UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Latvia (CEDAW 10-03-2020)

The Committee considered the combined fourth to seventh periodic reports of Latvia (CEDAW/C/LVA/4–7) at its 1749th and 1750th meetings (see CEDAW/C/ SR.1749 and CEDAW/C/SR.1750), held on 11 February 2020. The list of issues and questions raised by the pre-sessional working group is contained in CEDAW/C/LVA/ Q/4–7, and the responses of Latvia are contained in CEDAW/C/LVA/Q/4–7/Add.1.

Concluding observations

E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations

Women’s access to justice

  1. The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party provides State-funded legal aid to all applicants below the income or assets threshold. In particular, it welcomes the fact that, since 2018, women in special circumstances, including victims of gender-based violence seeking temporary protection orders, are exempted from the threshold requirement regardless of their residential status. The Committee is nevertheless concerned that women who are victims of multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination are unable to gain access to justice owing to barriers related to accessibility, the absence of procedural and age-appropriate accommodations, the existence of temporary guardianship and partial legal capacity regimes and a lack of awareness of the legal remedies and compensation mechanisms available to them.
  2. In the light of its general recommendation No. 33 (2015) on women’s access to justice, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Continue its efforts to ensure effective access to justice, full inclusion and accessibility for disadvantaged or marginalized women, such as women belonging to ethnic minority groups, in particular Roma women, women who are non-citizens, refugee, asylum-seeking, migrant, rural and older women, women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons;                                        

(b) Repeal the legal provisions concerning substituted decision-making in order to restore the full legal capacity of all women through a supported decision-making regime and ensure the provision of judicial, procedural and age-appropriate accommodations;

(c) Raise awareness among women of the remedies available to them to claim violations of their rights, including before the Office of the Ombudsperson.

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