Commissioner’s recommendations deserve consideration

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović published a report on her visit to Estonia in June. Estonian Human Rights Centre finds that many topics brought forward in the report deserve attention and quick reaction by Estonian authorities:

  • Human rights of the elderly need better protection in terms of improving their inclusion to the labor market as well as ensuring they can live in dignity and improving long-term care services. The commissioner points out that careful consideration should be given to the human rights implications of using artificial intelligence in care services for the elderly. Estonian Human Rights Centre brought age discrimination into focus at a conference earlier this year, which demonstrates the timeliness of the commissioner’s recommendations.
  • Gender pay gap and gender based violence were also among the priorities of the commissioner’s visit. Estonian Human Rights Centre agrees that these topics, especially developing concrete and practical measures to tackle them, need improving. As a first step, the Parliament should pass the amendments to the Equal Treatment Act, which would require public sector organisations to gather statistics on salaries and evaluate their gender pay gap.
  • EHRC agrees that the Chancellor of Justice has great potential in becoming the National Human Rights Institution and acting as the supervisory authority on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  At the same time it remains unclear whether a diverse enough representation is guaranteed by the council alone. A broad-based and institutionalised cooperation with the civil society would help in fulfilling both of these new roles.
  • EHRC acknowledges the commissioner’s remarks on the need to ensure the independence of the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner by a separate budget line and a transparent and qualifications-based selection process.

Read the full report here.

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