On 10 October, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the periodic State report of the Republic of Latvia on the implementation of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (the Convention) in Latvia from 2008 to 2016 (the Report) and its annex.
The Report provides information on the work carried out by Latvia in combating discrimination, promotion of social inclusion and tolerance, on public awareness and educational measures concerning tolerance, cultural diversity and prohibition of discrimination. The Report outlines the existing legal and regulatory framework which prohibits differential treatment and amendments to the Criminal Law as regards the fight against hate crime.
The Report describes the steps taken to ensure equal access to the court and other public authorities, on the naturalisation process, possibilities for learning the official language, the course and results of the implementation of the educational reform, on the minority education and accessible legal remedies for a breach of the prohibition of discrimination.
The periodic Report was drawn up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Following the approval of the Report by the Cabinet, it will be translated into English and then submitted to the UN Secretary General for consideration at the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (the Committee).
To provide the UN with comprehensive information on the implementation of the Convention in Latvia and ensure the participation of civil society, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on civil society organisations to submit, directly to the secretariat of the Committee, their opinions on the findings of the Report and on the situation in Latvia in the field of elimination of racial discrimination. Detailed information on the involvement of civil society actors is presented in a guidebook published on the UN website.