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"ensure the continued availability of teaching and learning in languages of national minorities throughout the country with a view to meeting existing demand" - Council of Europe/FCNM AC, ACFC/OP/III(2018)001REV, executive summary
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Latvian Human Rights Committee (LHRC) news: second half of 2020
More than 40 applications have been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about the restriction of the right to learn in the native language in kindergartens. This campaign was co-ordinated by the co-chairman of the LHRC, Vladimir Buzayev. ECHR has referred the case on discriminatory calculation of pensions of the numerous stateless people, “Savickis and Others v. Latvia” to its Grand Chamber.
Among the most notable cases, won with the help of members of the committee, is the case on granting a pension to a US citizen (Supreme Court) and on the counting of votes in two polling stations in the elections to the Riga City Council (Administrative Court). There are also victories in several civil cases.
LHRC has submitted communications to: the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, on freedom of expression and on the right to education, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and Representative on Freedom of the Media, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The activities of the committee have been reflected and the articles of its members have been published on the portals DELFI, Baltnews, Sputnik, Russkiymir.ru, BB.lv, Verfassungsblog.de, radio “Baltkom”, in newspapers “MK-Latviya” and “Segodnya”.
The main human rights-related bills pending before the Parliament at the end of 2020 are:
Draft Law on Local Referendums, not providing for voting rights for the numerous stateless and foreigners (No. 162/Lp13). Adopted in the first reading.
Draft Residential Tenancy Law (No. 144/Lp13). Adopted in the second reading.
Amendments to two laws, introducing a ban on St. George ribbons at public events (Nos. 321/Lp13 and 322/Lp13). Adopted in the second reading.
Amendments to the Pre-Election Campaign Law, introducing a ban on paid campaigning not in the Latvian language (No. 789/Lp13). Adopted in the first reading.