In 2001 the primary human rights problem in Latvia remained the same as in previous years: a huge backlog in the courts resulting in long pre-trial detention periods. However, Latvia also faced new and dangerous challenges to freedom of the media and the judicial system posed by the murders of a journalist and a judge. As in previous years, language policy and its effect on the rights of minorities, the right to private life and freedom of expression remained a concern.
The primary human rights problems in Latvia in 2000 were closely related: severebacklogs in the court system and long pre-trial detention periods, especially for minors. In 2000 Latvia also witnessed the mobilisation of small groups of Latvian and Russian racist extremists, but law enforcement agencies responded vigorously.
This study addresses the basic issues of psychiatric aid and argues for the necessity of de-institutionalisation and prevention of patient institutionalisation. The goal of the study was to establish the potential role of the soros Foundation - Latvia (SFL) in field of psychiatric aid. One of the basic areas of SFL activities is institutional support (mental hospitals and social care homes) for the creation of alternative care that would ensure client care as close as possible to their place of residence and in a patient-friendly environment. As a result of study, its authorwrote a strategic three year programme and attracted financing of SFL and Open Society Institute (New York). Since May 2001 this programme is being implemented by the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies.
In Latvia the primary human rights concerns in 1999 were the lengthy pre-trial detention of minors, encroachments on freedom of expression, as well as the government's failure to allocate sufficient funding to ensure smooth implementation of social integration policy, thereby threatening recent progress in the realm of minority rights.
In Latvia the primary human rights concerns in 1998 were conditions in closed institutions, particulary the outbreak of a tuberculosis epidemic in the prison system, the emergence of a management crisis in the National Human Rights Office, and the appearance of new extremist groupings inciting racial hatred and propagating anti-Semitism.