International covenant

on civil and

political rights




28 August 2003

Original: ENGLISH


Seventy-eighth session


Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented (art. 2)

Please provide additional examples of cases, if any, in which provisions of the Covenant were directly invoked before State organs, the Constitutional Court and ordinary courts, and with what results (para. 51 and paras. 325 ff).

Please elaborate on the activities and achievements of the National Human Rights Office, as well as on its staffing and budget. Please indicate developments, if any, with regard to the discussion on the establishment of an ombudsman’s office as described in paragraphs 52-56.

Please address the compatibility with the Covenant of counter-terrorism measures taken by the State party, including those reported pursuant to Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) (see S/2002/9 and S/2002/1370).

Non-discrimination and equality between the sexes (arts.2(1), 3, 26)

What specific measures have been taken, or are envisaged, to enhance the participation of women in public life, particularly in the political area and public service (Parliament and Government), as well as in the economic sector, especially at senior level?

What measures have been adopted by the authorities to guarantee equal treatment of men and women, and to provide legal remedies in cases of discrimination against women? Please describe any achievements resulting from the establishment in 2000 of theDivision on Integration of Society and Gender Equality and the adoption on 16 October 2001 of the Concept on implementation of gender equality, as mentioned in paragraphs 74 and 75.

Please indicate measures, existing and proposed, to combat and eliminate violence against women, including domestic violence, both as a matter of practice as well as in terms of special legislation. Please reporton the measures taken to increase public awareness of these issues and of theassistance available to victims.

Right to life, treatment of prisoners and other detainees, liberty and security of the person, expulsion of aliens and the right to a fair trial (arts. 6, 7, 9, 10, 13 and 14)

Please describe any relevant developments with regard to the amendments made to the Criminal Law to harmonize it with the provisions of the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, as referred to in paragraph 90.

Please comment on allegations of physical ill-treatment of persons detained by members of police forces, both at the time of apprehension and during police interrogations. What procedures are available to pursue complaints of criminal conduct against members of the police and prison guards and to obtain compensation when such claims are upheld? Please provide statistics on the number of such cases that have been brought, details of any such case, and their results. What independent mechanism for the investigation of complaints has been established by the State party?

With reference to paragraph 102 of the report, please provide additional information on the extent of violence and battery in the army.

Please clarify to what extent the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners are complied with. How have these provisions, as well as domestic legislation, been disseminated and made accessible to the police and prison administrators? Please provide information on measures taken to address overcrowding of detention facilities. Please provide updated statistics on the prison population and the proportion of those detained awaiting trial compared withconvicted prisoners.

Please comment on reports of frequent andlengthy pre-trial detention, particularly of juveniles, and measures envisaged or taken to remedy the situation.

Please clarify any steps taken to limit the resort to custodial sentences as a measure of last resort.

Please describe any progress madein the drafting and adoption of a new Criminal Procedure Law, so as to addressthe difficulties identified in paragraph 229.

Please provide information on the procedures by which involuntary placement in psychiatric institutionsis decided, including procedures for review of detention on mental health grounds and forprevention of degrading treatment of those in care. Please provide information on the draft Mental Health Law.

Please describe developments with regard to the adoption of the draft law “On Asylum” mentioned in the report as expected for 1 March 2002 (paras. 45, 189). Please provide information on the applicable procedures to ensure non-refoulement in cases where there is a danger of torture. In how many cases has this procedure been applied? How many individuals remain in the country on such grounds and what is their status?

Elimination of slavery and servitude (art.8)

Please provide information and any available statistics about the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of prostitution. What measures has the State party taken to combat these practices?

Freedom of religion and conscience and non-discrimination (arts. 18)

Please provide information on the Law on Alternative Service allowing for a civil alternative to military service.

Rights of the child (art. 24)

Please provide information on the occurrence of violence against children, including sexual abuse.

Please comment on measures taken by the State party to reduce the number of stateless children in Latvia and to encourage the process of naturalization. Please address this issue in particular in view of the high proportion of stateless persons in Latvia and the slow process of naturalization.

Taking part in the conduct of public affairs (art. 25)

Please explain how depriving convictedindividuals serving their sentences in penitentiaries, as well as persons who are suspects, accused or as on trial who have been detainedas a safety measure of the right to vote is compatiblewith the provisions of article 25 of the Covenant (paras. 320, 322).

Non-discrimination and rights of persons belonging to minorities (arts. 26, 27)

Please provide information on the Education Law of 1998 and the planned implementation starting in 2004of education programmes in secondary schools usingLatvian as the language of instruction, and theimpact of the Lawon the Russian-speaking minorities.

Please provide information on the implementation of the Latvian State Language Law that entered into force on 1 September 2000, including (a) application of its general principle that the use of language in the private sector is regulated only where there is a legitimate public interest; (b) the impact of the Law on the non-ethnic-Latvian community with regard to access to public institutions; (c) the activities of the State Language Centre, including administrative cases initiated; (d) sanctions imposed under the Administrative Violations Code for violations related to Latvia’s language policy.

What concrete achievements have resulted from the adoption in February 2001 by the Cabinet of Ministers of the National Programme for the Integration of Society in Latvia (para.16) and the establishment in July 2001 of the Foundation on the Integration of Society. Please indicate activities as well as budgetary allocations (paras. 16, 17).

Please provide current data, disaggregated by sex, on the representation of ethnic minorities in Parliament and their participation in public affairs and in economic life. Do members of minorities face any difficulties, particularly when seeking employment, housing and education?

Dissemination of information relating to the Covenant and the Optional Protocol


Please indicate the steps taken to disseminate information on the submission of the second periodic report and to hold consultations with concerned members of the civil society in the preparatory process.

Please provide information on training and education on the Covenant and the Optional Protocol procedure provided to all categories of public officials, in particular schoolteachers, the judiciary, and law enforcement and prison officials. Please also indicate the steps taken to increase the awareness and understanding of the Covenant and the Optional Protocol procedure amongst the general public, including ethnic and linguistic minorities.