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Latvia

Monthly Event Reports

February 2024 | Constitutional Court upholds language requirements for Russian citizens

On 15 February, the Constitutional Court found that requirements for Russian citizens holding Latvian permanent residence permits to certify their knowledge of Latvian language comply with the Constitution and are proportionate with the duty of the state to defend national security and defend the national language. Amendments to the Immigration Law, adopted in 2022, gave Russian citizens until September 2023 (later extended to November) to demonstrate basic Latvian language skills in order to maintain a permanent residence permit. The ruling found that the provisions of the Immigration Law provide citizens of Russia with a “real opportunity” to obtain the legal grounds to continue staying in Latvia. The application was submitted by Russian citizens holding permanent residence permits. The Kremlin has objected to the amendments, and has sought to play up perceived unequal treatment of the Russian ethnic minority to create rifts in Latvian society and strengthen Russian identity in the diaspora in Baltic states.

December 2023 | Compromise in Parliament paves the way for local referenda

The Parliament has passed amendments to ensure municipal referenda can be conducted in the period before the roll-out of the electronic voter register. Municipal referenda were initially planned to be introduced on 1 January 2024, but were held up over insufficient technical and logistical preparedness. The amendments make it possible to vote in municipal referenda using registration envelopes in-person at local government polling stations in cases where the electronic systems do not work or cannot be used for cybersecurity reasons. It will be possible to initiate a municipal referendum as of 1 September 2024 electronically. The compromise expedites the introduction of municipal referenda, which the Interior Ministry had proposed to postpone until 2026, accelerating the possibilities for participation in decision-making on local issues.

November 2023 | Parliament votes to allow same-sex civil unions

In a final reading, the Parliament adopted legislation to recognise same-sex partnerships for the first time. The legislation allows partners to visit each other in hospital, to provide consent for each other’s medical treatment, and expands access to social security and tax benefits for same-sex couples. Civil society noted that there is more work to be done, since the changes do not include the right to adopt children or for partners to inherit from each other. The legislation, submitted by the Ministry of Justice, follows a Constitutional Court ruling in 2020 which found that the state must provide legal protections to same-sex partners. According to the amendments, same-sex couples will be able to register partnerships from 1 July 2024. However, opposition parties have resisted the changes, and have set out to halt the legislation and collect the 154,241 signatures (representing 10 per cent of Latvia’s electorate) required to put it to a referendum.

October 2023 | Launch of first centralized government platform on disinformation
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The government launched the first centralized government platform to collect reports on dis- and misinformation and share knowledge about common types of information manipulation. The platform allows users to report content distributed through channels such as social media platforms, online media, print media, TV, radio, and apps such as Whatsapp or Telegram. The reports are processed and evaluated by the Strategic Communication Coordination department of the State Chancellery, an advisory and oversight office in the executive branch, which can involve the responsible institutions as needed to prevent the spread of misinformation. According to the platform, reports can extend to suspicious content such as misleading information, fake news, fraud, hate speech, and propaganda. The platform also features educational materials seeking to build capacity to identify suspicious content, including a manual published in 2022 in cooperation with universities and academics.

Explore past monthly event reports

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
1 883 160
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (since 2023)
Head of government party
Unity
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
List Proportional Representation
Women in lower or single chamber
29.0%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2022
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
10.34
Head of state
President Edgars Rinkēvičs
Selection process for head of state
Indirect election (assembly)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
11/05/2021
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
59.43%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Oct 2023
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Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
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Nov
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Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rule of law
Oct 2023
Nov
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Jan
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Mar 2024
Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
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Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

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