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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 news: second half of 2019
 
 
The Constitutional Court has initiated case 2019-20-03 on the restrictions of language of instruction in kindergartens, based on a complaint prepared by the committee. On the same issue, four UN Special Rapporteurs have expressed their concern and sent an information request to Latvian authorities, after our appeal to them. An array of applications has been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, on the restrictions of language of instruction in schools. Our submission has been reflected in the concluding observations on Latvia by the UN Committee against torture (CAT/C/LVA/CO/6).
 
LHRC members have actively taken part:
- in the congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Taipei;
- at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw;
- at the UN Social Forum and (with a speech) Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva;
- at the OSCE conference on minority participation in Lund;
- at the World thematic conference “Compatriots and intergenerational continuity” in Moscow (with a speech) and the Baltic Compatriot Forum in Leningrad Region;
- at the European Russian Forum in Brussels.
 
The activities of the committee have been reflected and its members have authored articles  in the MK-Latviya, Segodnya and Vesti newspapers, Jurista vārds magazine, at the portals Mixnews, Baltnews, Sputnik, Rubaltic etc.
 
Important Constitutional Court judgments: restrictions for use of minority languages in private schools left in force (case No. 2018-22-01), provisions discriminating against men in serving prison terms get cancelled (case No. 2018-25-01).
 
A human rights-relevant bill adopted in the given period: Law on Ceasing the Assignment of Non-Citizen Status to Children (No. 274/Lp13), relevant for some tens of newborn children every year.
 
Human rights-impacting bills currently on the legislative agenda include:
amendments (Nos. 321/Lp13 and 322/Lp13) to two laws, banning the use of St. George’s ribbons in public event. Sent to the commissions (pre-readings).
the draft Law on Local Referenda (No. 162/Lp13), denying to "non-citizens" participation in those referenda. Adopted in the 1st reading of three.
the draft Residential Tenancy Law (No. 144/Lp13). It intends to narrow the rights of the tenants, inter alia, terminating those tenancy agreements which currently have no term of expiration. Adopted in the 1st reading of three.
the draft law on administrative liability in a selection of spheres including the use of the official language (No. 342/Lp13). Adopted in the 1st reading of three.
amendments (Nos. 407/Lp13 and 408/Lp13) to two laws envisaging creating privileges for kindergarten instruction in the Latvian language. Adopted in the 1st reading of three.
 
The parliament is also considering a collective petition for demolition of the monument to the Liberators of Riga, having refused  a counter-petition having gathered more signatures in less time and calling for protection of monuments to Anti-Nazi fighters.