HCNM statement on draft amendments to Latvian citizenship law, 1998

“I welcome the decision of the Government of Latvia to support my recommendation regarding the complete abolition of the so-called “window” system for naturalization.

“I equally welcome the decision of the Government to support my recommendation to grant Latvian citizenship without having to pass tests to all children born in Latvia since August 21, 1991, whose parents are stateless and have legally resided in Latvia for no less than five years, provided that the parents apply for such naturalization.

“If the Saeima approves the changes in the Citizenship Law, which will be needed to implement these recommendations, a very important step towards the solution of the naturalization problem in Latvia will have been taken. I express the hope that stateless persons who would benefit from such changes in the Law will react positively by applying for naturalization. A further expansion of Latvian language training and a simplification of the history test could also help considerably to increase the number of applications for citizenship of Latvia.

“I have noted with satisfaction that the Government of Latvia recognizes the need to ensure that the new Language law and the amendments of the Labour Code will have to be compatible with international norms.

“Finally, I want to underline the great importance I attach to the decision of the Government to develop an integration policy. I hope that a fruitful dialogue will develop within Latvia on the content of such a policy. Thus, a firm basis can be laid for inter-ethnic harmony in Latvia.”

Document data: 17.04.1998 Link: https://www.osce.org/hcnm/52688

Tagged: Tags