New projects in EHRC

Two new co-operation projects started in April: “Equal treatment network” in co-operation with  Estonian Women’s Roundtable, Estonian Chamber of Disabled Persons, Estonian LGBT Union, Estonian National Youth Council, Tallinn Human Rights Information Centre and “Enhancing advocacy work in the area of asylum- and refugee policy” in co-operation with Estonian Refugee Council.

The main goal of the project “Equal treatment network” is to advance the principle of equal treatment and increase the effectiveness of protection from discrimination in Estonia through network based strategic advocacy activities and cooperation among NGOs. With the creation of the equal treatment network, cooperation in the field of advocacy and awareness-raising is increased in this field, which is a prerequisite for societal impact. As a result of the project, the capacity and capability of advocacy is increased to work with the governmental institutions and influence them to better follow and value the principle of equal treatment. Also, awareness of issues related to equal treatment will be raised among NGOs and policymakers, which brings about mainstreaming of the equal treatment principle in making policy and laws.

The project is expected to achieve an equal treatment network, into which belong organisations involved in  advocacy. The equal treatment network will document different discrimination cases and according to that information will give input for changing Equal Treatment Act. The Project will address challenges in rising the capacity of advocacy in the field of fighting against discrimination among those organisations.

Expected beneficiaries are disabled people, women, youth, sexual minorities, non-Estonians.

The aim of the project “Enhancing advocacy work in  the area of asylum- and refugee policy” is to create more professional and sustainable advocacy work of Estonian refugee organisations. The advocacy work aims to achieve changes in several policy and law areas among them in improving the protection of rights of asylum seekers and developing comprehensive policy for integration of refugees in Estonia.

A roundtable of refugee organisations will be managing and directing the advocacy work. With an aim to create more efficient and professional advocacy agenda, training of the staff will take place as well as creating network with the refugee organisations in other Member States. Research and analysis will be carried out, a conference and meetings with decision makers will be carried out.

The projects are supported by the NGO Fund of EEA Grants, which is operated by Open Estonia Foundation.

NGO Fund is a specific Programme area within the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, earmarked to provide flexible and accessible funding to eligible NGOs, with the aim to foster an enabling environment for the sector, strengthen its capacity and enhance its contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development. NGO Fund in Estonia is established with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Donor states and the Republic of Estonia. Fund Operator for the programme is Open Estonia Foundation (OEF).

Grants of the NGO programme target and contribute to following outcomes:

  • Democratic values, including human rights, promoted
  • Advocacy and watchdog role developed
  • Strengthened capacity of NGOs and an enabling environment for the sector promoted

During the programming period 2012 – 2016  altogether five open calls for projects are organized; NGO Development Programme, initiated and implemented by the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations is continued; capacity of Estonian NGOs strengthened;  bilateral cooperation between Estonian and donor states’ civil society fostered.

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