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Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
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Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supports signing the Istanbul Convention with a condition

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Tuesday, 10 May, following lengthy discussions, Latvia’s government supported the ratification and signing of the Istanbul Convention.

Signing of the convention will be carried out with a specific condition: Latvia will apply the convention only in accordance with principles and rules of its Constitution.

After listening to what all sides had to say and noting that Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs and Environmental Minister Kaspars Gerhards had opposing opinions, the government decided to authorize Welfare Minister Janis Reirs to sign the convention.

Before the vote regarding the ratification of the convention, discussions were held among ministers and representatives of non-government organizations.

Rasnacs explained why the convention should not be signed. According to him, the Istanbul Convention does not comply with Latvia’s Constitution. In addition, he said that only 13 EU member states have ratified the convention so far. In the Justice Ministry’s document, which it calls ‘a legislative conclusion’, the ministry details arguments that oppose the common myths. One of them is Welfare Ministry’s reported information regarding allegedly high level of violence against women. This is why, according to Rasnacs, there is no need to join the convention. Instead, reduction of the high level of violence against women can be accomplished with specific measures.

Reirs also voiced criticisms in regards to Rasnacs position in the matter, saying that the Justice Minister’s presented document is of low quality, based on fabricated information from websites reporting Russian propaganda. He urged other members of the government to instead look at countries that have yet to join the convention: Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

Ombudsman Juris Jansons reminded that Latvia had once expressed its commitment to join this convention. He believes the legislative report does not provide definitions of concepts that cause shock in society. At the same time, he agreed that no single regulation is of any good if it is not complied with properly.

Ref: 102.109.10.9789


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