July 2021 Monthly News Summary
The Ombudsman replies: The right of children and families to attend events
The ombudsman has received complaints from many persons about the possible discriminatory nature of the safety measures imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19 infection against children who have not yet reached the age of vaccination. In the opinion of the Ombudsman, the annotation of the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers does not provide a sufficient explanation for such a security precautionary measure.
The Ombudsman: Orphans and children left without parental care should be admitted to educational institutions as a matter of priority
The Ombudsman, examining the application of a person, has established shortcomings in the legislation regarding the admission of orphans and children left without parental care in an educational institution. The Ombudsman calls for the forthcoming regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers to be supplemented with a clause stating that orphans and children left without parental care are admitted to the educational institution as a matter of priority.
The Ombudsman replies: The legality of collecting signatures
The ombudsman has received a question – is it legal to collect signatures for vaccination of members of a profession? Such an initiative is published on the portal Manabalss.lv. The citizen believes, it violates several points of the law, including discrimination against the profession, restricts the choice of freedom and calls for incitement to hatred among the population. The Ombudsman replies that the said initiative regarding the compulsory vaccination of members of a profession could not be assessed as manifestly illegal and inadmissible.
The Ombudsman replies: Vaccination against Covid-19 and employment status during parental leave
The Ombudsman has received a question about a situation in which a woman is currently on parental leave, but could be fired from October 1 this year because she works in the health care sector, has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and does not intend to do so. The Ombudsman replies that, since a person does not work during maternity leave and parental leave, i.e. does not have direct contact with patients, clients in a social care institution or learners, there is no reason to request an interoperable certificate.
The Ombudsman: There has been gradual progress in the availability of publicly funded dental services
The Ombudsman has received a reply letter from the Ministry of Health, referring to the Ombudsman’s request to inform about the implemented and planned measures to address the situation in Liepaja related to the availability of state-paid dental services for children, which has been almost critical in recent years. The Ombudsman considers that, compared to the situation two years ago, there has been gradual progress in this area. The Ombudsman also positively assesses the planned long-term measures to ensure the availability of these services in all local governments of Latvia.
On the government’s conceptual decision to require Covid-19 certificate for professions of public interest
The Ombudsman has received questions from many persons regarding the conceptual decision of the Cabinet of Ministers sitting of 6 July on requesting Covid-19 certificate for professions important to the public interest. Taking into account the increased focus and topicality, the Ombudsman gave a broader explanation of the processes.
Following the opinion of the Ombudsman, the Cabinet of Ministers instructs to amend the procedure for deducting learners from preschool education programs
Taking into account the Ombudsman’s opinion in the inspection case “On the Procedure for Dismissing Children from Preschool Education Institutions”, the Cabinet of Ministers has instructed the Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development to prepare amendments to the procedure by 31 December, in which learners are admitted to general education programs and deducted from them, determining the procedure for deducting learners from pre-school education programs.
Provision of a vaccination newspaper in minority languages
The Ombudsman’s Office had received an application for the provision of a vaccination newspaper in minority languages. Within the scope of his competence, the Ombudsman has assessed the information referred to in the submission in connection with the legal norms in force and the additional information obtained, and has not established any violations of human rights or the principle of good administration.