Diaspora policies, consular services and social protection for Latvian citizens abroad

2020-02-28T09:45:09Z (GMT) by Aija Lulle
This chapter shows that Latvia is a country whose diaspora policies are shaped by ethnic identity arguments that introduce some differences of treatment between two categories of individuals residing abroad: citizens and the specific category of Russian-origin “non-citizens”. We show that, because most of diaspora concentrates in Western destination countries with strong welfare states, Latvia has little incentives to act in this area. Social protection policies in Latvia are mainly related to repatriation support. Repatriation is understood as help to return for those, mainly ethic Latvians, who left the country before 1990s. Support for recent emigrants is limited to consular support, gradual extension of opportunities to vote from abroad, language training, weekend schools. In 2018 the first pilot programme was carried out to provide information support for return migrants under the umbrella of regional development vision in Latvia.