The Universal Periodic Review

Human rights are a part of everyone’s daily lives – they are the rights that concern equality and personal freedom. Feeling safe and like a valuable member of society irrespective of your disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or colour is a human right. The right to get married and start a family, get an education and receive medical care is a human right. Human rights are everyone’s rights; a society with human rights is a happy society.

Estonia will be facing its third Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council next January. This means that the situation of human rights in our country will get more international attention than usual. During the review, the countries of the world will assess the work Estonia has done in the last four to five years to guarantee human rights and make recommendations on how the state could better protect the rights of its people.

The human rights review is based on various reports that are independent of each other. In response to the national report of Estonia, the Equal Treatment Network will submit its shadow report to the UN in July. This gives even the quietest voice a chance to be heard. Whilst the report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a look at human rights through the eyes of the state, the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is to make the voice of people heard at the international level.

Every person living in Estonia can make a contribution so that the questions Estonia is asked and the recommendations that are made at the review are substantive and help strengthen the protection of human rights in Estonia. Share your experience so that the shadow report will show the actual human rights situation in Estonia!

Fill in the online questionnaire, attend the public meeting or contact the member organisations of the Equal Treatment Network directly!

The project is supported by the NGO Fund of EEA Grants, which is operated by Open Estonia Foundation in cooperation with Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations.

Truth and rights

Share your experience at the event Truth and Rights: Are Your Human Rights Protected?

Rapla, 19 February | Narva, 4 March | Kuressaare, 11 March | Pärnu, 12 March | Rõuge, 17 March | Jõgeva, 19 March | Tapa, 26 March

Public meetings will be held throughout Estonia in February and March, and everyone is welcome to attend. Come and share your opinion of the problems we have in guaranteeing human rights or how we can be an example to other countries. There are no wrong answers! The meetings give everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts with the members of the Equal Treatment Network in a free and relaxed atmosphere. Complete privacy is guaranteed: if you prefer, you can discuss your experiences with one person and the collected information will not be linked to anyone personally.

The meetings in each city will be held from 17:00-19:00 – come and join us when it suits you. The meetings are also accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Human rights are everyone’s rights irrespective of our education, age, sexual orientation, home or wages. A society with human rights is a happy society. In a happy society, everyone has the right to feel safe and protected and engage in society.

The objective of the Equal Treatment Network is to piece together an honest picture of the human rights situation in Estonia and get the world’s attention. Every person living in Estonia can make a contribution so that the questions Estonia is asked and the recommendations that are made at the review are substantive. Everyone can contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation in the state because the UN Human Rights Review supports the establishment of an even more stable and safe Estonian society. Strengthening the human rights situation in Estonia will guarantee better protection of everyone’s human rights.

Contribute to making the human rights situation in Estonia even better!

Share your opinion

Which human rights problems cause you concern in Estonia?
What would help improve the situation?
In your opinion, what should the government do to solve this problem?


Estonian Human Rights Review

Estonia will be facing its third UN Human Rights Review in January 2021, where the contribution of Estonia to ensuring and protecting human rights will be assessed at the international level. A thorough summary of the recommendations and opinions of the states will be prepared, which will become an important human rights protection tool for the state as well as NGOs. In January, Estonia will report how the recommendations received during the previous review have been implemented in the last five years.

The UN created the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2006 in order to assess developments in the area of human rights and the performance of obligations in the countries of the world every four or five years. During the review, other countries can make recommendations to the country under review on how to better protect human rights. The UN Universal Periodic Review is based on the human rights records submitted by states, a summary report of the UN institutions and the shadow reports of NGOs. In response to the national report of Estonia prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Equal Treatment Network, which consists of seven NGOs, will submit its shadow report to the UN in July. The Network will submit its shadow report to the UN in July 2020.

Read more about the UN Universal Periodic Review.

Read the materials of the Estonian Universal Periodic Review of 2011.