Concluding observations on Latvia (excerpt on other language issues) CERD, 2018

16.While taking note of the State party’s statement dealing with the historical circumstances leading to the Constitutional protection of the Latvian language, the Committee is concerned at the reports that the current language policies discriminate against ethnic minorities in the fields of education and employment, public and political life and access to services. In particular, the Committee is concerned that:


(c)Requirements as regards knowledge of the Latvian language have reportedly affected the ability of minorities to (..) access basic services.

17. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that its language policy and laws do not create direct or indirect discrimination or restrict the rights of ethnic minorities to access education, employment and basic services, and:

(d) Ensure that ethnic minorities have access to services.

18. (..) The Committee, while taking note of the information provided by the State party, is concerned that the amendments to the Civil Procedure Law require that litigants assume the cost of interpretation in court, with certain exceptions, and, therefore, that they may restrict access to justice by ethnic minorities when in financial need (art. 5).

19. Recalling its general recommendation No. 31 (2005) on the prevention of racial discrimination in the administration and functioning of the criminal justice system, the Committee recommends that the State party:


(d) Reconsider amendments to the Civil Procedure Law that entered into force on 31 July 2016 so as to ensure easy access to civil justice for Latvian ethnic minorities.

Document data: adopted 23.08.2018, public 30.08.2018. CERD/C/LVA/CO/6-12 Link: (also in Russian)

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