Despite the fact that Latvia has a number of laws and policy guidelines on non-discrimination, there remain signs of discrimination in different aspects of society. Annual Eurobarometer data(Discrimination in the EU in 2015) show that discrimination on the grounds of disability (43%), ethnicity (32%), gender (19%) and age (55+) (49%) is very common in Latvia.
Stereotypes and prejudice in society have a major impact on the ability of discriminated persons and groups to enter employment or education, while they also face a high risk of poverty and social isolation, which limits their ability to change their current life situations.
Given the current situation, it is necessary to provide targeted and effective anti-discrimination and social inclusion services and support measures for groups of persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination, which would help raise their willingness and ability to socialise, make them more aware of their existing resources and their ability to fulfil their potential, thereby improving their quality of life and socio-economic inclusion.
The objective of the activity is to promote the integration into society, as well as the employment, education or training of persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination (mainly persons discriminated against on grounds of sex, age, disability, ethnic origin).
Groups of persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination (hereinafter - the target group) to whom motivation and support services will be provided:
- persons at risk of discrimination on grounds of sex (persons after parental leave, victims of violence, persons caring for another family member and persons from single-parent families);
- persons at risk of discrimination on grounds of age (persons over 50 years of age);
- persons at risk of discrimination on grounds of disability (unemployed persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities and low educational attainment);
- persons at risk of discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, including Roma and other ethnic minorities.
Target group profiling (feasibility study)
The aim of the target group profiling activity is to identify and define the potential target group for motivation and support services and to identify the needs of the target group and the most effective support for successful integration into society, employment, education or qualification, to identify the key challenges and needs in order to offer and provide the most targeted and effective motivational programmes and support services in the future
Motivation and support services
Based on the results of target group profiling (feasibility study), the identified needs of the target group and the recommendations made, motivation and support services will be introduced and implemented.
Motivation and support services will include a comprehensive support programme for each target group, according to their specific needs and preferences. Within the framework of the implementation of motivation and support services, targeted and effective support services will be provided to persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination individually or in groups, i.e. consultations with relevant specialists, support groups, informative educational measures, self-help groups, motivational counselling, etc., to improve their quality of life, successful integration into society, participation in employment, education, training or qualification.
As of 2018, motivation and support services are being provided throughout Latvia. The service is intended to run until the end of 2022.
In 2018 and 2019 (until the end of September), social workers, psychologists, lawyers and other specialists motivated 931 participants to make positive changes, learn new skills, start looking for a job, engage in employment, education, training or qualification, by implementing an individual and targeted approach, including. 659 women and 272 men. 389 participants, including 284 women and 105 men, have started looking for a job, engaged in education/training, qualifications, employment, including self-employment, after participating in the measure.
The mid-term evaluation of the changes in the situation of persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination was carried out by SIA "SAFEGE BALTIJA”. During contract implementation, the experts evaluated the changes in the situation of the target groups at risk of social exclusion and discrimination by age, gender, disability and ethnicity after the implementation of the motivation and support services, answering questions such as:
- Has the motivation programme contributed to the social inclusion of participants in society?;
- Which factors facilitate or hinder the implementation of the motivation programme and the achievement of the objectives?. The experts at SIA "SAFEGE BALTIJA” have evaluated the process of implementation of the motivation programme services and the results achieved so far, and have provided recommendations for improving the design of the motivation measures offered to the target group and for achieving the stated objective - to provide motivation and support services to another 1660 persons by the end of 2022.
A part of the project, by 31 December 2022, the plan is to provide motivation and support services to 3 100 persons at risk of social exclusion and discrimination, of which 930 persons are expected to start their job search, education/training, qualification, employment, including self-employment, after receiving the services provided.