The Latvian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR) was established in 1993 as an independent non-governmental organisation. LCHR works with integration (minority rights and promotion of tolerance) issues, elimination of discrimination and hate crimes/speech, asylum, migration and fundamental rights (freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, etc) issues, as well as human rights observation in closed institutions (prisons, police, immigration detention places.)
LCHR conducts human rights monitoring, research and policy analysis, training of various target groups, provides legal aid to victims of human rights issues, including representation of clients before domestic and international courts. The LCHR frequently provides expert opinions both locally (to government, parliament, media, educational institutions, courts, prosecutors and lawyers), as well as internationally. The LCHR is actively involved in advocacy for change, ranging from raising public awareness to specific policy or legislative change. LCHR also publishes a daily monitor of Latvian press on minority and integration issues.
In May 1998, the LCHR received the EU-US Democracy and Civil Society Award. In October 2003 the LCHR was chosen by an international jury to receive the first Van der Stoel Prize (the award recognizes outstanding contributions towards the improvement of the situation of national minorities in the OSCE participating States) for being “an authoritative and objective source on human rights and inter-ethnic issues in Latvia”.
Since 2003, the LCHR is the national focal point of the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and, since 2006, member of the International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH).
LCHR directors since establishment
From February 2011
Ilze Brands Kehris
December 2002 – February 2011
April 1994 – December 2002
October 1993 – April 1994