Law "On the Unrestricted Development and Right to Cultural Autonomy of Latvia's Nationalities and Ethnic Groups"



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.

Article 1


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

Article 2


Every Republic of Latvia citizen or person, who is not the Republic of Latvia citizen or a citizen of other state and who permanently resides in Latvia and who is attained 16 years of age, has the right to indicate his/her nationality or to restore his/her nationality in official document in accordance with his/her national self-awareness or national origin in the procedure according to law.

Article 3


The Republic of Latvia guarantees to all permanent residents in the Republic, regardless 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.

Article 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 Livs, and for the renewal and development of the socio-economic infrastructure of their inhabited territories.

Article 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.

Article 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.

Article 7


[Deleted by the law of June 15, 1994]

Article 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.

Article 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 travel from and return to Latvia in accordance with the Republic of Latvia laws.

Article 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".

National societies have the right to develop their own national educational institutions with their own resources.

Article 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.

Article 12


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

Article 13


National societies, associations and organizations have the rights to use the government mass media, 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.

Article 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 abatements from taxes as determined by the Republic of Latvia laws.

Article 15


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

Article 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 of the Republic of Latvia
A.Gorbunovs

Secretary, Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
I.Daudiss


Translation (C) by the Latvia Law Institute. All rights reserved. Other translation of Latvian laws available. E-mail: latjurinst@parks.lv