The Committee of Ministers [..]
2. Adopts the following recommendations in respect of Latvia:
In addition to the measures to be taken to implement the detailed recommendations contained in sections I and II of the opinion of the Advisory Committee, the authorities are invited to take the following measures to improve further the implementation of the Framework Convention:
Issues for immediate action
- promote the integration of society as a two-way process, in particular encouraging active participation of all segments of society in all relevant fields, such as education, culture and employment, particularly in the public sector, and enhance intercultural contacts within society as a whole, beyond the promotion of proficiency in Latvian; consider the establishment of a dedicated structure whose functions would include co-ordination of social cohesion policies in all relevant sectors;
- strongly encourage effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities including ethnic Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Polish, Lithuanians, Jews, Roma and others, in cultural, social and economic life and in public affairs, in particular those affecting them, in accordance with Article 15 of the Framework Convention;
- review whether language proficiency standards regulating access to public employment are necessary and proportionate for all occupations in state and public service; make sure that language proficiency standards regulating access to elected positions and those within civil society organisations do not create undue obstacles;
- ensure the continued availability of teaching and learning in languages of national minorities throughout the country with a view to meeting existing demand; representatives of national minorities, including parents, should be consulted closely to ensure that their interests and concerns with regard to the languages of instruction in minority language schools are effectively taken into account;
- step up efforts to identify and remedy the shortcomings faced by Roma children in the field of education with a view to ensuring that they have equal opportunities for access to all levels of quality education; take measures to prevent Roma children from being wrongfully placed in special schools.
- review legislative provisions related to personal identity documents and ensure that the right to free self-identification, as stipulated in Article 3 of the Framework Convention, is fully respected;
- combat stereotypes and prejudices in political discourse and promote tolerance and intercultural dialogue throughout society as a whole; take specific, targeted measures to counteract manifestations of xenophobia in society;
- reconsider the approach to the quota requirements in the broadcasting media; develop, in close consultation with minority representatives and media professionals, more appropriate means to ensure that Latvian language speakers and speakers of national minority languages benefit from a diverse and shared media space; pursue efforts to promote the State language through incentive-based and voluntary methods rather than through the imposition of quotas or sanctions;
- review the legislative and policy provisions related to the use of languages in relations with administrative authorities, for topographical indications and other signage, as well as regards spelling of names and surnames in a minority language in official documents; continue efforts to raise awareness among officials and the public at large of the conditions and terms under which minority languages may be used;
- enhance efforts to prevent and combat inequality and discrimination suffered by the Roma; improve the living conditions of the Roma by increasing employment opportunities and promoting integration within society.
Document data: CM/ResCMN(2021)9; adopted 03.03.2021. Link: https://search.coe.int/cm/pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680a14111