Human Rights in Latvia in 2001
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 most positive developments concerned adoption of a new Labour Law with strong anti-discrimination provisions and the implementation of several measures to facilitate the naturalisation of Latvia’s large non-citizen population.
Legal strategies for promoting human rights gained importance, as the European Court of Human Rights began to issue rulings on applications from Latvia and Latvia’s Constitutional Court began to review cases submitted by individuals. Moreover, parliament adopted a new Administrative Procedure Law providing new opportunities for human rights defenders.
Author: Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies
Funding: Open Society Institute (Budapest)