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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceLatvia has awareness-raising programs and increased sanctions for perpetrators to prevent violence. But the Committee is concerned about the lack of an information system and detailed information on cases of violence. The schools are insufficient in addressing and mitigating peer violence and mobbing.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited in all settings.
Overview of the child rights situation

Latvia abolished its Ministry for Children, Family and Integration Affairs in 2009 and distributes its functions among the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education and Science. That leads to less of a mandate and resources for the implementation and monitoring of children’s rights. Also, the Committee notes corruption, which affects the implementation of children’s rights. Latvia still struggles from a post-economic crisis in 2008 so the budget is still small and the child rights conversion is not seen as an urgent matter. In general, Latvia’s citizens have a negative and paternalistic attitude towards children and their rights. A lot of trainings happened in the years prior the report for people working with children, for example in detention facilities, in schools or as judges.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee is concerned about the lack of official information on discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and on reported incidents of bullying against those children in schools.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned about the high rates of teen pregnancies (4,6 % in 2016) and limited access to free contraceptives. The state does not pay for abortions. The Committee is further concerned about high drop-out rates among students, in particular girls.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends to ensure that the Convention is permanently available in a child-friendly version and in minority languages and to integrate education on the Convention in the school curricula, up to tertiary education.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the lack of specific legislation to protect the rights of children with disabilities, the lack of detailed information on the number of children in inclusive education and the stigma and prejudice still endured by children with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThere are prevalent negative attitudes towards asylum-seeking and refugee children, hindering their social and economic integration. The Committee recommends to review the Asylum Law to exempt asylum-seeking children from <br /> detention during the asylum-seeking procedure and to review the Medical Treatment Law to provide asylum-seeking children in detention with necessary advanced health treatment on an equal basis with other detained persons.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

The Committee is concerned about long waiting lists and limited specialized medical services in the public health sector. The Committee recommends to ensure that all children have free and timely access to adequate medical services, including children living in rural areas and to take measurements to prevent iodine deficiency.
And regardless of the decreasing child mortality, the Committee is concerned about the high rate of child mortality due to suicide, drowning and traffic accidents.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee remains seriously concerned about cases of sexual abuse in institutions for children with mental health disorders and the lack of information on criminal proceedings on those cases.
It recommends to strengthen efforts to prevent suicide among children, including by increasing available psychological counselling services and the number of social workers in schools and communities. The Committee recommends to no longer place adolescents in mental health institutions together with adults.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal aid to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings and monitor the implementation of alternatives to deprivation of liberty handed down by courts.

Specific observations

The Committee recommends to intensify the efforts to ensure that all children have access to a nationality, including by reviewing the Citizenship Law to automatically grant citizenship to children born in Latvia who would otherwise be stateless, including children of parents with “non-citizen” status and parents who are unable to transmit their citizenship to their child.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 14 March 2016.
Last Updated (date)15th of February, 2022