The policy paper provides an overview of closed institutions in Latvia and key trends in their reform since the country regained independence in 1991, highlights the role of international organisations (relevant UN, Council of Europe bodies, European Commission) in assessing Latvia’s compliance with international human rights standards in closed facilities and their conclusions and recommendations concerning the work of domestic inspection bodies.
Summary about human rights in Latvia in 2005 prepared for annual report of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.
The policy paper “Human Rights in Mental Health Care in Baltic Countries” has been prepared by the Latvian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR) and its partner organizations: Vilnius Regional Office of Global Initiative for Psychiatry, Mental Disability Advocacy Centre and Estonian Patient Advocacy Association.
Latvian legislation, policy and practice still offer too few chances to people with intellectual disabilities (whose learning ability is significantly lower than average) to access education and employment. Although the numbers of children with intellectual disabilities attending mainstream schools are rising, the vast majority still attend special schools. Due to the complete lack of suitable, targeted employment programmes or initiatives, practically all people with intellectual disabilities have no work. They therefore have no chance of leading an independent life and are forced to rely on State benefits.
The situation in prisons continued to cause concern in 2004: although the overall share of pre-trial detainees decreased, juveniles on remand remained appallingly high at 58.5% of all juveniles in prison. The number of officially registered asylum seekers remained very small and the lack of clarity concerning the status and rights of illegal migrants continued. Latvia was still in breech of Article 5 of the European Convention of Human and Fundamental Rights because of lack of legislation concerning psychiatric assistance.