Proposals to promote human rights in Estonia

The head of the Estonian Human Rights Centre Egert Rünne sent a letter today on behalf of the Equal Treatment Network to the representatives of the political parties involved in the coalition negotiations, in which the network is setting out their proposals for promoting human rights in Estonia. We’ll publish the letter in full below.

Dear Kaja Kallas,
Dear Keit Pentus-Rosimannus,
Dear Mart Võrklaev,
Dear Gerrit Mäesalu,
Dear Tanel Kiik,
Dear Mailis Reps.

15 January 2021
Proposals to promote human rights in Estonia

We’d like to forward the proposals of the Equal Treatment Network for improving the human rights situation to the leaders of the new coalition. These proposals were sent to the UN in October 2020 in connection with the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of Estonia by the UN Human Rights Council in the spring of 2021.

We would like to remind you that human rights are a guiding light for every democratic country even during a crisis. Furthermore, during the current pandemic it is the vulnerable groups who need more support, such as elderly people and people with special needs, who have suffered the most.

We therefore hope that during the coalition negotiations you will also discuss such topics as:

  • Ensuring the availability of psychiatric care to minors,

  • Criminalising hate speech,

  • Passing the implementation provisions for the Registered Partnership Act,

  • Harmonising the protections against discrimination,

  • Improving accessibility of public spaces,

  • Reducing the burden of informal caring responsibilities on women.

We are happy to discuss the proposals in further detail and have attached the shadow report for the Universal Periodic Review, which gives you a quick overview of the shortcomings in human rights and our proposals for each topic.

We wish you luck with the coalition negotiations and hope that the new government will bring with it progress, and breathe new life into the human rights sphere!

With regards,

Egert Rünne, on behalf of the Equal Treatment Network

The Equal Treatment Network was created in 2013 and includes the Estonian Human Rights Centre, the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, the Estonian Centre of Disabled Persons, Oma Tuba NGO / Feministeerium, the Estonian LGBT Association, the Estonian Vegan Association, the Estonian National Youth Council, Federation of Estonian Student Unions and the Estonian Refugee Council.

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