Republic of Latvia
Joined United Nations: 17 September 1991
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 26 October 2012
Chapter VIII Fundamental Human Rights
Article 89 [Recognition and Protection by the State]
The State shall recognise and protect fundamental human rights in accordance with this Constitution, laws and international agreements
binding upon Latvia.
Article 90 [Right to Know About Rights]
Everyone has the right to know about their rights.
Article 91 [Equality, Prohibition of Discrimination]
All human beings in Latvia shall be equal before the law and the courts. Human rights shall be realised without discrimination of any kind.
Article 92 [Right to Fair Legal Proceedings]
Everyone has the right to defend their rights and lawful interests in a fair court. Everyone shall be presumed innocent until their guilt has
been established in accordance with law. Everyone, where their rights are violated without basis, has a right to commensurate
compensation. Everyone has a right to the assistance of counsel.
Article 93 [Right to Life]
The right to life of everyone shall be protected by law.
Article 94 [Liberty, Personal Security]
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one may be deprived of or have their liberty restricted, otherwise than in
accordance with law.
Article 95 [Human Dignity]
The State shall protect human honor and dignityHuman_Dignity. Torture or other cruel or degrading treatment of human beings is
prohibited. No one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading punishment.
Article 96 [Privacy, Home, Correspondence]
Everyone has the right to inviolability of their private life, home and correspondence.
Article 97 [Right to Move, Freedom of Residence]
Everyone residing lawfully in the territory of Latvia has the right to freely move and to choose their place of residence.
Article 98 [Departure, Extradition]
Everyone has the right to freely depart from Latvia. Everyone having a Latvian passport shall be protected by the State when abroad and
has the right to freely return to Latvia. A citizen of Latvia may not be extradited to a foreign country.
Article 99 [Thought, Conscience, Religion]
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The church shall be separate from the State.
Article 100 [Expression, Information, Censorship]
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to freely receive, keep and distribute information and to express
their views. Censorship is prohibited.
Article 101 [Political Activity]
Every citizen of Latvia has the right, as provided for by law, to participate in the activities of the State and of local government, and to
hold a position in the civil service. Local governments shall be elected by Latvian citizens who enjoy full rights of citizenship. The working
language of local governments is the Latvian language.
Article 102 [Associations, Parties]
Everyone has the right to form and join associations, political parties and other public organisations.
Article 103 [Meetings, Processions, Demonstrations]
The State shall protect the freedom of previously announced peaceful meetings, street processions, and pickets.
Article 104 [Petitions]
Everyone has the right to address submissions to State or local government institutions and to receive a materially responsive reply.
Everyone has the right to receive a reply in the Latvian language.
Article 105 [Private Property]
Everyone has the right to own property. Property shall not be used contrary to the interests of the public. Property rights may be
restricted only in accordance with law. Expropriation of property for public purposes shall be allowed only in exceptional cases on the
basis of a specific law and in return for fair compensation.
Article 106 [Work, Forced Labor]
Everyone has the right to freely choose their employment and workplace according to their abilities and qualifications. Forced labor is
prohibited. Participation in the relief of disasters and their effects, and work pursuant to a court order shall not be deemed forced labor.
Article 107 [Remuneration, Holidays, Vacation]
Every employed person has the right to receive, for work done, commensurate remuneration which shall not be less than the minimum
wage established by the State, and has the right to weekly holidays and a paid annual vacation.
Article 108 [Collective Labor Agreement, Strike, Trade Unions]
Employed persons have the right to a collective labor agreement, and the right to strike. The State shall protect the freedom of trade
Article 109 [Social Security, Disability, Unemployment]
Everyone has the right to social security in old age, for work disability, for unemployment and in other cases as provided by law.
Article 110 [Marriage, Family, Parents, Children]
The State shall protect and support marriage, the family, the rights of parents and rights of the child. The State shall provide special
support to disabled children, children left without parental care or who have suffered from violence.
Article 111 [Health]
The State shall protect human health and guarantee a basic level of medical assistance for everyone.
Article 112 [Education]
Everyone has the right to education. The State shall ensure that everyone may acquire primary and secondary education without charge.
Primary education shall be compulsory.
Article 113 [Research, Art, Copyright, Patents]
The State shall recognise the freedom of scientific research, artistic and other creative activity, and shall protect copyright and patent
Article 114 [Minorities]
Persons belonging to ethnic minorities have the right to preserve and develop their language and their ethnic and cultural identity.
Article 115 [Environment]
The State shall protect the right of everyone to live in a benevolent environment by providing information about environmental conditions
and by promoting the preservation and improvement of the environment.
Article 116 [Restrictions]
The rights of persons set out in Articles 96, 97, 98, 100, 102, 103, 106, and 108 of the Constitution may be subject to restrictions in
circumstances provided for by law in order to protect the rights of other people, the democratic structure of the State, and public safety,
welfare and morals. On the basis of the conditions set forth in this Article, restrictions may also be imposed on the expression of religious
In the 10th century AD, the ancient Balts started to form specific tribal realms. Gradually, four individual
Baltic tribal cultures developed: Couronians, Latgallians, Selonians, Semigallians. The largest of them was
the Latgallian tribe, which was the most advanced in its socio-political development. Germans occupied in
the 12th century, forming the city of Riga, combining with Estonia to create the Livonian Federation and
touching off eras of Polish, Swedish and Russian invasions and dominance. Consolidation of the Latvian
nation occurred in the 17th century. The idea of an independent Latvia became a reality at the beginning
of the 1900s and was recognized by the international community of 26 January 1921 and adoption of its
constitution on 15 February 1922. A brief, bloodless coup ensued on 15 May 1934 with suspension of
political parties. Fearing invasion by German, Latvia signed a mutual assistance pact with the Soviet
Union . Germany invaded Latvia on 1 July 1941, and the Soviets liberated it following the war and
absorbed it into the Soviet Union until independence 6 September 1991. Its 1922 constitution was
restored to force by the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Latvia, adopted by the Supreme Council
on 21 August 199. It has been amended in 1933, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and conforms
with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Latvia is a signatory. Following are those
terms specifically from Chapter VIII enumerating Fundamental Rights. For a full English translation
Latvia's constitution, click here.