II. Follow-up measures taken and progress achieved by the State party
4. The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption or amendment of the following legislative measures:
(d) The amendment to the Citizenship Law, simplifying the acquisition of citizenship and naturalization procedures for children under 15 years, in May 2013;
III. Main areas of concern and recommendations
B. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
26. The Committee welcomes the amendment to the Criminal Law, on 1 June 2007, on violation of the prohibition of discrimination and the provisions on non-discrimination in the Education Law, the Medical Treatment Law and the Law on the Rights of Patients. The Committee is, however, concerned about continuing discrimination against children with disabilities, children belonging to minorities, including Roma children, and children living in rural areas, with regard to their access to adequate health and education facilities. It is also concerned about the lack of official information on discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and on reported incidents of bullying against those children in schools.
27. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure the application, in practice, of the different laws prohibiting discrimination, including by conducting awareness-raising programmes on the prohibition of discrimination and associated penalties, paying particular attention to children with disabilities and children belonging to minorities, including Roma children; (..)
C. Civil rights and freedoms (arts. 7, 8 and 13-17)
Name and nationality
34. The Committee welcomes the progress made by the State party in decreasing the number of children with the legal status of non-citizens. However, it is concerned about children who are still in this situation and about the fact that the 2013 amendments to the Citizenship Law do not provide for automatically granting citizenship to children born in Latvia to parents with “non-citizen” status or to parents who are unable to transmit their citizenship to the child, but require that one parent formally submit a request for citizenship at the time of the birth registration.
35. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to ensure that all children have access to a nationality, including by reviewing the Citizenship Law to automatically grant citizenship to children born in Latvia who would otherwise be stateless, including children of parents with “non-citizen” status and parents who are unable to transmit their citizenship to their child. The Committee also recommends that the State party consider ratifying the 1997 European Convention on Nationality and the 2009 Council of Europe Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State succession.
IV. Implementation and reporting
A. Follow-up and dissemination
69. The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to ensure that the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations are fully implemented. The Committee also recommends that the third to fifth combined periodic reports, the written replies of the State party to the list of issues and the present concluding observations be made widely available in the languages of the country.
Document data: CRC/C/LVA/CO/3-5, adopted 29.01.2016. Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/LVA/CO/3-5&Lang=En (also available in Russian)