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Latvia[1] [print]

Last edited: November 2005


Summary and Analysis


After fifty years of occupation by the Soviet Union, Latvia gained its independence in August of 1991.  Following the restoration of Latvian independence, one of the first acts by the Latvian Parliament (the Saiema) was accession of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Convention entered into force in Latvia on May 14, 1992.


In June of 1998, the Latvian Parliament passed the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child.  The legislation is geared towards specifying children's rights, freedoms, duties, and the obligations of parents, the state, and third parties towards children.  It is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 


In 1995, the National Centre for the Protection of Children's Rights was founded to ensure the observance of children's rights legislation. 


On May 30, 2001, Latvia ratified the European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights.  As the CRC report from 2001 notes, Latvia established “Custody Courts in 1995 that handle the protection of children in relations with their parents and third parties.”  We have been unable to locate information about the operations and procedures of the custody courts at this time. 


Sources of Law[2]


Original Text




Latvijas Republikas Civillikums[3]

PIRMÅ DAÒA Ìimenes tiesîbas

OTRÅ NODAÏA Vecåku un bérnu savstarpéjås tiesîbas un pienåkumi

4. APAKÍNODAÏA Vecåku vara

III. Vecåku varas izbeigßanås un aprobeΩoßana

198. Vecåku vara izbeidzas:

. . .

5) kad tå atñemta ar tiesas spriedumu (200.p.).

199. Ar tiesas spriedumu (198.p. 5.pk.) izbeigto vecåku varu var atjaunot ar tiesas spriedumu.

200. Ja vecåki nelietîgi izlieto vecåku varu un ar bérniem apietas seviß˚i slikti, tiesa var vainîgajam no vecåkiem atñemt vecåku varu, atståjot bérnus otra varå, kå arî iecelt bérniem aizbildni, ja vara, ko izlieto otrs no vecåkiem, nepietiekami aizsargå bérnus no vainîgå kaitîgå iespaida vai ja vainîgi abi vecåki.






The Civil Law

PART ONE Family Law

CHAPTER 2 Rights and Obligations, as Between Parents and Children


Parental Authority

III. Termination and Restriction of Parental Authority

198. Parental authority is terminated:

. . .

5) when it is removed by a court judgment (Section 200).

199. Parental authority terminated by a court judgment (Section 198, Clause 5) may be renewed only by a court judgment.

200. If parents exercise their parental authority meanly and treat the children especially badly, a court may deprive the parent who is at fault of parental authority and place the children under the authority of the other, and may also appoint a guardian for the children if the authority exercised by the other parent does not adequately protect the children against the harmful influence of the parent at fault, or if both the parents are at fault.

Protection of the Rights of the Child Law[5]


Chapter I

General Provisions

Section 6. The Principle of Protection of the Rights of the Child

(1) In lawful relations that affect a child, the rights and best interests of the child shall take priority.

(2) In all activities in regard to a child, irrespective of whether they are carried out by State or local government institutions, public organisations or other natural or legal persons engaged in the care and upbringing of the child, and the courts and other law enforcement institutions, the ensuring of the best interests of the child shall take priority.


Chapter II

Fundamental Rights of the Child

Section 9. The Right of the Child to Privacy and Freedom and Security of Person

(2) A child shall not be treated cruelly, tortured or physically punished, and his or her dignity and honour shall not be violated.

Section 13. Freedoms of the Child

(1) A child has the right to freely express his or her opinions, and for this purpose, to receive and impart any kind of information, the right to be heard, and the right to freedom of conscience and belief. The parents of a child shall determine his or her religious affiliation.

Section 17.     Rights of the Child to Take Part in the Formulation of Programmes for the Protection of the Rights of Child

A child has the right himself or herself or through a lawful representative to take part in the formulation and realisation of programmes for the protection of the rights of the child.

Section 20.     Examination of Matters Associated with the Protection of the Rights of the Child

(1) The State shall ensure that matters related to the protection of the rights of the child shall be examined by specialists who have relevant knowledge in the sphere of the rights of the child and who are especially trained to work with children.

(2) Submissions and complaints that are related to the protection of the rights of the child shall be examined without delay.

(3) A child shall be given the opportunity to be heard in any adjudicative or administrative proceedings related to the child, either directly or through a lawful representative of the child or through a relevant institution.

(4) Matters that are related to ensuring the rights or best interests of a child, and criminal matters in which the defendant is a minor, shall be adjudicated in court pursuant to special procedures.

[9 March 2000]

Section 28. Procedures for Termination or Suspension of Parental Authority

(1) The procedures for termination or suspension of parental authority shall be as determined in The Civil Law and in the Law On Orphans' Courts and parish courts.


Additional Resources and Links









[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] We have been unable to establish the order of authority for the sources of law cited.

[3] Latvijas Republikas Civillikums [Latvia Civil Law], available at http://www.ttc.lv/lv/publikacijas/civillikums.pdf.

[4] Text consolidated by Tulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrs (Translation and Terminology Centre).

[5] Protection of the Rights of the Child Law, available  at http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0103.doc.


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