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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Latvia
May 11, 2021

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Latvia
38th session, May 11, 2021

Statement Read by Sean Garcia

The United States welcomes the Latvian delegation.

We recommend that Latvia:

  1. Dedicate more resources to promoting tolerance and combatting discrimination, as well as preventing, documenting, and responding to hate crimes and gender-based violence, including domestic violence.
  2. Strengthen efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including prosecuting cases under the trafficking statute rather than for lesser crimes, and if convicted, punishing traffickers with appropriate prison sentences commensurate with the severity of the crime.
  3. Accelerate the Holocaust-era restitution process for Jewish communal and heirless property, consistent with the 2009 Terezin Declaration.

We commend Latvia’s decision to automatically grant citizenship to children born in Latvia to non-citizen parents and encourage increased efforts to promote the value of citizenship with Latvia’s Russian-speaking population.  We note reports of challenges to media independence, and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, and members of ethnic and religious minorities.