News from the Ombudsman’s Office: June 2023

Ombudsman’s research on the purchase of school supplies

The Ombudsman has asked the parents of pupils and children of kindergarten age to provide information about whether they have purchased supplies for children who are studying in municipal schools or kindergartens. Within two weeks, more than 1000 messages have been received from parents about the things they’ve had to buy. The Ombudsman’s Office has developed a list of things which are and are not to be purchased for municipal kindergartens and school supplies. The Ombudsman also explained whether the so-called fund money is mandatory in schools and kindergartens, for example, for the purchase of stationery, improvement of classrooms or piano repair, taking into account that the state provides basic and secondary education free of charge.

The Ombudsman finds violations in the Kandava nursing home

The officials of Kandava and Tukums Social Services have been placing seniors and people with functional impairments in an institution that provides services similar to a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution, but it has not been registered and does not meet the minimum requirements of such institutions. The Ombudsman has turned to the Prosecutor General’s Office about the findings in the Kandava nursing home and has already received a reply that the State Police will examine the case.

Smart and loving parents – the safe foundation of our children and society

In 2022/2023 the Ombudsman’s Office carried out a study on the offer of courses in municipalities for children’s parents on non-violent methods of disciplining children. The main objectives of such educational, support and prevention measures are to improve children’s well-being and to prevent possible future challenges.

The Ombudsman urges the Parliament to immediately implement the service of supported decision-making

The Ombudsman has repeatedly drawn the attention of Members of Parliament to not delay putting into practice the service of supported decision-making. Such service allows people with mental disorders to make important decisions, helps to improve the ability to represent themselves and protect their interests, as well as expands the knowledge and understanding of their rights.

The government hesitates to find solutions to reduce the price of medicines

Prices of medicines in Latvia are on average higher than in other European Union countries. The Ombudsman calls on the Prime Minister and the Parliament to find an immediate solution so that the necessary medicines are available and their cost is adequate.