News from the Ombudsman’s Office: May 2023
On 31 May Ombudsman Juris Jansons participated in the meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies of the Council of Europe to deliver his commentary on the Council of Europe Recommendation to member States on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions (CM 2021/1).
Unfair choice for women-scientists: to receive payment for work in the EU project or pregnancy-related leave
In the verification procedure, the Ombudsman established that the Latvian Council of Science, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Finance systematically put obstacles for female scientists to fully use pregnancy-related leave. Consequently, the responsible institutions make it almost impossible for female scientists to balance their work and private life.
The Ombudsman has found significant violations in the inspection case in Ādaži hospital, which does not provide accessibility for people with disabilities. Moreover, certain accessibility elements pose a threat to human health. This situation highlights the formalism of the Health Inspectorate in assessing the requirements of an accessible environment.
The Ombudsman turned to the Prime Minister, indicating that business and human rights as a whole are poorly regulated in Latvia. A qualitative and long-term development-oriented solution must be found to remedy the situation by introducing a national action plan for business and human rights.
On 4 May, the 33rd anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia, at the Riga Castle at a solemn ceremony President Egils Levits presented the Cross of Recognition and appointed as commander of the Cross of Recognition Ineta Piļāne, Deputy Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia, Head of the Civil and Political Rights Division of the Office of the Ombudsman. Congratulations!
On Saturday, 29 April, the team “Otrais Dubls” of the University of Latvia won the finals of the Ombudsman’s human rights moot court 2023, with the team “Trīs musketieri” of Riga Stradiņš University gaining the honourable second place. Teams of students from Riga Graduate School of Law, Daugavpils University, Riga Stradiņš University and Business Administration College participated in this year’s moot court.