Anti-discrimination is a relatively new area of public policy in Latvia. Although there have been some positive developments during last three years (a gradual implementation of the EU standards, elaboration of the responsible state institutions), there are still many problems observable. Representatives of different groups (discrimination victims as well as representatives of police, state institutions and NGOs) still have a low comprehension of the legal provisions and protective mechanisms of anti-discrimination. Alongside the lack of information on discrimination practice and the low capacity of the non-governmental organisations to combat discrimination is observable too.
In response to these problems, LCHR has started to implement project „Fighting Discrimination in Latvia” in order to improve the anti-discrimination work in the country. The project is funded by the EU financial instrument programme “Transitional Resources for the Strengthening of Administrative Capacity” grant scheme “Promoting Societal Integration in Latvia”.
Project duration: 1 April 2007 – 1 December 2008
The project aims to: (1) promote awareness on anti-discrimination legal norms and remedies among groups with the highest risk to be victims of discrimination, state and local government authorities, non-governmental organisations and the society at large; (2) promote systematic data collection and monitoring of the situation in the field of anti-discrimination; (3) strengthen capacity of state and non-state sectors and their mutual collaboration in tackling discrimination.
The project has the following target groups:
1. victims of discrimination,
2. vulnerable groups under the highest risk of discrimination,
3. state bodies involved in making and implementation of anti-discrimination policy,municipalities,
4. non-governmental organisations (including trade unions),
5. experts and researchers,
6. society at large.
The core activities of the project include:
1. elaboration of methodology of the situation testing and the strategy of its application to Latvia;
2. launching of systematic mapping of data and information on vulnerable groups, discrimination practices and cases as well as on anti-discrimination
3. policies, activities and support from various sources in the LCHR webpage with a view to development of a systematic monitoring of situation in the field of anti-discrimination;
4. elaboration of seminar methodology and materials for judges and legal practitioners with a view of deepening their knowledge of specific anti-discrimination issues with a particular focus on a case law;
5. elaboration of a strategy for establishing discrimination victim support network.