HCNM statement to the 1188th Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council (excerpt on education language), 2018

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I have taken note of recent changes to the education policy in Latvia and the messages I received from a number of representatives of civil society and national minorities, who referred to a strong response by the law enforcement authorities to their expression of concern about the contents and pace of the education reform. I have engaged in a dialogue with the Latvian authorities about the new education law, but have not been able to visit the country yet. Generally, in recent years, my institution has promoted Latvia’s approach to education policy among other OSCE participating States, presenting the country’s experience and models of multilingual education as an effective tool for the successful integration of diverse societies. This is now changing, and we intend to continue monitoring the impact of these changes on the society. In my communications with the Latvian authorities, including at the highest level, I have always emphasized the importance of ensuring that the role of schools in preserving minority identities is not undermined, and that the implementation of the education policy is indeed done in an inclusive and gradual manner, based on thorough consultations with all groups concerned, including minorities, educators and parents.

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Document data: 07.06.2018 Link: https://www.osce.org/permanent-council/384168?download=true

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