Latvia regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Latvia's criminal code contains a general penalty enhancement. Data reported to ODIHR also include offences of incitement to hatred. Data are collected by the Ministry of Interior, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Analysis and Management of the Prosecutor General's Office, the Courts Administration unit of the Ministry of Justice and the Security Police of the Republic of Latvia. Data are not made publicly available.
In 2016, the Ombudsman's Office published a study on the "Issues of Investigating Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in the Republic of Latvia". The study recommended a more strategic approach to addressing hate crimes, strengthening the implementation of criminal law and conduct prevention activities. The study further noted that law enforcement agencies do not have a uniform understanding of the concept of hate crime and recommended the development of a methodology for recognizing, identifying and investigating hate crimes. Improvements to hate crime recording and data collection were also suggested.
The Ombudsman's Office also organized its annual conference on hate crime and hate speech.
In his report following a visit to Latvia, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urged the authorities to build the capacity of police, prosecutors and judges to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish all hate crimes.
In its report, the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Latvia recommended the strengthening of the hate crime provisions in criminal law and that the authorities organize training on hate crimes for police and judicial officials.
In his report following a visit to Latvia, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe recommended that the authorities improve responses to homophobic and transphobic hate crime, as well as training for police, prosecutors and judges. He further recommended the inclusion of homophobic and transphobic biases as aggravating circumstances in the criminal code.
ODIHR observes that Latvia has not reported on hate crimes separately from cases of hate speech.