Although Latvian language proficiency is gradually improving, a large number of people living in Latvia still have poor Latvian language skills.
This study deals with the situation in some of the main social spheres, within which Roma in the rest of the world face direct and indirect discrimination, perpetrated not only by individuals, but also by states and their institutions.
The main focus of this study is direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of ethnicity in Latvia.
As in previous years, the foremost human rights problem in Latvia remained the long pre–trial detention periods, and the numerous pre–trial detainees. Despite the harmonization of law with European standards by the adoption of new Asylum Law and Law on Immigration, conditions in the Olaine detention facility for illegal migrants raised concerns on both legal and physical grounds.
In 2001 the primary human rights problem in Latvia remained the same as in previous years: a huge backlog in the courts resulting in long pre-trial detention periods. However, Latvia also faced new and dangerous challenges to freedom of the media and the judicial system posed by the murders of a journalist and a judge. As in previous years, language policy and its effect on the rights of minorities, the right to private life and freedom of expression remained a concern.