Estonia


Share
Share

Estonia Human Rights

Discrimination – linguistic minorities

Members of the Russian-speaking minority faced discrimination. Non-Estonian speakers, mainly from the Russian-speaking minority, were denied employment due to official language requirements for various professions in the private sector and almost all professions in the public sector. Most did not have access to affordable language training that would enable them to qualify for employment.

In January, the Equal Treatment Act entered into force, prohibiting discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, race and colour in areas such as employment, education, and social and health care. However, the measure has limited effect with regard to public sector employment, because amendments to the Public Service Act established that unequal treatment of state and municipal officials based on official language requirements should not be considered as discrimination.

Human rights defenders

In its report published in April, the Security Police Board continued to attempt to discredit the Legal Information Centre for Human Rights (LICHR), an NGO promoting and defending the rights of linguistic minorities. The report stated that Aleksei Semjonov, the LICHR director, would be a pro-Russia candidate at the 2009 European Parliamentary elections, that he was a member of the pro-minority Constitutional Party, and that he carried out activities financed and directed by the Russian authorities.

However, Aleksei Semjonov had stated publicly on 20 March that he would not take part in the European Parliamentary elections. Official information available on the internet showed that he was not a Constitutional Party member and that he did not register as an independent or party candidate for the European elections.

Freedom of expression and assembly

On 15 October, Parliament approved the so-called "Bronze Night" package (Bill N.416UE), a set of amendments to the Penal Code, the Public Service Act and the Aliens' Act. The amendments expand the definition of "an offence committed during mass disorder", which might now include acts of nonviolent disobedience during peaceful demonstrations. They also provide for non-nationals, including long term residents and those born in Estonia, to have their residence permit revoked for these offences and for other "intentional crimes against the state". This could include non-violent acts such as the symbolic destruction of national flags or those of foreign states or international organizations.

Estonia News



February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 20, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Estonia 2013

Republic of Estonia Head of state Toomas Hendrik Ilves Head of government Andrus Ansip About 100,000 people, most of them Russian speakers, remained stateless, limiting their political rights. National human rights institutions did not comply with international standards. Conditions of reception for asylum-seekers and refugees were inadequate. Discrimination – ethnic minorities About 100,000 people (approximately …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention Available in PDF only.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Estonia 2010

Head of state Toomas Hendrik Ilves Head of government Andrus Ansip Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 1.3 million Life expectancy 72.9 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 11/8 per 1,000 Adult literacy 99.8 per cent Linguistic minorities faced continued discrimination, including in employment. A human rights organization continued to be harassed by the government. Parliament …