Parliamentary Assembly

Education reform in Latvia

Doc. 10076
11 February 2004

Motion for a resolution
presented by Mr Slutsky and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.         The Parliamentary Assembly notes that education is one of the key areas where international standards for the protection of the human rights of minorities should be ensured.

2.         The planned reform of the education system in Latvia in fact abandons the secondary education in minorities languages which existed in the country for a century including the period of independence before World War II. It is considered by the persons belonging to national minorities as a violation of their rights and clear discrimination.

3.         No dialogue between the authorities and NGOs representing the minorities on the issue of the schools reform has been established. A campaign to intimidate the administrations of the minorities’ schools and the teachers is under way.

4.         The Assembly considers that the adoption on 23 January 2004 by the Saeima of Latvia in a second reading of the amended Law on Education gives additional anxiety and further aggravates the situation.

5.         In these conditions the Assembly calls upon the Saeima to refrain from passing amendments to the Law on Education which deteriorate the conditions for the education of minorities.

6.         The Assembly invites the Latvian authorities:

a. to ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and to sign and ratify the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages;

b. to implement the Resolution 1236 (2001) which urges the Latvian authorities to bring the Education Law in accordance with the provisions and the spirit of the Framework Convention;

7.         The Assembly decides to examine the situation in the sphere of education of minorities in Latvia and to propose recommendations in order to ensure the rights to receive secondary education in their native tongue and to achieve a national concord on the question of education.

Signed [1]:
Slutsky, Russia, SOC
Aliyev B., Azerbaijan, EDG
Christodoulides, Cyprus, UEL
Danieli, Italy, LDR
Gostev, Russia, UEL
Judd, United Kingdom, SOC
Korobeynikov, Russia, SOC
Oliynyk, Ukraine, UEL
Rogozin, Russia, EDG
Severin, Romania, SOC
Zhirinovsky, Russia, NR



Socialist Group
Group of the European People’s Party
European Democratic Group
Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
Group of the Unified European Left
Not registered in a group