CEACR Direct Request to Latvia under ILO Convention No. 111 (excerpt), 2017

Article 2. Equality of opportunity and treatment of women and men. (..) Further, the Committee asks the Government to report (..) and on the participation of Roma, as well as other minority women, in education, training and employment promotion opportunities.

Equality of opportunity and treatment irrespective of race, colour, national extraction or social origin. Roma. The Committee notes that the Plan for Implementation on National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy Guidelines 2012–18 (Action Plan of the Guidelines) aims to integrate into society persons at risk of social exclusion and to implement support measures for Roma integration, including to increase their levels of education and employment. It notes that activities to implement the Action Plan of the Guidelines have included awareness-raising campaigns to promote tolerance, and training seminars for civil servants and local government staff and employers, on tolerance and social exclusion, the management of diversity and intercultural competences. It also notes from the Conclusions of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) on the Implementation of the Recommendations in Respect of Latvia (CRI (2015)5) that, outside the Action Plan, the authorities provided a large number of free Latvian language courses through the National Employment Agency. It notes that, at the time of reporting, a new action plan for 2016–18 was under elaboration based on the study “Roma in Latvia” conducted in 2015. The Government reports that the results of the study showed both improvements in the Roma situation in fundamental areas, pointed to obstacles and challenges, and revealed that, despite the progress of Roma in the labour market (32.4 per cent of Roma perceive themselves as economically active, as opposed to 10 per cent in 2003), Roma continue to be discriminated against in the labour market and their employment opportunities are not equal to other groups due to their low educational levels and socio-economic status. The number of employed Roma persons is three times lower than the average in the country. On the positive side, attendance by Roma children at basic school has increased, but is still considered to be too low. The Committee also notes the concern expressed by the ECRI over the continuation of Roma segregated schools, despite the recommendation of the Ombudsman in 2013 to teach the language or culture of Roma or other national/ethnic minorities in addition to the general school curriculum and not to use this as a reason for segregating Roma into separate classes. It further notes from the summary report of the recent Latvian Roma Platform meeting held on 29 May 2017 the recommendation that greater efforts should be made to address education, employment, employability and entrepreneurship among the Roma population. The Committee asks the Government to report on the implementation of the Action Plan of the Guidelines for the period up to 2018, including any measures adopted and activities undertaken and the results achieved in relation to the levels of educational attainment of Roma children, the participation of Roma in vocational training and other skills development programmes, and their levels of employment. Taking into account the findings of the study “Roma in Latvia”, the Committee trusts that the Government will be in a position to undertake action directed at reducing discrimination against Roma men and women in access to training and jobs and to promote equal access to more and better employment opportunities. The Committee asks the Government to continue providing statistics on the Roma population.

Enforcement. The Committee notes that access to the Ombudsperson has been improved with the website now providing information in Latvian, Russian and English. (..)

Document data: adopted in 2017, published in 2018. Link: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3340492

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