November 2021 Monthly News Summary

The proportionality of certain restrictions

The Ombudsman’s Office has received several complaints regarding the Cabinet of Ministers’ Order “On Declaring a State of Emergency”, which stipulates that shopping centres with a total public space of more than 1,500 m2 may provide services only in an epidemiologically safe environment.

On the right to obtain information about another person’s vehicle and data on its owner or holder

Based on an application, the Ombudsman initiated an verification procedure of a possible violation of the right of access to court in connection with the prohibition to receive personal data from the State register of vehicles and their drivers. The applicant wishes to sue the resident who caused damage to his vehicle, but this is not possible without knowing his name and place of residence. The applicant only has the national registration number of this vehicle.

Ombudsman participated in the conference “Personal Data – Future Perspective!”

On 16 November, the Ombudsman Juris Jansons and the Legal Adviser of the Civil and Political Rights Division of the Ombudsman’s Office Kristīne Pakārkle participated in the international conference “Personal Data – Future Perspective!” organized by the Data State Inspectorate.

Ombudsman: Prolonged unequal treatment of vulnerable groups in society is not allowed

The Ombudsman urgently asks the Ministry of Welfare to inform about the stage of progress on the amendments to the Law on Coping with the Covid-19 Infection and when it is planned to submit amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers. Already in March of this year, the Ombudsman called for the elimination of the unequal treatment of people under international protection: seniors, persons with disabilities, as well as families with minor children who have been granted alternative status, and for the possibility of granting them one-time benefits.

Ombudsman’s reply to the petition of 12 October 2021 on restrictions on employment in the Covid-19 pandemic

The Ombudsman has prepared a reply letter to the application, which has been received by the Ombudsman’s Office from several hundred Latvian residents. According to the Law on Submissions, if the provision of a response to each submission would require a disproportionate consumption of the institution’s resources, the institution may publish it on the official publisher of the Republic of Latvia.

Meeting with the Latvian Child Welfare Network

On November 10, representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office met online with representatives of the Latvian Child Welfare Network to discuss further cooperation in the protection of children’s rights and interests.

Participation in the ENNHRI seminar on the right of people with disabilities to education during pandemic

On November 10, the representative of the Ombudsman’s Office Anete Ilves participated with a presentation at a webinar of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions on the right of people with disabilities to education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ombudsman: The child’s legal representative has the right to request that the child be recognized as a victim in an administrative violation proceeding

The Ombudsman invites the responsible officials in all cases, if the violation is directed against the child, to inform the child’s legal representative about his / her right to request recognition of the child as a victim during the administrative violation proceedings.

Ombudsman: Members of the Parliament must set an example by vaccination

In the Ombudsman’s opinion, the obligation of the Members of the Parliament (Saeima) to be vaccinated against Covid-19 is both legal and ethical.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, human rights restrictions, and their proportionality

An emergency situation allows for greater restrictions on individual freedoms if this protects the essential interests of society and the rights of others.

Ombudsman discussed the proportionality of restrictions in the context of a global pandemic

On November 5, the Ombudsman Juris Jansons participated in the annual conference on current human rights issues in Latvia, organized by the Riga Graduate School of Law, which this year was dedicated to the legal challenges posed by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

A representative of the Ombudsman’s Office participated in the Labour Law Forum of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia

On 5 November, Raimonds Koņuševskis, Deputy Head of the Social, Economic and Cultural Rights Division of the Ombudsman’s Office, participated in the annual Labour Law Forum of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia.

Ombudsman points to the necessary improvements in the welfare sector

On November 3, the Ombudsman Juris Jansons met online with the Minister of Welfare Gatis Eglītis to discuss topical issues under the Ministry’s supervision, which, in the Ombudsman’s view, require increased attention, including employment and minimum income of people with disabilities, assistance service, deinstitutionalisation process, support service for persons with mental disorders, as well as psycho-emotional wellbeing of children during COVID-19 pandemic.

Different interpretations of the rules for dealing with Covid-19 issues are noted in social care institutions

In September, the Ombudsman conducted a survey of social care institutions requesting information on the coverage of vaccination against Covid-19, on the exercise of the right of access and the observance of epidemiological security measures in the specific period, the planning of isolation measures, as well as on co-operation with the responsible state institutions and available guidelines, recommendations, and other issues.