Human Rights Writing Competition "Let Human Rights Speak!"

This summer, the Baltic Human Rights Society and the portal, in cooperation with the Ombudsman's Office, organised competition for articles on the topic "Let Human Rights Speak!" (Ļauj Cilvēktiesībām Runāt!”). The aim of the competition was to encourage law students and young professionals to speak up for human rights and issues related to them in Latvia and to attract new authors and reporters to collaborate with the portal.

Ombudsman Juris Jansons, BHRS Senior Researcher Arina Melse, Valērija Ruta Hartmane, Deputy Ombudsman Ineta Piļāne, Hannelora Voiciša, BHRS Communications Coordinator Elīna Rancāne, Paula Kellija, BHRS Executive Director Agnese Koligina-Balode.

The fundamental purpose of the portal is to provide information about human rights issues of national, regional and international importance for Latvia. The portal aims to promote an interest in and understanding of current relevant human rights issues and is intended for a wide range of users: professionals working in the public or private sector who are involved on a daily basis with the application of human rights, journalists, students in the specific fields, as well as the general public. The primary focus of the portal is on human rights issues which are of either direct relevance to Latvia or which may be of general interest to Latvia, being the latest developments in human rights. However, it may also cover broader issues related to the rule of law and democracy where they include a human rights element. 

The following factors were taken into account in assessing the entries: the importance of the topic in the Latvian context, its relevance in the context of current international events, the clarity of presentation of the topic, the accuracy of the legal sources and their analysis, as well as the use of language and punctuation. The competition attracted a lot of interest and received entries on various current human rights issues.

First place and a cash prize of €150 was awarded to Paula Kelly for her article "The Digital Services Act: Disinformation and Freedom of Expression", second place and a cash prize of €100 went to Hannelora Voiciša with her article "The European Commission's proposal also combats cyber-violence against women and girls", and third place and a cash prize of €50, as well as the Ombudsman's commendation went to Valērija Ruta Hartmane with her article "Palliative Care in Latvia in the International and National Bonding Scopes". Lāsma Mazūre was also awarded an opportunity for the publication of her article "Security - the main challenge for a woman journalist?"

The award ceremony took place on 9 September at the Ombudsman's Office in the presence of the winners, the Ombudsman and representatives of the Ombudsman's Office, as well as the creative team of the Baltic Human Rights Society and 

The competition was supported financially by the Society Integration Fund from the Latvian state budget, allocated by the Ministry of Culture, as well as by the EEA/Norway Grant Programme.

Articles will be available soon on the portal in Latvian!