional Court[8].

 

There is almost no case law related to discrimination on the basis of one’s racial or ethnic origin. The main reasons of it are the lack of information about possible measures to be taken, the long and expensive procedure, as well as the problems regarding the burden of proof. It is hard to prove person’s intent in criminal procedure. The victim of the act of discrimination, hostility or violence has to prove himself/herself that such act took place in civil or administrative procedure (Section 93 of the Civil Proceedings Law). There are some exceptions from this general rule:

1) Section 29 para. 5 of the new Labour Law (came into force on June 1, 2002) puts the burden of proof on the employer in the cases concerning differential treatment on the grounds, inter alia, of race and ethnic origin;

2) the new Administrative Proceedings Law (comes into force on February 1, 2004) envisages the principle of objective investigation in the administrative procedure (Section 103).

It should be mentioned that the abovementioned provisions of the Labour Law cannot be applied by persons engaged at the state civil service, as the State Civil Service Law (2000) does not provide it.

 

Factual



 

In 1999 a member of militia (Zemessardze), which forms part of the National Military Forces, hired by an owner of a private cafe to perform security functions, denied access to a cafe to a young person of Roma origin. The militiaman had stated that the owner of the cafe had ordered that Roma should not be allowed to enter. Later he denied that the reason for not allowing entrance to the cafe was ethnic origin. The militia leadership declared that the militiaman acted in accordance with internal regulations made by the owner of a cafe so the latter bore all the responsibility. A file for a criminal case was not opened.

 

In August 2000 the monthly business magazine "Kapitals" ("Capital") defined the subject of its issue No. 8, 2000 as "Jews rule the world". In the article with the same name, as well as in the commentary by the editor-in-chief Guntis Rozenbergs, Jews were named "Zhids" - a word traditionally used in Latvian language, along with "Ebrejs" which came into Latvian later. However, the former name is perceived as insulting by many Jews. Jewish NGOs, as well as Israeli and American embassies in Latvia, voiced protests against this publication. The magazine's editor-in-chief had to resign immediately.

 

In another case in 2000, the national TV news programme showed a fragment about a woman swindler, Roma by ethnic origin, who had wheedled family jewels out of 17-years-old girl. Authors of the fragment called "not to look into eyes of the Roma" in order not be hypnotized. In the end of the program a police officer called all the Roma in Latvia to return the jewels. The Cultural Association of Roma and the Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights and Public Affairs protested actively against this fragment.  Again a file for a criminal case was not opened.

 



In spring 2001 the director of a private publishing house Aivars Garda, announced a competition of essays on topics containing ideas of building ethnically clean Latvian state and encouraging repatriation of “colonists”, i.e., Russians. The competition resulted in a publication of a book containing a spirit and remarks offending the honour primarily of persons of Russian ethnic origin. Two members of the Parliament from the ruling coalition right wing party "For Fatherland and Freedom" participated in the presentation of the book. A file for a criminal case was not opened in relation to Garda's activities, as the law enforcement authorities did not find that Garda acted with a purpose of inciting racial hatred[9]. In August 2002 Aivars Garda was registered as a MP candidate and leader of the electoral list of the (Ethnic) Latvians’ Party. The party has not received any seat at the parliamentary elections of 2002.

 

In December 2001 the magazine "Rigas laiks" ("Riga's Time") published the interview with the ex-mayor of Riga Andris Argalis. Mr Argalis told, "While a Russian is created for thievery and laziness genetically, a Latvian is absolutely cowardly thief... Not qualitative, he has big problems". After the Prosecutor’s Office was asked to start the investigation, Mr Argalis claimed that he just quoted Russian literature classic Leo Tolstoy and Lenin speaking about their nation.

 

In May 2000 the Riga Regional Court delivered a judgement in a case where 9 members of a pro-nazi organisation “Pērkonkrusts” were convicted of a number of offences (e.g. blowing up a water main, attempting to blow up a monument, assault), including incitement of ethnic hatred. It took the form of printing and distributing leaflets of anti-Semitic character and urging the establishment of an ethnically pure state. All suspects were sentenced to imprisonment from 1 to 3 years; four of them received suspended sentences. In addition, they were ordered to pay the damages of approx. EUR 40,000. In January 2001 the Supreme Court reduced the punishment to some members of the group due to misclassification of their offences and also revoked the order to pay damages for approx. EUR 35,000 because of the lack of proof.

 

The leader of this group Juris Rečs was tried separately as he managed to avoid the arrest for two years. In December 2000 a court found him guilty on six accounts, including incitement of ethnic hatred as he was proved to be the organiser of the printing and distributing the above-mentioned leaflets. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

 

In 2003 Guntars Landmanis, editor of the newsletter “Patriots” was convicted to 1-year imprisonment (suspended) and fined. He had published three editions of the newsletter all of which contained anti-Semitic and racist material. He is the first person to be convicted of incitement to ethnic and racial hatred solely under Section 78 of the Criminal Law since the restoration of independence in 1990[10].

 

3. Naturalisation

 

Legal

 

The Law on Latvian Citizenship adopted on 22 July 1994 excludes the big number of  residents of Latvia are from acquiring Latvian citizenship. According to Article 11 of the Law, the citizenship of Latvia shall not be granted to persons who:

1) through the use of anti-constitutional methods have turned against Republic of Latvia's independence, its democratic parliamentary state system or the existing state authority in Latvia, if such has been established by a court decree;

2) after May 4, 1990, have propagated fascist, chauvinist, national-socialist, communist or other totalitarian ideas or have stirred up ethnic or racial hatred or discord, if such has been established by a court decree;

3) are officials of institutions of a foreign state authority, foreign state administrative body or foreign state law enforcement body;

4) serve in the armed forces, internal forces, security service or the police (militia) of a foreign state;

5) after June 17, 1940, have chosen the Republic of Latvia as their place of residence directly after demobilization from the USSR (Russian) Armed Forces or USSR (Russian) Interior Armed Forces and who, on the day on their conscription or enlistment, were not permanently residing in Latvia;

6) have been employees, informants, agents or have been in charge of conspiratory premises of the former USSR (LSSR) KGB or other foreign security service, intelligence service or other special service, if such a fact has been established according to the procedures established by law;

7) have been convicted in Latvia or another state to inprisonment for a term exceeding one year for an intentional crime which was considered as a crime in latvia at the moment this Law comes into force;

8) after January 13, 1991, have acted against the Republic of Latvia through participation in the CPSU (LCP), Working Peoples' International Front of the Latvian SSR, United Council of Labour Collectives, Organization of War and Labour Veterans, or the All-Latvia Salvation Committee and its regional committees.

 

On August 7, 2001, the Cabinet of Ministers amended the Regulations on passing the naturalisation exams. The amendment concerns the exam on the Latvian history and Constitution. Previously, the examined person could choose one of three offered variants of answers to every question. The amended regulations introduce, besides this test, also mandatory questions requiring written answers - without variants. Thus, in fact the naturalisation examinations have been made more complicated. 

 

On April 22, 2003 the naturalisation regulations were amended so that to speed up the naturalisation procedure. Previously an applicant had to give a loyalty oath (promise) only after s/he had passed the naturalisation examinations; now s/he signs the promise immediately after all documents necessary for naturalisation have been submitted. On the other hand, the amended regulations include the provision that if a person violates the rules of naturalisation examination, s/he is not allowed to pass the examination again. In such cases a person has to submit new naturalisation application that is possible not earlier than in one year, according to the Citizenship Law.

 

On July 10, 2003 the Ministry of Justice suggested to reduce the state fees for naturalisation for pensioners, disabled persons of the 2nd and 3rd category, schoolchildren and full-time students from previous LVL 10 (approx. EUR 15.4) to LVL 3 (approx. EUR 4.6). The amendments are to be adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers to come into force.

 

Factual



 

In January-June 2003 the citizenship of Latvia through naturalisation procedures has been granted to 3535 persons, in 2002 – to 9844 persons. In 1999 the citizenship was granted to 12,427 persons, in 2000 - to 14,900 persons, in 2001 - to 10,637 persons. Thus, the rate of naturalisation becomes slower and slower.

 

The following data shows that persons whose proficiency in Latvian is not perfect faces the problem of passing in the State language proficiency examination. The first wave of those applied for naturalization after revision of the Citizenship Law in 1998 had the better level of Latvian language knowledge than the second, third, etc. Correspondingly, the share of those who failed in passing examination is: 3% in 1999; 15% in 2000; 19% in 2001 and 28% in 2002.

 

Since last year, secondary school graduates are offered a possibility to present their results of the centralised examination in the Latvian language instead of taking the Latvian language test when applying for the Latvian citizenship through naturalisation. According to the data of the Naturalisation Board, last year only 91 out of 7501 graduates took this opportunity (it should be kept in mind, however, admitted that only part of 7501 graduates were non-citizens).

 

4. Equal opportunities for access to education for persons belonging to national minorities.

 

Legal



 

Section 3 of the Education Law (1998) declares equal rights to education regardless of race, ethnic origin and religious persuasion. However, Latvia lacks legislation and specific programs aimed at securing equal opportunities for access to education for persons belonging to minorities.

 

Implementation / factual



 

The Society Integration Programme (the main governmental initiative, aimed at building inclusive society) does not consider minority educational situation from the minority rights and anti-discrimination perspective and does not deal with the problem of securing equal access to education at all levels for minority members.

 

In practice, minorities tend to be underrepresented within education system, both within schools and within the state-funded university education institutions.

 

Within the body of pupils of elementary, primary and secondary schools the share of minorities is slightly smaller than the share of respective groups within the school-age population (5 to 19 years of age). Ethnic Latvians are slightly over-represented within the body of pupils of elementary, primary and secondary schools. Probably, one of the reasons for minorities’ children under-representation in schools is unfavourable social and economic situation minority parents find themselves in. However, a further research is necessary so as to find the causes of minorities’ under representation in schools.

 

Table: School-age population compared to the body of pupils

























































































































Ethnic origin


Population 5 to 19 (2000)


Pupils (2001/02)


Absolute numbers


Percent distribution


Absolute numbers


Percent distribution


Latvians


329031


64.69


229034


67.97


Russians


133511


26.25


83686


24.84


Belarussians


11635


2.29


6464


1.92


Ukrainians


9172


1.80


4690


1.39


Poles


10583


2.08


5742


1.70


Lithuanians


5102


1.00


2649


0.79


Others


9555


1.88


4676


1.39


Total


508589


99.99


336941


100.00


Sources: Data on population of 5 to 19 years of age: Results of the 2000 Population and Housing Census in Latvia. Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Riga, 2002, pp.61, 165, 166. Data on pupils of daytime elementary, primary and secondary schools, academic year 2001/2002: Statistics Department of the Ministry of education and Science.


 

According to a recent study on ethnic representation in Latvia[11], the share of minorities among teaching staff of the thirteen surveyed state-funded universities tends to be around 17%, although two of surveyed state universities employed no minorities among its staff at all (Riga School of Economics and Vidzeme University College), while one university (situated in the city of Daugavpils, where minorities constitute 84% of the population) employed 54.5% of minorities among its staff[12]. Although far fewer data were available regarding the composition of the student body, study results suggest that minorities also tend to be under-represented among the students of state-funded university education establishments: generally around 14%, although in one university (Vidzeme University College) minorities constituted only 1.6%, while in only one surveyed state university (Latvian Maritime Academy) the share of minorities within the student body is 40,0%, thus approaching minorities’ share of the country’s overall population[13].

 

As the state-funded establishments apparently do not ensure adequate opportunities for minority university-level education, many minority members turned to private universities. Accordingly, the share of minorities within the staff of six surveyed private universities is around 45%, although in one university (Riga Teacher Training and Education Management Academy) minorities’ share is only 8.5%, while at another (Institute of Transportation and Communications) it reaches 91%[14]. The study’s data on private universities’ student body was insufficient, because out of six surveyed only two universities provided information on ethnic break-up of their student bodies: 84 and 83.7% were minority representatives. Unlike other private universities surveyed, these two universities provided instruction only in Russian; therefore these data cannot characterise the situation in the private universities in general.

 

Table: Minority representation within the staff and the student body of universities













































































































































































Status


Title


Minorities within staff (%)


Minorities within the student body (%)


State


J.Vitols Latvian Academy of Music


11.4


6.7


Latvian Maritime Academy


21.0


40.0


Latvian Academy of Art


4.0


NA


Latvian Police Academy


NA


14.0


Latvian Academy of Sports Education


23.5


NA


Liepaja Academy of Pedagogy


11.9


NA


Riga School of Economics


0.0


NA


Riga Technical University


30


NA


Vidzeme University College


0.0


1.6


Latvian University of Agriculture


14.9


8.0


Latvian Academy of Culture


17.0


NA


Latvian Academy of Medicine


16.2


NA


Daugavpils Pedagogical University


54.5


NA


Private


Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Christian Academy


13.0


NA


Riga Institute of Aeronautics


85.0


84.0


Riga Teacher Training and Education Management Academy


8.5


NA


Institute of Transportation and Communications


91.0


83.7


RIMPAK Livonija


49.0


NA


School of Banking


25.0


NA


Data source: Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, p.36.


 

5. Financial support for minority private educational establishments

 

Legal



 

The Education Law (1998) allows for public funding to be provided to private schools. However, the same law prescribes discrimination against private minority schools: Section 59 para. 2 stipulates that the “State and municipalities may participate in financing of private education institutions if these institutions implement state accredited education programs in the state language.” Thus, private schools where minority language is used as a medium of instruction are banned from receiving public funding. This provision obviously contradicts to the UN Human Rights Committee’s views in the case Arieh Hollis Waldman v. Canada[15].

 

Implementation / factual



 

No private minority school has yet publicly challenged this provision in the court.

 

6. Effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities in cultural, social and economic life and in public affairs.

 

Legal



 

Latvian legislation does not provide instruments ensuring minorities’ effective participation in cultural, social and economic life and in public affairs. In the meantime, Latvian legislation impedes minorities’ participation by reserving certain political and social-economic rights to citizens only. Certain provisions of Latvian language legislation also impede minorities’ participation by banning the usage of minority languages in communication between individuals and the state/municipal institutions, imposing language proficiency requirements in public and private employment and restricting the usage of minority languages in public TV and radio broadcasts.

 

Implementation



 

The main governmental initiative, aimed at building inclusive society is the Society Integration Programme. The programme covers a broad range of issues, including dialogue between an individual and the State, encouragement of naturalisation, development of the NGO sector and NGO involvement in decision-making, assistance to ethnic Latvians willing to repatriate and to ethnic minorities wishing to emigrate, measures to promote employment, reduce poverty, facilitate regional integration, transition to bilingual education for minorities, measures to strengthen Latvian language and communication, development of culture and intercultural dialogue, improvement of information sphere. However, the programme does include minority rights and anti-discrimination issues and does address the problem of minorities’ participation in cultural, social and economic life and in public affairs, including those affecting them.

 

Factual



 

Social and economic life



 

Generally, minorities are actively participating in the social economic life and are well represented in the private sector of economy. However, a recent study on ethnic representation in Latvia hints at segregation tendencies in the private sector: out of 17 surveyed large private companies 5 employed either no or very few (2-3%) minority employees, and 9 companies had no minorities within their top (5-7 persons) management[16].

 

In the meantime, minorities in Latvia are continuously exposed to greater unemployment than ethnic Latvians.

 

Official unemployment data suggests that ethnic Latvians are slightly less and minorities slightly more affected by unemployment. For example, in 2000 ethnic Latvians constituted 57.7% within the total population and 49.8% within the body of unemployed registered with the State Employment Service, while ethnic Russians - 29.6 and 35.9% accordingly, ethnic Belarussians – 4.1 and 5.1%, ethnic Ukraininas - 2.7 and 2.9%, ethnic Poles – 2.5 and 3%. 

 

However, the real picture might differ significantly, because the official figures represent only those individuals, who approached the State Employment Service and have been officially registered as unemployed. Those de-facto unemployed, who either failed to approach the Service, or were denied the registration, do not appear in the official figures. In 1997 the knowledge of Latvian was a necessary condition for a jobless person to be officially registered as unemployed. Such measure not only distorted official unemployment figures of the time, but probably also left psychological effect on some minority unemployed, discouraging them from approaching the Employment Service ever since. Besides, the State Employment Service does not provide vocation training for unemployed in Russian, nor does it ensure Latvian language training for non-native speakers.

 

Survey data suggest even higher rates of minority unemployment. In 1996, 26% of surveyed non-Latvians claimed to be unemployed, comparing to 14% of ethnic Latvians[17]. A research conducted in 1999 showed unemployment level among ethnic Russians (18%) and other minorities (17%) to be much higher than among ethnic Latvians (10 %), while among the working age population, 14% of ethnic Russians, 12% of other minorities and 7% of ethnic Latvians were unemployed.[18]

 

The Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies presented the study on the situation of Roma in Latvia on August 14, 2003. The study concludes that racism and discrimination against Roma are widespread in Latvian society. The study also reveals dramatic data – up to 60% of Latvian Roma education level is 4 classes or lower and only up to 5% of Roma are officially employed[19]. A draft bill proposed in October 2002 envisioned a reduced tax for enterprises which employ persons belonging to Roma minority: the tax exemption would correspond to the proportion of employed Roma. The bill was rejected.


While citizenship legislation axes off half of Latvia’s minority population from opportunity to compete for governmental jobs, weak Latvian language skills is another factor limiting job opportunities of many non-Latvians. According to a 2000 survey, among those individuals, whose mother tongue was not Latvian, 38% of non-citizens and 22% of citizens could not work in a job requiring Latvian language knowledge[20]. However, the state does not provide adult minority population with adequate opportunities to learn the state language.

 

Table: Individuals registered at the State Employment Service (1995-2000)

 































































































































































































Ethnic origin


Per cent distribution


Pop. 2000,

per cent


1995


1996


1997


1998


1999


2000


Latvians


47.3


49.4


53.7


49.6


49.0


49.8


57.7


Russians


38.6


36.7


33.5


36.5


36.7


35.9


29.6


Belarussians


5.3


5.4


4.8


4.9


5.0


5.1


4.1


Ukrainians


2.8


2.7


2.5


3.0


3.0


2.9


2.7


Poles


3.0


2.9


2.8


2.9


3.0


3.0


2.5


Lithuanians


1.5


1.5


1.4


1.5


1.5


1.5


1.4


Jews


0.2


0.2


0.1


0.2


0.2


0.2


0.4


Others


1.3


1.2


1.2


1.4


1.6


1.6


1.6


Total


100


100


100


100


100


100


100


Source: Statistical Yearbook of Latvia, 2001. Riga, 2002




Public affairs



 

Lack of citizenship and, to a certain extent – language requirements, lead to a significant under-representation of minorities in public affairs, including composition of the Parliament and the municipal (local) councils, state institutions, courts and municipal (local) administration. For the most part, opinions of minorities are being ignored in the process of policy making and implementation, especially in affairs directly affecting minorities. For example, – a number of schools with Russian language of instruction has been closed down by local authorities despite the schools’ apparent viability (sufficient number of pupils and qualified staff). Also, Latvia’s Education Law (1998) foresees elimination of state-funded minority secondary and vocational education. The Law was adopted despite minorities’ protests and is being carried out despite clear opposition of minorities’ organisations and despite the fact that most of the pupils, their parents and teachers of minority schools oppose the move[21].

 

Parliament



 

Only 17 MPs out of 100 are ethnic non-Latvians (14 Russians, 1 Pole, 1 Jew, 1 Karelian). 4 MPs do not determine their ethnic origin in documents.  20 out of 21 MP, who consider themselves as belonging to national minorities or do not determine their ethnic origin, represented only one party at the parliamentary elections in 2002 – the coalition “For Human Rights in United Latvia”, which explicitly claims to represent the interests of minorities. The first ethnic Russian cabinet member since 1993 was appointed in 2000, a member of the nationalist-conservative alliance “For Fatherland and Freedom”.

 

Ministries



 

Minorities are significantly underrepresented within state institutions. According to the New Baltic Barometer of 1996, 31% of employed Latvians work in the “non-market” sector (i.e. state and municipal bureaucracy, military, state health sector, education etc.), comparing to only 12% of employed minorities.[22] A research data shows that ethnic Latvians constitute 92% of the staff of Latvia’s ministries[23]. In the contrast, all other ethnic groups are significantly under-represented within Latvia’s ministries: the share of all six largest minority groups within the ministries’ staff is several times smaller than their share both within the total population and within the citizenry. Only in one ministry – the Ministry of Interior, the share of minorities among the staff (28.3%[24]) is close to minorities’ share within the citizenry, though still falling far below their share within the total population.

 

Table: Representation in Latvia’s ministries, 2001.

 















































































































Ethnic origin


Per cent distribution


Population (%)


Citizenry (%)


Ministries (%)


Latvians


58.8


76.3


92.10


Russians


28.8


17.4


5.70


Belarussians


4.0


1.3


0.30


Ukrainians


2.5


0.4


0.17


Poles


2.5


2.2


0.65


Lithuanians


1.4


0.9


0.23


Jews


0.4


0.3


0.10


Others


1.4


0.9


0.60


Total


99.8


99.7


99.85


Source: Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, pp. 13, 25.

 

Courts, police and prisons


 

Minorities are also continuously underrepresented in courts. In early 1994, out of 152 judges in Latvia, 142 were ethnic Latvians, nine were ethnic Russian and one was Polish.[25] Only one non-Latvian was approved to the position of judge by the Parliament in 1999 (48 judges were approved in total), and only ethnic Latvians are among the members of Latvia’s highest judicial body, the Supreme Court (“Augstākā Tiesa”), and of the Constitutional Court (“Satversmes Tiesa”) [26]. In 2001, of 307 judges working in 35 surveyed courts, only 23 (or 7.49%) were of minority origin (18 Russians, 3 Polish and 2 Belarussian)[27].

 

At the same time, minorities are fairly well represented in the State Police (34.2% of employees[28]) and even over-represented in the Prison Administration (63.1% of employees[29]).

 

Table: Representation in courts, the State Police and the Prison Administration, 2001.

 



























































































































Ethnic origin


Per cent distribution


Population (%)


Citizenry (%)


Surveyed courts (%)


Police (%)


Prison Adm. (%)


Latvians


58.8


76.3


92.51


65.8


36.9


Russians


28.8


17.4


5.86


25.0


45.9


Belarussians


4.0


1.3


0.65


3.0


5.5


Ukrainians


2.5


0.4


0


2.1


4.2


Poles


2.5


2.2


0.98


2.0


5.0


Others


3.2


2.1


0


1.8


2.1


Total


99.8


99.7


100


99.7


99.6
Source: Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, pp. 13, 26, 28, 30.  

 

Municipalities (councils, administration)

 

Minorities are under-represented in the local government bodies – both in self-government councils and in administration. According to a recent research[30], in rural districts minorities constitute 6% of the councils’ members and 12% of the administration staff, while in cities minorities constitute 12% of the councils members and 11% of the administration staff. Thus, the research found that in most cases, minority representation within the councils and administration is smaller than their share within population, or does not exist at all[31].

 

 

Table: Representation in municipal bodies (surveyed municipalities)

 





























































































































































Ethnic origin


Absolute numbers


Per cent distribution


Residents


Municipal council members


Municipal employees


Residents


Municipal council members


Municipal employees


Latvians


935288


575


1594


65.12


91.41


89.5


Russians


336587


39


122


23.44


6.20


6.85


Belarussians


53016


1


16


3.69


0.16


0.90


Ukrainians


27106


1


12


1.89


0.16


0.67


Poles


40881


10


25


2.85


1.59


1.40


Lithuanians


22617


2


7


1.57


0.32


0.39


Others


20640


1


5


1.44


0.16


0.29


Total


1436135


629


1781


100


100


100
Sources: Data on residents of surveyed municipalities: Statistical Yearbook of Latvia, 2001. Riga, 2002. Data on council members and employees: Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, p. 53

 

Article 27

In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.

1. The right to use minority language.

 

Legal



 

The Latvian language is the sole state language in the country. Language legislation consolidates the role of Latvian and limits the usage of other languages in education, electronic mass media, state service, and in communications with public administrative bodies. In October 1998 the Saeima (Parliament) included the provision that “the state language of the Republic of Latvia is the Latvian language” into the Constitution of Latvia (Article 4). In April 2002 the Constitution was supplemented by a few provisions aimed at strengthening status of the Latvian language. Article 18 provides that every MP is obliged to swear or to give a promise “to be loyal towards Latvia, strengthen its sovereignty and the Latvian language as the sole state language”; Article 21 provides that the sole working language at the Saeima is Latvian; Article 101 provides that the working language of local governments is Latvian. Article 104 (provides the right to address submissions to State or local government institutions and to receive an answer to the point of fact) was supplemented with the provision that "everybody has the right to receive answer in Latvian".

 

The first Law on Languages was adopted in May 1989. It was amended substantially in March 1992. The present State Language Law (1999) came into force on September 1, 2000. Except for the Liv language (language of Latvia’s autochthonous population consisting of approx. 200 individuals), the law declares all other minority languages as “foreign”. The Law does not make distinctions between areas with different ethnic compositions; its provisions are the same even for areas, where the majority of population are persons belonging to national minorities.

 

The Law recognises the right of minorities to use any language in private (Section 1 para. 4), but limits it: the Law envisages state intervention into the use of languages in the private sphere to a degree determined by a “legitimate public interest”, such as matters affecting public health, public safety and public order, and taking into account the principle of proportionality (Section 2 para. 2). At the same time, the Law does not regulate language usage in “unofficial communication among individuals, internal communication of ethnic and national groups and language usage in religious activities” (Section 2 para. 3).

 

Section 6 of the State Language Law provides that persons employed in the state and municipal bodies, institutions and enterprises must know and use the state language. Persons employed in private organisations and enterprises must know and use the state language, if their activities concern “legitimate public interest” or they execute public functions. The governmental regulations "Requirements on Proficiency Degree in the State Language Required for Performance of Professional and Positional Duties and the Procedure of Language Proficiency Tests" determine the level of state language proficiency necessary for such persons and the procedure of examinations of those individuals, who received their education in a language other than Latvian.

 

The abovementioned regulations envisage 6 categories of the state language proficiency. The "3 B" category (the highest one) is necessary, for example, for heads of the state institutions, lawyers, psychologists, secretaries. It requires ability to "hold a conversation in different styles", to use different "means of linguistic expression".

 

In private sphere an employer determines the necessary level of the state language knowledge for employees in his/her business enterprise. In November 2000 the Cabinet of Ministers adopted amendments to the "Requirements on Proficiency Degree in the State Language Required for Performance of Professional and Positional Duties and the Procedure of Language Proficiency Tests" (2000) - a list specifying the required language proficiency in the private sector connected with a legitimate public interest. According to the adopted list, "3B" category is required for lawyers, barristers, notaries, insurance agents, psychologists, teachers of the Latvian language and literature, journalists working with texts in Latvian.

 

Before 2002 every deputy candidate at parliamentary and municipal elections had to submit a copy of the state language proficiency certificate of the highest level of proficiency, if he/she did not receive school education in the Latvian language. In May 2002 the Saeima cancelled the state language requirements for deputy candidates. The amendments followed the views adopted by the UN HR Committee in the case Ignatane v. Latvia[32] and the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Podkolzina v. Latvia[33]; both institutions found a violation of human rights in the cases. After the law is amended, each deputy candidate will evaluate his/her level of the state language proficiency himself/herself.

 

Section 11 of the State Language Law provides that public events organised by private persons and private organisations can be held in other languages than the state one. The governmental regulations determine exceptions from this general rule. Private persons, enterprises or associations, international institutions, when organising public events, must translate into the state language the information which relates to legitimate public interest, as well as information about the event.

 

Administrative liability for violations of legislative acts concerning use of languages is established in Latvia's legislation since 1992. In June 2001 the Saeima (Parliament) adopted amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations. Some of the amendments concern administrative violations in the field of language use and establish fines for violations of the new State Language Law and Regulations on its implementation, which came into force on September 1, 2001. 12 different types of language violations are mentioned in the Code of Administrative Violations. The fine for them is up to Ls 250 (approx. EUR 400). One of the violations is "the obvious disrespect towards the state language" (fine up to Ls 250).

 

Implementation



 

The main state institution responsible for the state language policy is the State Language Centre. It controls observance of the State Language Law and other legislative acts concerning the language policy.

 

According to the Statute of the State Language Centre, its officials have the right to visit state and municipal institutions, private business enterprises; to require elimination of "language violations"; to summon persons to the Centre if violations of the State Language Law or other acts are discovered; to inspect authenticity of the state language proficiency certificate.

 

Before November 2001 officials of the State Language Centre had the right “to take out and inspect state language proficiency certificates”. This provision was implemented as the right to conduct additional examinations to holders of the state language proficiency certificates. The amendments to the "Requirements on Proficiency Degree in the State Language Required for Performance of Professional and Positional Duties and the Procedure of Language Proficiency Tests” followed the views adopted by the UN HR Committee in the case Ignatane v. Latvia: since November 2001 additional examinations cannot be conducted.

 

2. Opportunities for being taught the minority language or for receiving instruction in this language.

 

Legal



 

Recent changes to Latvia’s education system significantly curtail opportunities for being taught the minority language or for receiving instruction in this language.

 

During the independence movement in the late 80s and the early 90s, as well as in the early years of independence Latvia has developed a system of state-funded minority language education: most of the state-funded schools with Russian language of instruction were preserved, while support has been given to the creation of schools or classes for seven other minorities (e.g. Polish, Ukrainian, Estonian, Jewish, Roma, Lithuanian, Belorussian).

 

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia amended the Education Law on August 12 (according to Article 81 of the Constitution, the government is entitled to amend the law in cases of urgent necessity between parliamentary sessions; such amendments are to be accepted by the Saeima (Parliament) later). The law (para. 9 sub-para. 3 of the Transitional Provisions) stipulated earlier that from September 1, 2004 all state-supported secondary education must be in the state language only. Now it is written that from September 1, 2004 all state-supported secondary education must be in the state language in accordance with the standards of the state secondary education. After the standards were amended in May 2003, it has been stipulated that after the end of the transition period (2004-2006), not less than 5 subjects in minority secondary schools (besides the Latvian language and literature) are to be taught in Latvian. Another provision stipulates that up to 40% of the curricula could be taught in minority languages, therefore, not less than 60% is to be taught in Latvian. The school can determine the subjects to be taught in Latvian itself. Since the year 2007 all the state examinations and tests are to be passed in Latvian.

 

The Education Law (1998) requires local governments to assume responsibility for pre-school, primary and secondary education, but does not require local governments to establish and/or maintain minority schools/classes if minority parents so request. Moreover, about a half of persons belonging to minorities do not have voting rights in local elections, and therefore do not have any influence over decisions taken by local governments, including the decisions concerning education of minority children.

 

The Education Law stipulates that orphans shall receive education in the state language (Section 56 para. 2). In practice this means that orphaned children whose education began in a different language must also be transferred to a Latvian-language school, regardless of grade or age.

 

Implementation / factual

 



The envisioned switch to Latvian as the main language of instruction in minority secondary and vocational education and the transformation of primary schools into bilingual schools has been put forward ostensibly in order to “level the playing field” for minority pupils. However, this move is continuously opposed by representatives of minority organisations as well as criticised by minority parents for putting minority children at an educational disadvantage[34]. According to survey data “Our Values”, 75% of minority parents wish their children to receive education in their mother tongue.[35] The latest research on the problem revealed that while many support the envisioned move, most of the minority schools’ teachers, pupils and their parents oppose the elimination of minority secondary education[36]. 106,157 signatures to support providing secondary education in minority languages were collected in less than 5 months and presented on September 2, 2003.

 

Language is an important identity factor for the Russian linguistic minority youth: according to a research, 77% of respondents consider language as the basis for identity, ahead of ethnic origin (54%)[37]. It is feared elimination of Russian minority education will seriously endanger minority’s identity[38]. Traditionally, Latvian-language stream of education[39] emphasises Latvian folk culture, traditions and history. Inclusion of “minority cultural component” into Latvian-language curricula is unlikely to offset this tendency. The research data shows that while all respondents agree the greatest benefit of the envisioned move will be that students will learn Latvian, most of minority schools’ principals, teachers and pupils’ parents believe the elimination of minority education will have negative effect on minority pupils’ ability to learn the content of certain subject matter and their psychological feelings[40]. Principals and teachers also stated that proficiency in native language will suffer as a result[41].

 

The research data[42] also points out at serious practical failures by the Ministry of Education and Science in preparing for the switch to Latvian as the main language of instruction in minority secondary education, i.e. – in preparation of teachers, study manuals, teaching techniques etc. With just two years left before the deadline of 2004 approaches, only 16% of minority schools are “fairly well prepared” to switch from minority language to Latvian[43]. Estimated level of readiness of minority schools’ pupils is rather low: only 10% of the schools’ principals, 6% of teachers, 15% of pupils and 25% of their parents stated that the pupils are “definitely will be able to” study in Latvian in secondary school[44].

 

Partly because of demographic changes (emigration, a falling birth rate) and parental choices (some minority parents send their children to Latvian language schools), the Latvian authorities have closed a number of Russian-language schools. In several cases, these decisions were made despite the apparent viability of these schools – i.e. sufficient number of students and qualified staff. The closure of two Russian language schools in Riga (No. 26 in July 1994 and No. 9 in July 1996) affected 1,633 students and 128 teachers. School No. 26 was closed in July 1994 despite mass protests and hunger strikes by teachers, a petition signed by 2,300 individuals and a letter signed by 450 parents. The closure of school No. 3 in Talsi in June 1996 affected 100 pupils and 15 teachers. Another recent closure was in Jekabpils, where the City Council decided in 1999 to merge a Russian secondary school with another situated at the far end of the city. In April 2001, the primary school in Jelgava was transferred into a former kindergarten building, vacating the original building for Latvian language classes. The move took place despite vociferous protests lodged by parents of the school’s pupils; the Jelgava section of the Russian Society; LAShOR (Latvian Association for the Support of Schools with Russian Language of Instruction); the parents of pupils at Valmiera 2nd (Russian) school; the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church; the Embassy of the Russian Federation; Novaja Gazeta (a local Russian language newspaper), some political organisations. Responding to a protest letter from parents, the head of the Parliamentary Commission on Education and Culture Dzintars Abikis said the move was “legally correct” and their appeal to international human rights organisations is “naive and worthless.” Russian-language secondary schools in Jelgava had already been downgraded from secondary to primary school status in 1995.

 

In 2002, 8 children were denied an opportunity to study in Russian in Kalnciems school. Their parents timely applied for a 1st year class with the Russian language of instruction to be opened. In the meantime, parents of other 11 children applied for a 1st year class with the Latvian language of instruction to be opened. According to the Order No.313 of the Ministry of Education and Science, the minimum number of pupils in a class should be 12, although in special circumstances and upon a written request of a school’s authorities a class with a lesser number of pupils can be opened. Responding to this provision, parents of the 8 children collected 300 signatures in support of their demand. The school’s authorities and the local government ignored the demand of the minority parents and opened only a 1st year class with the Latvian language of instruction[45].

 

The controversy and protests evoked by such actions suggest the need to set firm standards requiring local governments to open/maintain minority schools/classes if there is sufficient minority demand.

 

Factual



 

Table: Number of schools and pupils by language of instruction

(Including daytime and evening (shift) schools)

 





















































































































































































































































































Academic year


Schools by language of instruction


Total No of scho-ols


Pupils by language of instruction**


Total No of pupils**


% study in Lat-vian


Lat-

vian


Rus-sian


Mixed*


Oth-er


Latvian


Rus-sian


Other


1991/1992


585


219


178


4


986


183266


154736


208


338210


54.19


1992/1993


623


223


179


4


1029


181875


146457


328


328660


55.34


1993/1994


652


216


175


5


2015


191517


143904


461


335882


57.02


1994/1995


679


209


176


7


1071


199146


138002


727


337875


58.94


1995/1996


699


207


182


6


1094


209947


136740


854


347541


60.41


1996/1997


719


205


182


6


1112


219684


133882


908


354474


61.97


1997/1998


728


200


176


6


1110


228059


130912


1043


360014


63.35


1998/1999


738


196


171


6


1111


234476


126073


1173


361722


64.87


1999/2000


737


190


160


7


1095


239163


120925


1344


361432


66.17


2000/2001


734


179


154


7


1074


242475


116009


1334


359818


67.39


*Mixed schools include two separate streams of education: Latvian and Russian.

**Data on pupils in evening (shift) schools in 1991/1992 and 1992/1993 were not included.

 

Table: Pupils in schools with language of instruction other than Latvian or Russian, 2001/2002 academic year*













































































 


Riga


Daugavpils


Jekabpils r.d.**


Kraslava r.d.


Total:


Polish


371


430


97


80


978


Ukrainian


306


0


0


0


306


Belarusian


68


0


0


0


68


Total:


745


430


97


80


1352


 

*According to the Ministry of Education and Science, schools and classes of other minorities (Estonian, Jewish, Lithuanian, Roma) use predominantly Latvian or Russian as a language of instruction. Accordingly, data on pupils of such schools and classes is included into data on schools and classes with Latvian or Russian language of instruction.

**r.d. = rural district


 

3. The right to manifest religion or belief

 

Legal



 

The Constitution of Latvia (Article 99) and the Law on Religious Organisations (1995) declare separation of the Church from the state and recognise the right to free manifestation of religion as well as the right to establish religious institutions, organisations and associations. The Law on Religious Organisations stipulates that only one Church can be registered by each confession.

 

None of the existing religions is official in Latvia. However, the Lutheran and Catholic religious holidays (Christmas and Easter) are celebrated as official holidays (the Law on Holidays, Commemoration Days and Celebratory Days (1990), Section 1 para. 1). Section 1 para. 2 provides that Orthodox, Old believers and believers belonging to other confessions celebrate Christmas and Easter on the days established by the corresponding confession. However, employer does not pay for such holidays.

 

The State Language Law does not restrict using of languages other than state (Latvian) in religious ritual (Section 2 para. 3), though states that everyone has a right to file applications and communicate in the state language at religious organisations (Section 3 para. 2).

 

Implementation



 

Although there is no valid official statistics of how many people belong to the confessions and available data are very approximate, the correlation between one’s ethnic origin and belief in Latvia is strong. Overwhelmingly those of Latvian ethnic origin are either Lutheran or Catholic. According to unofficial statistics, there are more than 280,000 Orthodox believers in Latvia, and this Church is the third prevalent in the country. Still, the Cabinet of Ministers disclaimed proclamation of the Orthodox Christmas an official holiday in Latvia, arguing that "the Orthodox religion is not an official religion and so there is no reason to make an exception for it".

 

Factual

 

In 1997 Mr Eglitis, director of Balozi primary school was fired for granting a day off to the Russian stream of the school to celebrate the Russian Orthodox Christmas. Director had given this day off upon the requests of the pupils, their parents and the teachers. Municipality had warned Mr Eglitis for granting these holidays. After Mr Eglitis disagreed with the warning and protested against it, the municipality dismissed him.











[1] Feldhune G., Mits M. Implementing European anti-discrimination law: Latvia. Riga, 2001. See at http://www.humanrights.lv/frames_e.htm?menu/hri_e.htm




[2] 2001 CERD report on Latvia registers “[c]oncern […] about reports that there are still unjustified differences of treatment between citizens and non-citizens, mostly members of minorities, in the enjoyment of the rights provided for in article 5 (e) of the Convention [concerning discrimination in employment].”CERD/C/304/ADD.79, 2001, para. 14.




[3] The Commission noted, “Several other elements limit the integration of non-citizens in the economic sphere. Non-citizens continue to be excluded from some professions (lawyers, armed security guards and private detectives) on the grounds of state security.” 2002 Regular Report, p.  34.




[4] Baltic Data House, January 2000




[5] Report on the public survey "On the Way to a Civic Society - 2000", the Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, Riga, 2001




[6] Feldhune G., Mits M. Implementing European anti-discrimination law: Latvia. Riga, 2001. See at http://www.humanrights.lv/frames_e.htm?menu/hri_e.htm




[7] Ibid.




[8] Ibid.




[9] Ibid.




[10] Ibid.




[11] Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, p.36.




[12] Ibid.




[13] Ibid.




[14] Ibid.




[15] Communication No. 694/1996




[16] Pabriks A. Occupational Representation and Ethnic Discrimination in Latvia. Riga, 2002, pp. 40-42.




[17] Rose Richard, New Baltic Barometer III: A Survey Study, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow: 1997, p. 1.




[18] Aasland Aadne, Ethnicity and Poverty in Latvia. Riga: 2000.




[19] The report in Latvian is available at http://www.politika.lv/polit_real/files/lv/ciganu_stav.pdf.




[20] Baltic Social Sciences Institute, Latvian Naturalisation Board, Cela uz pilsonisku sabiedribu, Latvijas iedzivotaju aptauja 2000. gada novembris (“On the Road to a Civil Society, Opinion poll of Latvia’s Inhabitants in November 2000”) Riga, 2001, p.  99.




[21] Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, “Analysis of the implementation of bilingual education”. Riga, 2002, p. 42.




[22] R. Rose, New Baltic Barometer III: A Survey Study, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow: 1997. p.  3.




[23] A. Pabriks, 2002, p. 25.




[24] A. Pabriks, 2002, p. 26.




[25] “Latvijas Vēstnesis” (“The Latvian Herald”), 29 January 1994




[26] Open Society Institute, EU Accession Monitoring Programme, Monitoring the EU Accession Process: Minority Protection 2001, Budapest.




[27] A. Pabriks, 2002, p. 26.




[28] A. Pabriks, 2002, p. 28.




[29] A. Pabriks, 2002, p. 30.




[30] A. Pabriks, 2002, pp. 17-24.




[31] Ibid.




[32] http://www.minelres.lv/un/cases/UNHRC_Ignatane_2001.html




[33]http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/Hudoc1doc2/HFJUD/200208/podkolzina%20-%2046726jv.chb4%2009042002f.doc (in French only)




[34] These concerns were repeatedly expressed at the conferences of parents of minority school’s pupils, organised annually since 2000.




[35] Buhvalov V.A., Pliner J.G. Problems and perspectives of integration into Latvia’s society of national minorities schools’ pupils. Riga, 2000, pp. 42-45




[36] Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, “Analysis of the implementation of bilingual education”. Riga, 2002, p.42.




[37] Volkovs V. Krievvalodigas jaunatnes dzimtas valodas vieta integracijas procesa Latvija (The Place of the Native Language of the Russian-speaking Youth in the Integration Process in Latvia), paper presented at the international conference “Ethnopolitics on the Road to Civil Society”, October 15-16, 1998, Riga.




[38] Concerns expressed at the conferences of parents of minority school’s pupils.




[39] Schools and classes where Latvian language is used as a medium of instruction.




[40] Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, “Analysis of the implementation of bilingual education”. Riga, 2002, p.56.




[41] Ibid, p.56




[42] Baltic Institute of Social Sciences, “Analysis of the implementation of bilingual education”. Riga, 2002




[43] Ibid, p.46.




[44] Ibid, p.43.




[45] Newspaper Chas, September 4, 2002.

See: http://www.chas-daily.com/win/2002/09/04/g_013.html

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