The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Latvia

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #eu #freedom #human_rights #Latvia #politics #tolerance

Latvia
Republic of Latvia

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalRiga
Land Area 62 200km21
LocationEurope, Baltic States
Population2.2m (2011)2
Life Expectancy74.34yrs (2017)3
GNI$22 589 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesLV, LVA, 4285
Internet Domain.lv6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+3718

Latvia performs very well in ensuring human rights and freedom compared to most other countries. Latvia comes in the top 20 in commentary from Human Rights Watch9. It does better than average in supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms10, supporting press freedom11, opposing gender inequality12, fighting anti-semitic opinions13, its Global Peace Index rating14, fighting corruption15, LGBT equality16, eliminating modern slavery17 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights18.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #Latvia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

In December 2016, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks published recommendations following his visit to Latvia in September 2016, calling on the Latvian authorities to ensure greater protection for women, children, and LGBT people. Latvia has yet to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which it signed in 2016.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

The EU has acted on behalf of its member states on many occasions to support, foster, fund and encourage human rights protections in every region of the world, with agreement of its member states through the European Parliament. According to Human Rights Watch's comprehensive review for the year 2017, in addition to vocal and public pronouncements on poor human rights records of many countries, the EU has also acted through economic sanctions, political pressure and used other means to incentivize the adoption of human rights protections, even if these measures harm EU trading20. It is to Latvia's credit that it supports the EU in these actions.

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)13
Pos.Lower is better
%13
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
39Germany27
40Slovenia27
41Austria28
42Latvia28
43Montenegro29
44Spain29
45Venezuela30
46Moldova30
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)15
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score15
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
45Grenada56.0
46Costa Rica54.8
47S. Korea54.6
48Latvia54.0
49Mauritius54.0
50Rwanda52.6
51Hungary52.4
52Georgia52.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
42S. Korea1.73
43Lithuania1.74
44Argentina1.76
45Latvia1.77
46UAE1.79
47Kuwait1.79
48Mozambique1.80
49Namibia1.80
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
22Slovenia5
23Austria5
24Slovakia5
25Latvia5
26Lithuania5
27USA4
28Croatia4
29Poland4
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)18
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties18
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
89Ghana16
90Belize16
91Monaco16
92Latvia16
93Yemen16
94Congo, DR16
95Burundi16
96Nigeria16
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)10
Pos.Lower is better
Rank10
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
21Estonia21
22Poland21
23USA23
24Latvia24
25Iceland25
26Taiwan26
27Slovakia27
28Italy28
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
35Spain2050
36France2160
37El Salvador2286
38Latvia2289
39Botswana2291
40Papua New Guinea2297
41Romania2305
42Niger2308
World Avg3249
q=178.
Slavery (2018)17
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims17
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
76Bangladesh0.37
77Cuba0.38
78Israel0.39
79Latvia0.39
80Dominican Rep.0.40
81Kosovo0.40
82Cape Verde0.41
83Kyrgyzstan0.41
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi17, Eritrea17, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #Latvia #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
38Libya0.17
39Slovakia0.18
40Serbia0.18
41Latvia0.19
42Kazakhstan0.20
43USA0.20
44Malta0.22
45Bulgaria0.22
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote30
Pos.Lower is better
Year30
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
4Norway1913
5Denmark1915
6Iceland1915
7Russia1917
8Latvia1918
9Estonia1918
10Kyrgyzstan1918
11Austria1919
12Slovakia1919
World Avg1930
q=189.

Latvia is on the way towards ending gender inequality and has been striving towards this end for quite some time.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #Latvia #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)16
Pos.Higher is better
Score16
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
72Cape Verde25
73Moldova25
74Turkey25
75Latvia25
76Dominican Rep.25
77Seychelles25
78Panama25
79Vietnam25
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence31. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws32. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries31. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Latvia Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Latvia

Social & Moral
Development Index
33
Pos.Higher is better
Points33
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
33Malta66.7
34Uruguay66.0
35Israel65.9
36Latvia65.6
37Chile65.4
38Costa Rica64.8
39Slovakia64.1
40Lithuania63.9
41Greece62.9
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#Latvia

Current edition: 2019 Jan 13
http://www.humantruth.info/latvia_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Latvia (Republic of Latvia)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #eu #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #Latvia #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  10. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  11. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  12. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  13. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  14. ^^
  15. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  16. Sources:^^
  17. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  18. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p225-226.^
  20. Human Rights Watch (2018) .^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  33. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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