Equal Treatment Network Contributes to Achieving Cross-Cutting Goals of Different Minorities

At the meeting last week, members of the Equal Treatment Network set strategic goals to strive for collectively. These goals are characterized by their cross-target group relevance – they are important in one way or another to all organizations in the network.

The meeting was a good opportunity to remind ourselves: the world is never ready. While today we can tick off some goals – such as marriage equality – done! -, for which the network has worked for years, work for many others is still ongoing.

The network originally came together to jointly ensure that the Equal Treatment Act protects all groups equally. 11 years later, it is still evident that the law only partially protects against discrimination based on disability, age, sexual orientation, religious belief, or conviction. The network decided that there is a need to add gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics to the Equal Treatment Act as new grounds of protection. We contribute to the processing of the amendment to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (incitement to hatred and hate crimes) to include, in addition to disability, age, and new categories such as gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics. We plan to write the shadow report for the next period of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review to assess the fulfillment of human rights standards and obligations in Estonia.

Founded in 2013, the Equal Treatment Network brings together non-governmental organizations, one of the most important activities of which is to ensure equal rights for their target group. The network includes 11 organizations.

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