Advance questions and statement to Latvia

Advance questions:

  1. Norway is concerned about the potential negative effects of the Morality law adopted last summer with regards to the tolerance of LGBT persons. The guidelines for implementing the law are still being worked out. What steps are Latvia taking to ensure that the law does not promote intolerance against LGBT persons?
  2. What steps are Latvia taking towards ending the practice of holding remanded prisoners in custody detention facilities instead of prison facilities, in line with Rule 10.2 of the European Prison Rules?
  3. Norway is concerned about the conditions for arriving refugees and negative statements and attitudes towards refugees to Latvia. What steps will Latvia take to discourage hate speech directed against refugees and promote integration of refugees into society?
  4. Latvia has a relatively large number of cases from the European Court of Human Rights waiting to be implemented. How does Latvia plan to implement these judgements in order to fulfill their obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights?


Norway welcomes the delegation from Latvia. Norway recognizes the significant progress Latvia has made since the previous review. 

We welcome the expansion of rights concerning trafficking victims, and congratulate Latvia with the A status accreditation of the Ombudsman’s office.

Norway welcomes Latvia’s efforts to reduce prisoner population and improve physical conditions. We recommend implementing the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment’s recommendation on offering at least 4 m2 per prisoner in multi-occupancy cells.

Steps taken to improve the availability and quality of Russian language media are positive, as are the steps to increase the rate of naturalization of non-citizens by amending the 2013 law on citizenship. Norway recommends targeted outreach activities to ensure that interested “non-citizens” are informed and encouraged to apply for naturalization, and that Latvia provide free state language training when necessary.

Norway is concerned about the high percentage of Roma Children in special education schools. We recommend further analysis of this in light of the principles of the Council of Europe and the jurisprudence of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In 2014, Parliament amended the criminal law with regards to hate speech. Regrettably, hate speech against LGBT persons was not included. Norway recommends raising public awareness of hate speech against LGBT and steps to increase reporting of hate crimes against LGBT persons.