Bodies for the promotion of equal treatment (Article 13 Directive 2000/43)

AuthorKamenska, Anhelita
a) Body/bodies designated for the promotion of equal treatment irrespective of
racial/ethnic origin according to Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive
The Ombudsman (Tiesbsargs) is the body designated for the promotion of equal
treatment in accordance with Article 13 of the Racial Equality Directive. The m andate of
the Ombudsman’s Office is more general : the protection of human ri ghts and ensuring
that the principle of good governance is observed; thus, the promotion of equal
treatment is only one of its tasks. According to Article 11(2) of the Law on the
Ombudsman, the Ombudsman promotes the observance of the principle of equal
treatment and the elimination of all kinds of discrimination, without specifying the
b) Political, economic and social context for the designated body
Following the Ombudsman’s re-election by the Parliament for a second term i n March
2017 (he was previously elected in 2011), there is modest political support for the
Ombudsman. However, this is not specifically related to the equality mandate. Overall,
human rights issues remain rather low on the political agenda.
The general financial crisis in Latvia from 2009 to 2012 and the Ombudsman’s Office’s
weakness due to internal conflict inevitably affected the Office an d its effectiveness. Its
budget was dramatically cut from EUR 1 797 626225 in 2008 to EUR 794 355 in 2010. In
2011, the budget was slightly raised to EUR 813 597, and in 2012 it was raised again to
EUR 1 007 911. In 2013 it was lowered to EUR 969 188, and in 2014 it was raised again
to EUR 1 157 884 (LVL 1 257 384).226 In 2015 the Office’s budget was EUR 1 144 522, in
2016 it was EUR 1 329 113,227 and in 2017 the estimated budget was EUR 1 374 956.228
In 2018, the figure was EUR 1 493 307. 229 Although the budget has been increased since
the financial crisis, it ha s never reached the pre-crisis level. There i s no separate budget
line for the Office’s equality and diversity function.
The number of employees went down from 51 at the end of 2008 to 35 in 2012. In 2018,
the number of employees wa s 49, out of 51 posts.230
c) Institutional architecture
In Latvia, the designated body forms part of a body with multiple mandates.
225 The budget was high also because of infrastructure costs due to a move to a new office, the hiring of new
staff and the expansion of the mandate.
226 Ministry of Finance (2014), ‘Law on State Budget, Explanatory Report’ (Likuma "Par valsts budžetu
2014.gadam" paskaidrojumi), p. 164, available in Latvian at: /budzetapaskaidrojumi/FMPask_L_270114_bud2014_ lab.pdf.
227 Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia (2016), Annual Report, p. 261: ‘ The real annual expenditure is lower
than the budget initially allocated by the Government’, available at: as/tiesibsarga_2016_gada_zinojums_1489647331.pdf.
228 Ministry of Finance (2017), Budget of the Office of the Ombudsman. Protection of human rights of private
individuals, available in Latvian at: zets/valsts_budzeta_vizualizacija/_budzets2017/tiesib sarga_birojs/14
229 Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia (2019). 2018 Annual Report of the Republic of Latvia Ombudsman
(Latvijas Republikas Tiesbsarga 2018.gada ziojums), p. 256, available at: ibsarga_2018_gada_zinojums_1550749223.pdf. The 10.8 %
increase was largely for the national preventive mechanism function, although Latvia has not ratified
230 Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia (2019). 2018 Annual Report of the Republic of Latvia Ombudsman
(Latvijas Republikas Tiesbsarga 2018.gad a ziojums), available at: ibsarga_2018_gada_zinojums_1550749223.pdf.

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