U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Latvia
|Publisher||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|
|Publication Date||10 June 2002|
|Cite as||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Latvia , 10 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3d04c15014.html [accessed 22 September 2017]|
At the end of 2001, Latvia hosted eight recognized refugees and one asylum seeker. Latvia received 11 asylum applications during the year, and granted asylum to one, an Afghan.
Latvia acceded to the UN Refugee Convention and enacted its National Law on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in 1997. The Center for Refugee Affairs (CRA) within the Department for Citizenship and Migration in the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for examining asylum applications. The Refugee Appeals Council, an independent body under the Ministry of Justice, examines appeals of negative decisions.
A new draft asylum law was expected to be adopted in early 2002. During the year, the government abolished the immigration police, who previously had been mandated to forward asylum applications to the CRA, and handed over their functions to the border police. Under the draft asylum law, border police will conduct first-instance asylum interviews.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed concern that members of the Refugee Appeals Council have "limited competence and lack of experience." The agency has also raised concerns that asylum claims have been rejected on safe-third-country grounds and that expulsion orders have been issued without consent from receiving states to readmit the rejected asylum seekers.