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.
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.