On May 11-14, the National Report of Latvia on the human rights situation in the country was reviewed and approved in the 38th session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, LETA learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.
During the review, the head of the Latvian delegation, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelss, presented what Latvia has accomplished in the protection of human rights since 2016. Progress with ensuring gender equality, inclusion of minorities and promoting public participation was highlighted in particular.
Latvia’s National Report covers the period from 2016 to 2020. Taking part in the preparation and review of the report was the national delegation of Latvia comprising representatives from line ministries and the Prosecutor General’s Office.
87 United Nations member states took part in the review of Latvia’s National Report evaluating Latvia’s achievements in the protection of human rights and offering recommendations for further progress. The member states commended what has been accomplished in the field of gender equality, societal integration and prevention of discrimination. Special mention was made of the adoption of Latvia’s first National Action Plan on the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Latvia for 2020-2025. The member states also welcomed the adoption in 2019 of the Law on the Discontinuation of Non-Citizen Status for Children stipulating that, as of 1 January 2020, all children born to non-citizen families in Latvia are automatically granted Latvian citizenship.
As part of the dialogue on the periodic review, UN member states offered 258 recommendations to Latvia. They urged Latvia to go ahead with combating domestic violence, violence against women and children, hate crime and all types of discrimination. In addition, the member states underlined the improvements needed to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities including their access to education, and prevention of trafficking in persons. It is essential to continue promoting gender equality and reducing the gender pay gap. The member states recommended that Latvia consider accession to several important international human rights protection instruments, including ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.
In the months just ahead, Latvia is expected to consider all the recommendations received and present its perspectives on them to the UN.
Within the framework of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, human rights records are reviewed in all UN member states. Reviews of the countries take into account viewpoints of their governments, information provided by UN entities, the Special Procedures and non-governmental organisations, as well as recommendations from other countries.
The first national report of Latvia was considered in 2011, the second, in 2016. The 38th session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group took place on May 3-14.