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

Dear supporter

February 2021


On Wednesday, we celebrated Estonia's 103rd birthday and it has been a festive week. But it is also the end of the month and time for another newsletter form Estonian Human Rights Centre!

We calculated the numbers of this weird and unexpectedly challenging year and put together a recap of Centre's 2020. Among other things, we continued providing legal advice to asylum seekers, people under international protections, and victims of discrimination on as many as 116 occasions, we made 12 school visits and recognised 32 employers with the Diverse Workplace quality label. The newsletter provides an overview of the Centre's achievements from last year, which we have been able to implement thanks to the support of our good donors. We are also extremely pleased to introduce the newest member of our team, Juss, and invite everyone to celebrate Diversity Day with us. We hope you enjoy the newsletter and as the days get brighter and warmer, we wish you a beautiful springtime!

2020 – year that was anything but boring!

2020 was anything but boring for the Human Rights Centre. At the beginning of the year the centre got a new executive director, and soon after that, two new people joined our team. Then the COVID-19 crisis hit, and all of our plans and timetables for the year had to be binned and redone, and home became the office. In the summer, we decided to increase the strategic litigation area, and in addition to equal treatment and refugee work, we decided to fight for freedom of expression. In July, we were in for a big shock when we were caught in the middle of political games and our funding was temporarily suspended. We ran the numbers and painted pretty pictures of EHRC's year 2020. Take a look at the recap!

Despite 2020 in many ways being the year of being alone, the centre was never on our own. We feel the backing of our supporters more and more – the support of people who care about human rights in Estonia and the development of the country. So – big thanks to everyone who helps us as a volunteer, a donor or just by saying thank you. Your support makes us bigger!

Our newest team member Juss goes by the motto "Live and let live"

On February 1st, Juss Särekanno started working as the assistant at the Human Rights Centre. We gave him a few days to get used to his new role and then asked him how he’s been doing so far and how he ended up working at the Centre.

Juss doesn’t consider himself to be a vigorous activist or someone who would stand in the front line at protests. "It’s in my nature to be peaceful and I try to go by the motto "Live and let live." I think that human rights fit this motto. We are all a bit different, but we have to coexist in this world without hurting each other," he says.
Read the interview!

We'll celebrate Diversity Day on May 12!

May is European Diversity Month and, in Estonia, this culminates on May 12th when Diversity Day is celebrated. Diversity Day is a great way to share the joy arising from diversity with one another, to learn something new, and to exchange wonderful experiences.

We invite everyone to celebrate together what makes us different and unites us. On this always so nice and joyful day, we pay attention to the importance and uniqueness of each person. Our different experiences, perspectives and knowledge complement each other and bring us together – diversity unites!

Celebrate with us!

Register to participate at Code Against Hate 2!

Code Against Hate 2, the second international hackathon for identifying and moderating hate speech, takes place on March 19th–21st.

Anyone who is interested in reducing hate speech online is welcome to join, whether you already have a great idea or not. We definitely need programmers in each team, but coming up with clever and creative solutions requires ideas from people with many different backgrounds. Register to take part if you are involved with, for example, human rights, you’re a great designer, you have an IT or social science background, or if you’re a bright media specialist!

Find out more and register to take part on the hackathon home page!

  • Egert Rünne, the head of the Estonian Human Rights Centre, wrote an opinion piece in support of stronger regulations for hate speech and explained, why a society that respects and protects everyone, needs to criminalise hate speech. (article in Estonian)
  • At the beginning of the month, we started looking for new human rights ambassadors from Järva, Lääne and Rapla county.
  • On February 14–16th, an international conference on gender based hate speech "My Hateful Valentine" took place. The Centre's expert Kelly Grossthal was one of the organisers as well as a moderator to a panel. Uljana Ponomarjova, the Centre's lawyer, and the head of our Supervisory Board Katrin Nyman-Metcalf also participated in the discussion panels.
  • We are very happy to say that Women’s Support and Information Center joined Equal Treatment Network in February.
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?
Donate now
Copyright © 2021 Eesti Inimõiguste Keskus/ Estonian Human Rights Centre, All rights reserved.

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