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Home >> Members >> Members’ Publications >> Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia: Annual Report 2016

Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia: Annual Report 2016

August 11th 2017

The Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia has published their 2016 Annual Report in English.

The annual report emphasises the main matters and issues that show systemic problems, at the same time giving an idea of the scope of work performed by the Ombudsman’s Office in 2016. In particular, examples of good or bad practice are featured with regard to the implementation of recommendations expressed by the Ombudsman of Latvia. The information in this annual report is summarised by four areas of law, which in turn highlight their proactive approach to dealing with individual applications.

1. Rights of Children

In 2016, the Ombudsman’s Office received an increasing amount of applications (in comparison to the previous years) regarding the rights of the child. This high number indicates that the right of the child to grow up in a family is still a topical issue. Likewise, the issue concerning the right to pre-school education has become even more topical. 2016 was an important year with regard to the protection of interests and rights of children of prisoners. Moreover, the awareness of children about the Ombudsman was actively promoted. Other applications are pertaining to purchasing school uniforms, collection of funds organised by parents at educational institutions, the excessive amount of homework, and more.

2. Civil and Political Rights

The Ombudsman received applications wherein different infringements of the right to fair trial are indicated, which suggests the dissatisfaction of inhabitants with the limited possibility of applying to court. The Ombudsman also developed a study surrounding the situation of hate crimes and hate speech in the Republic of Latvia. Another area of research in 2016 was the right to freedom of religion, in particular with regard to face-covering and head-coverings. Other concerns are relating to: citizenship issues, immigration, the rights of persons with mental disorders, right to data protection, etc.

3. Social, Economic and Cultural Rights

During 2016, attention was drawn to the still comparatively great number of inhabitants (31%) subject to the risk of poverty and social isolation in Latvia. According to information summarized by the Ombudsman, Latvia has one of the greatest gaps between the income of the wealthiest and poorest inhabitants of the country (greater income inequality is observed only in Bulgaria). A high share of poverty risk is observed among elderly people in particular. Poverty and social isolation risk of children is still above the average EU indicator. Other concerns are relating to: rights of persons with disability, the legal framework for apartment owners, the healthcare sector of Latvia, etc.

4. Principle of Good Governance

The concerns in this area of law in 2016 relate to: the law on protection of whistleblowers, payment charges in the event of a tax audit, deadline delays with regard to applications to the State Revenue Service, and many more.

In the annual report you can also find general information about the Ombudsman’s Office, including important activities and events, structural changes (such as the development of an Information Centre) and informative campaigns.

For further information, you can visit their website here and download the Annual Report by clicking below:

Latvian Ombudsman Annual Report 2016 Summary
Latvian Ombudsman Annual Report 2016 Summary