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Newsletter of Estonian Human Rights Centre

Dear supporter

June 2021


Happy summer! Hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather and is taking some time off to relax. Despite the vacation mode, we bring you yet another newsletter. Enjoy!

In ten years, the Human Rights Centre has commissioned five opinion surveys on LGBT rights. In June, we publish the latest survey conducted by Turu-uuringute AS this spring. And the results are looking better than ever! Compared to two years ago, the attitude of the Estonian population has taken a big step in the right direction and support for LGBT rights has increased among both the Estonian and non-Estonian speaking population. We'll share the survey in the newsletter together with the Centre's opinion on current laws.

Support for LGBT rights among Estonian people has grown exponentially

Attitudes of the Estonian population have become significantly more positive and more and more people support LGBT rights, according to a recent LGBT public opinion survey by the Estonian Human Rights Centre. 64 percent of Estonians support the Registered Partnership Act, which is 15 percentage points more than two years ago. The public opinion survey was conducted by Turu-uuringute AS in the spring of this year.

"The survey shows that the majority of the Estonian people are friendly and stand for a society that respects all human rights. The intolerant are vocal, but they are in a clear minority. The increase in support for the Registered Partnership Act is consistent, and it is time for the parliament of Estonia to understand that the implementing acts of the Registered Partnership Act must be adopted so that all families living in Estonia feel safe," said Egert Rünne, director of the Human Rights Centre.

Survey results

The EHRC's opinion: It is time for the state to make changes to the law

Since the first public opinion survey on LGBT rights in 2012, the attitudes of Estonians have become significantly more positive. The biggest change in people's attitudes has taken place in the last two years, but fear of discrimination remains a real problem in our LGBT community.

The Equal Treatment Act recognises all people, but today's law offers less protection based on religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. The lack of implementing acts for the Registered Partnership Act is also a clear example of the fact that LGBT people are only partially guaranteed their rights.

Different personal stances and worldviews go hand in hand with democracy, but at the national level, there is no justification for differentiating between our own people. Thus, it is high time for the state to take steps to adopt the necessary legislative changes.

Human rights ambassadors spent an inspiring weekend together

On June 12–13, human rights ambassadors met again after a long time, including Kätlin, Annika and Marleen, who joined the team in the spring.

On Saturday, we immediately put the team spirit of the ambassadors, some of whom met face-to-face for the first time, to the test. We canoed for couple of hours in the summer rain and enjoyed the picturesque views of Soodla Reservoir. When wet clothes were exchanged for dry ones, we sat down to look together at the role of the human rights ambassador and what a well-functioning network of ambassadors could look like. They dreamed, planned, discussed and learned together, and quite a few inspiring conversations were held.

On Sunday, we talked about personal expectations, honed our cooperation and ran around in the woods, mud and by the sea for a common goal. Find more photos on Instagram @inimoigused.

FRA's Fundamental Rights Report 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in respecting the fundamental rights to health, education, employment and social protection across society, shows FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021. The report reflects on the developments and shortfalls of human rights protection in the EU over the past year. The EHRC studied developments in the field of human rights in Estonia and provided input to the FRA. Read the report about Estonia.

“One of the main concerns in Europe in 2020 was the rise in hate crimes. We have also noticed this in our work. The Human Rights Center has been increasingly approached by people who have been attacked or harassed on the streets. [- - -] We should be a country where everyone feels safe. The first step should be to finally adopt a framework decision to cover hate crime as a specific type of crime,” said Egert Rünne, the director of the EHRC.

UNHCR: World leaders must act to reverse the trend of soaring displacement 

Despite the pandemic, the number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations in 2020 rose to nearly 82.4 million people, according to UNHCR’s latest annual Global Trends report. This is a further four per cent increase on top of the already record-high 79.5 million at the end of 2019.
  • On June 3, Uljana Ponomarjova and Mirjam Savioja from the EHRC gave a seminar on human rights to students at Pae Gymnasium.
  • On June 15, the EHRC team took some time off and went canoeing together.
  • We launched an online shop for our cool and sustainably made merch!
  • Just Some Concert organising team together with great performers raised 600 euros in donations to the Centre to support cultural diversity and human rights.
  • ERR on our survey: Estonian people's support for LGBT+ rights has risen
  • Estonian World on our survey: Over half of Estonians consider same-sex attraction acceptable.
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 © 2021 Eesti Inimõiguste Keskus/ Estonian Human Rights Centre, All rights reserved.

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