A EU member state, Latvia, which likes to cry foul about the so-called “Russian agression”, continues its legalized discrimination of Russia-speaking population.
Comment by the Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department on the Latvian Constitutional Court’s denial to sustain a claim to preserve private schools that teach in Russian (source):
All public schools in Latvia will be required to teach exclusively in Latvian, effective from academic year 2021/22 as part of the so-called education reform announced by official Riga. The Latvian Constitutional Court also recently approved the legal closing of private schools for ethnic minorities.
This politically motivated decision deprives the Russian-speaking population of Latvia of the last opportunity to receive an education in their native language, even if they pay for it.
Such flagrant discrimination runs counter to Latvia’s obligations under fundamental international legal instruments such as the 1950 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe.
The language terrorism policy pursued by the Latvian authorities has been repeatedly criticised by respected international organisations like the Council of Europe (CE) and the OSCE, including their leading experts, the Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier.
We urge the international human rights community to step up pressure on the Latvian authorities given the critical situation for ethnic minorities and their native languages in this Baltic country.