On 8 March the Cabinet of Ministers supported a draft law “Amendments to the Law on Support for Ukrainian Civilians”. It provides additional mechanisms for effective support to civilians of Ukraine, who have departed from Ukraine or cannot return to Ukraine due to the war caused by the Russian Federation.
Earlier, on 3 March, the Saeima adopted the Law on Support for Ukrainian Civilians. More detailed information available here: https://www.iem.gov.lv/en/article/saeima-adopts-law-outline-support-ukrainian-civiliansseym-priymae-zakon-dlya-pidtrimki-civilnogo-naselennya-ukraini
New amendments set norms to respond to specific challenges:
1) Collect information on the support necessary to Ukrainian civilians. State and municipal institutions would ensure effective and coordinated provision of the support. 2) Allow Ukrainian civilians, who have acquired pharmaceutical education receive the right to work and provide their knowledge to Latvian pharmacy companies - measures supported in particular due to circumstances of both, continued spread of Covid-19 as well as support to possible refugees from Ukraine.
3) Clarify the right of Ukrainian children fleeing from war to acquire the pre-school education in Latvia, from the age of one and a half years until commencement of principal education. If it will not be possible to provide a place for these children in the municipal pre-school educational institutions, the municipality will cover expenses of the private pre-school education service providers in accordance with the procedure and in the amount determined in regulatory enactments.
4) Allows municipal social services to decide on immediate, needs-based support. Financial situation of the person will not be considered decisive to grant social benefits and services or financial support, until 31 August 2022.
5) To accelerate the recruitment, employer shall be entitled to employ the Ukrainian civilian without the initial mandatory health check. The exemption will not apply to the initial medical examination for persons, who are to be employed in special conditions (such as working at heights, operating various cranes or working with dangerous equipment).
6) Upon commencement of the employment relations, the Ukrainian civilians will entitled to single-time benefit - one minimum monthly salary.
7) Ukrainian civilians can use public transport across the whole territory of Latvia free of charge.
The draft law seeks to ensure effective and procedurally fast representation and care of children left without parental care, in granting safe care environment in Latvia. For children, who have arrived to Latvia without accompaniment of parents, law sets up a new out-of-family care institution - emergency guardianship. It shall be applied only and solely to persons entering Latvia from the war zone in Ukraine. To ensure provision of the best interests and compliance of the rights of such children law limits guardianship right to specific persons:
- persons, who would have established close personal relationship with the child should be appointed as an emergency guardian, namely, the persons, who enter Latvia together with a citizen of another country,
- persons, with whom the non-accompanied children cohabitate with other persons, as well as
- Latvian families, who have acquired a status allowing to engage in out-of-family care - a guardian, host family or foster family and adopters; with previous experience with children in out-of-family care and children with traumatic experience.
Currently, from the surveyed families 204 guardians, foster families and adopters could grant care to 448 children. 46 potential foster families, could host 75 children. Thus, it would be possible to provide safe care in families for 523 non-accompanied children. Legal guardians and foster families are assert their rights pending assessment to care for children with traumatic experiences.
Latvian citizens, willing to host the children in their family, are welcome to turn to the orphan’s and custody court in order to obtain the status of a guardian, host family or foster family, as provided by legal acts.
Supporting Ukrainian civilians, who bring animals into the Republic of Latvia when fleeing from the armed conflict in Ukraine, law provides for temporary waiver of certain veterinary safety rules. Normally required, including to register of animals.
Finally, draft law proposes special procedure for state owned enterprises to donate for general support of the Ukrainian society.
Ministry of the Interior