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.
The brochure explains situations, when the police and the border guards have the rights to detain immigrants. A particular attention is paid to the rights of detained immigrants and the mechanisms of the realisation of these rights.
The study examines a selection of Latvian school textbooks in order to determine whether they reflect the multiethnic nature of Latvian society, and if multiculturalism’s principles are observed, i.e. if ethnic minorities are proportionally represented along with the majority, if the balance between the cultural heritage of the Latvian nation and those of the national minorities is achieved, and whether the textbooks contain ethnic, cultural and religious stereotypes.
For Latvia, 2003 was the last year before accession to the European Union and NATO, which determined much of the policy focus of the country. Although pre-accession largely prioritized areas other than human rights, several international recommendations by the United Nations Committees and Council of Europe representatives helped to focus attention on the main human rights problems those in closed institutions. In addition to the problems in prisons (pre-trial detention, conditions and procedures), mental health institutions and the illegal migrants camp, attention was also focused on the issues of police brutality and the lack of independent complaints institutions.
The report on “Monitoring Closed Institutions in Latvia” was prepared and published with funding from the European Community European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Micro projects programme in Latvia. Responsibility for the views expressed is solely LCHRES’s.