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Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia

Law

About the Unrestricted Development and Right to Cultural Autonomy of

Latvia's Nationalities and Ethnic Groups

Adopted 19.03.1991

Amendments: 15.06.94

Within the Republic of Latvia live the Latvian nation, the ancient indigenous nationality, the Livs, as well as other nationalities and ethnic groups.

This Law is adopted to guarantee to all nationalities and ethnic groups in the Republic of Latvia the rights to cultural autonomy and self-administration of their culture.

Paragraph 1

Republic of Latvia residents are guaranteed, irregardless of they nationality, equal human rights which correspond to international standards.

Paragraph 2

Each 16 years old citizen of Latvia or person who has neither Latvia’s nor other state’s citizenship and who is a permament resident of Latvia, has the right to establish or to restore ethnicity records in personal documents, according to his or her national consiousness and ethnic origin, and according to procedure established by law.

[As amended 15.06.94.]

Paragraph 3

The Republic of Latvia guarantees to all permanent residents in the Republic, irregardless of their nationality, equal rights to work and wages. Any direct or indirect actions to restrict, based on nationality, the opportunities of permanent residents to choose their profession or to choose a trade based on their corresponding skills and qualifications, are prohibited.

Paragraph 4

The Republic of Latvia government and administration institutions are responsible for the preservation of the national identity and historical cultural environment of Latvia's ancient indigenous nationality, the Lives and for the renewal and development of the socio-economic infrastructure of their inhabited territories.

Paragraph 5

All Republic of Latvia permanent residents are guaranteed the right to establish their own national societies, associations and organizations. The government's responsibility is to promote their activity and material provisions.

Paragraph 6

The obligations of national societies, associations and organizations are to work within the framework of the Republic of Latvia laws and to respect Latvia's sovereignty and indivisibility.

Paragraph 7 - [Excluded 15.06.94]

Paragraph 8

All Republic of Latvia permanent residents are guaranteed the rights to observe their own national traditions, to use their national symbols and to commemorate their national holidays.

Paragraph 9

The Republic of Latvia guarantees to all of its permanent residents the right to freely maintain contacts with their fellow countrymen in their historic homeland and in other countries, as well as the right to freely travels from and return to Latvia in accordance with the Republic of Latvia laws.

Paragraph 10

The Republic of Latvia government institutions should promote the creation of material conditions for the development of the education, language and culture of the nationalities and ethnic groups residing within Latvia's territory, foreseeing defined sums from the government's budget for such purposes.

Issues regarding the education of nationalities and ethnic groups are governed by the Republic of Latvia "Education Law".

Paragraph 11

The republic of Latvia, based on international agreements, should promote the opportunities for its permanent residents to receive higher education in their native language outside of Latvia.

Paragraph 12

All nationalities and ethnic groups have the right to freely develop their own professional and amateur art.

Paragraph 13

National societies, associations and organizations have the rights to use the government mass media resources as well as to form their own mass media.

The Republic of Latvia government institutions should promote the publication and distribution of national periodicals and literature.

Paragraph 14

Members of national cultural societies, associations and organizations have the right to undertake entrepreneurial activities in accordance with Republic of Latvia laws.

National cultural societies enjoy various alleviations from taxes as determined by the Republic of Latvia laws.

Paragraph 15

The government protects all national historical and cultural monuments and objects within the Republic of Latvia territory.

Paragraph 16

Any activity directed toward nationality discrimination or the promotion of national superiority or national hatred is punishable in accordance with existing law.

Chairman, Supreme Council
Republic of Latvia
A.Gorbunovs
Secretary, Supreme Council
Republic of Latvia
I.Daudišs
Riga, March 19, 1991
The authenticity of the translation is confirmed by
Secretary of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia
Imants Daudišs



Source: Human Rights. Collection of Legislative Acts and Informative Materials. Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, 1997, p.42-43


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