Human Rights in Estonia 2014 – 2015

The summaries of the chapters of the report “Human Rights in Estonia 2014–2015” include recommendations from the experts on how to improve the situation of human rights in Estonia that were handled in the report:

  1. In order to ensure the human dignity of the people at nursing homes, the conditions of the nursing home shall be assessed as the whole and human dignity shall be returned to the residents of nursing homes, amendments shall be made at the level of law if necessary.
  2. The amounts of compensations determined for detainees shall be proportional and appropriate considering the extent of the violated rights.
  3. Attention shall be paid for raising the legal awareness of minorities, informing them also in their mother tongue.
  4. Advertisement of sexual services in media shall be forbidden.
  5. Enhance the availability of free legal counseling services, including for minority groups and for asylum seekers.
  6. Create clear regulations for appointing the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner and align the funding of the commissioner to his/her duties.
  7. Critically review the procedures for maintaining the metadata of electronic communications.
  8. The public discussions over the past few years on contradictory topics such as the Cohabitation Act and the refugees have indicated a need for more clear regulations against inciting hatred.
  9. Adopt the amendments to the Equal Treatment Act handled in the report, especially the one to synchronize protection against discrimination based on all features.
  10. Ensure national funding in order to implement evidence-based anti-bullying measures from kindergarten to gymnasium.
  11. Lose the absolute ban that prohibits the people serving a prison sentence to participate in elections. Change relevant laws in a way that the election prohibition would only apply for inmates to whom it is determined as an additional punishment.
  12. More attention shall be paid to framing topics in media. When broadcasting news, too often connections are made — either consciously or unconsciously — between a conflict, violence and terrorism and specific ethnic groups or religion.
  13. Although multiple citizenship is now legal for minors, discussion should be initiated for allowing multiple citizenship also after coming of age.
  14. Adopt an implementary law which ensures that as of 1 January 2016 the Registered Partnership Act shall enter fully into force.
  15. Maintain the subgoal of equal treatment and promotion of tolerance in the well-being development plan in order to ensure the raising of awareness on topics of equal treatment, and the promotion of tolerance in the society as a whole.
  16. Not to locate the asylum seekers to the detention centre in Harku, assuming that the person shall escape because he/she has illegally entered into the country.
  17. Improve the availability of education for students with special needs and the quality of the education at all educational levels, create a support system for a smooth transition from school to working life.

Chapters of Annual Report of the Estonian Human Rights Centre 2014 – 2015 PDF file and text version:

Foreword – Ahto Lobjakas
Chapter 1 – Prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Chapter 2 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
Chapter 3 – Right to a fair trial
Chapter 4 – Right to respect for family and private life
Chapter 5 – Freedom of expression
Chapter 6 – Freedom of assembly and association
Chapter 7 – Prohibition of discrimination
Chapter 8 – Right to education
Chapter 9 – Right to free elections
Chapter 10 – Situation of national minorities
Chapter 11 – LGBTI situation in Estonia
Chapter 12 – Rights of refugees and asylum seekers
Chapter 13 – Rights of the child
Chapter 15 – Situation and rights of persons with disabilities

Edited by: Egert Rünne, Kari Käsper

Translated by: Grete Anton

Published by: Estonian Human Rights Centre.

Copyright: Authors, Estonian Human Rights Centre, 2015

The preparation and publishing of the report was supported by the Integration and Migration Foundation “Our People”, the Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Estonia and the donators of the Human Rights Centre.