Human rights in Estonia

Human rights constitute the pillar of the Estonian society. They ensure the stability and security of the society and offer opportunities for free self-realisation for everybody.

Human rights are the innate fundamental rights held by every human being that are based on human dignity and are therefore regarded as inalienable.

  • Human rights are held by all human beings, irrespective of where they stay at the moment or what citizenship they hold;
  • Human rights are held by all persons equally;
  • Adherence to human rights can be required from anybody, from any person or government and the State.

The Estonian Human Rights Centre stands for the protection of human rights of everyone both in Estonia and elsewhere. To this end, we issue, for example, the “Human Rights in Estonia” independent report on the situation of human rights and have established, together with the Estonian Institute of Human Rights, the Human Rights Roundtable.


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What are human rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.