Monthly newsletter on human rights in Estonia and elsewhere.
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Newsletter of Estonian Human Rights Centre

Dear supporter

February 2020

On Monday, Estonia celebrated its 102nd birthday. 🇪🇪 President Kersti Kaljulaid emphasised in her speech the importance of caring for Estonia. We align with this call for action and invite everyone to care for Estonia that supports and protects human rights.

In this month's newsletter, we share happy news of Bahabelom and his family, introduce the last of three studies on Roma integration in Estonia and more. Enjoy!

NB! The English translation of the report "Human Rights in Estonia 2020" is now available on our website in full. Help us translate the report into Russian as well! By donating, you will help translate "Human Rights in Estonia 2020" into Russian and this valuable compilation will be available to a lot more students, officials, professors, human rights advocates, legal counsellors, and others.

Report on identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy


The third study on implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy in Estonia that the centre carried out last year in collaboration with the Central European University was published. 

The previous reports uncovered the problem that there is a lack of active Roma rights advocacy organisations in Estonia. This report explores the reasons behind the problem, by laying out the context of civil society development in Estonia, analysing the State measures to empower Roma organisations, and evaluating the obstacles faced by existing Roma advocacy organisations.

Read the full report "Human Rights in Estonia 2020"

Bahabelom's family reunited! 💙

After escaping from his home country Eritrea, Bahabelom was given protection by the Estonian state and assisted by lawyers of ECHR with the long and complicated process to finally bring his family to Estonia. After a long wait, Bahabelom's wife and two children arrived in Estonia in the beginning of February, and the family is happily reunited.

The center's lawyer Uljana went with them to the police and border guard board to submit asylum applications. Welcome to Estonia!

Thank you, Estonian Refugee Council and all the good people who donated to them and helped cover the family's travel expenses. Thank you, IOM - Migration Agency in Estonia for the logistical support of the whole process.

EHRC is collecting people’s stories of human rights situation in Estonia


Estonia will be facing its third Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council next January.  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 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 public meetings 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 in cooperation with Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations.

Nine ideas on how to fight racism in Estonia

At the end of 2019, Estonishing Evenings, in collaboration with the Estonian Human Rights Centre, organised an event “How to stop racism in Estonia?” in Tallinn. The evening started with an overview of the current situation, statistics and trends in Estonia by Kari Käsper, the founder of the Estonian Human Rights Centre. The presentation was followed with personal stories by four Tallinn-based expats. Together with the audience, they came up with specific ideas and suggestions on how to achieve a more tolerant Estonia that is more comfortable with diversity.

Other things going on at Estonian Human Rights Centre:

  • February 7, Egert, Uljana and Mirjam visited the Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise to discuss collaboration on the project of Equal Treatment Network.
  • EHRC expert Kelly participated at the meeting of project OpCode, which is a project against online hate speech, in Bratislava.
  • February 19, Uljana and Mirjam together with Equal Treatment Network visited Rapla to meet with the local municipality, give a lecture to high school seniors on human rights, and meet with locals at a public event to discuss on human rights situation in Estonia. There will be six more trips to local communities in March. Next one is Narva.
  • February 20, an event for organisations on introducing Diversity Day and Diverse Workplace label took place.
We need your help. Don't look away!
Your donation can help a same-sex couple win their equal treatment case through courts, it can help an asylum seeker get proper legal aid, or help us
monitor what is going on in Estonia.

But most of all, your donation allows us to be independent from state funding and have real and immediate impact on the ground.
If you do not donate, then who will?
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Copyright © 2020 Eesti Inimõiguste Keskus/ Estonian Human Rights Centre, All rights reserved.

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