Letter to Latvia on kindergartens, August 2019

Excellency,

I would like to refer to your communication received on 8 July 2019 in response to the Committee’s letter of 10 May 2019 adopted under its early warning and urgent action procedure, in accordance with article 9 (1) of the Convention and article 65 of its Rules of Procedure, regarding the new regulation on pre-school education (No. 716) and minority rights, in Latvia.

In its letter, the Committee raised concerns that the above-mentioned law may be discriminatory towards ethnic minorities in the field of education, as also noted in para 17 of the Committees concluding observations adopted in August 2018 (CERD/C/LVA/CO/6-12).

In paragraph 17 of its concluding observations, the Committee recommended that the State party: (a) 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 (b) ensure that there are no undue restrictions on access to education in minority languages and reconsider the necessity of amendments to the Law on Education that create further restrictions on the number of lessons of minority language in public and private schools.

The Committee welcomes the information provided by the State party on the reform of the education system, the content of the new regulation on preschool education and education models. However, the Committee remains concerned about the discriminatory impact that the above-mentioned legislation may have on ethnic minorities in the field of education (No. 716).

The Committee requests the State party to include information on this matter in the thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports of the State party due to be submitted by 14 May 2021, in accordance to article 9 of the Convention.

Allow me, Excellency, to reiterate the wish of the Committee to continue to
engage in a constructive dialogue with the Government of Latvia, with a view to ensuring the effective implementation of the Convention.

Yours sincerely,

Noureddine Amir

Chair


Document data: 29.08.2019 CERD/EWUAP/99th session/Latvia/JP/ks The letter has been sent to the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations Office in Geneva Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/LVA/INT_CERD_ALE_LVA_8975_E.pdf

Publisher’s notes: the government had dragged time until the end of the indicated term for the response, July 8.

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