ECRI 5th report on Estonia (excerpts on statistics), 2015



In this report, ECRI calls on the Estonian authorities to take further measures in certain areas; it makes a number of recommendations, including the following.


Steps should also be taken [..] and to establish a system for the collection of data on equality.



I. Common topics


2. Hate speech


– Data

33. ECRI takes note of the information forwarded to it by the Estonian authorities. According to this information, since 2010 five offences of incitement to hatred have been investigated by the judicial authorities. ECRI has received no information as to the outcome of these proceedings. As ECRI stated in its 4th report, it is difficult in the absence of any statistics to assess the scale of violations of the articles criminalising hate speech. This shows that there is a general problem of under-reporting,19 the existence of which has been especially highlighted in Estonia.20 The cases cited below will help give some insight into the scale of the phenomenon.

19 On this subject, see also the research carried out by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in all EU countries, showing that often the victims of hate crime do not file a report. See FRA 2013b.

20 FRA 2009: p.176.


4. Integration policies
– Integration policies up to 2013


58. The most recent census, carried out in 2011, provides valuable information on the characteristics of the population targeted by these integration policies. According to this census,28 as at 31 December 2011, the population of Estonia stood at 1 294 455 persons, 29 24% of whom were of foreign origin (12% first generation, 8% second generation and 4% third generation). Concerning the use of Estonian, only 30% of the first generation foreign population, the average age of whom is over 60, are proficient in Estonian, compared with roughly 60% for the second and third generations. With regard to citizenship, the 2011 census shows that the rate of people with undetermined citizenship stood at less than 7% of the total population (i.e. 84 494 persons), whereas this same rate stood at 12% in 2000. Those holding Russian citizenship accounted for 7% of the overall population (89 913 persons).


29 This number stood at 1 312 300 as at 1 January 2015.

– The results of these policies


60. However, a more detailed analysis is necessary, as the issues surrounding integration, in ECRI’s view, go far beyond the substance of successive Estonian integration strategies. Such an analysis could draw on the detailed recommendations which ECRI made in the 4th cycle, in particular with regard to: [..]; and the lack of data on equality.


76. Lastly, ECRI notes the lack of data on equality in most of the relevant fields (education, housing, employment, healthcare etc.), for all the vulnerable groups concerned.53 This lack is occasionally acknowledged by the Estonian authorities themselves. ECRI considers that in the absence of a system for collecting data on equality, and notwithstanding the many research studies on integration, Estonia still does not have a structural tool enabling it to evaluate the situation of the different vulnerable groups in terms of discrimination. ECRI therefore considers that its 4th cycle recommendation on establishing a system for collecting data on equality has not been implemented and that the authorities should take action quickly in this regard.

53 The Institute of Baltic Studies criticises the lack of research, studies or equality indicators in the majority of areas in which discrimination can occur, whether education, employment, housing or healthcare; see IBS 2012.

77. ECRI once again recommends that the authorities consider ways of establishing a coherent, comprehensive system for collecting data on equality so as to monitor the situation of vulnerable groups in the various areas of life, by means of statistics broken down, for example, by ethnic origin, language, religion and nationality. These data should be collected with full regard for the principles of confidentiality, informed consent and voluntary self-identification of people as belonging to a particular group. The system should also take account of the possible existence of double or multiple discrimination.


II. Questions relating specifically to Estonia


3. Effectiveness of the specialised national bodies


108. This question of the absence of awareness-raising activities in the field of discrimination had already been addressed by ECRI in the 4th cycle,64 noting that this absence could go some way to explain the low number of complaints of discrimination.65 ECRI notes that despite its 4th cycle recommendation,66 there has been no change to the situation in this respect. For example, the Commissioner received two complaints concerning possible discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin in 2010, six in 2011, five in 2012 and four in 2013.67 The Chancellor received ten complaints in 2010, ten in 2011, seven in 2012 and five in 2013.

64 §§ 60 and 61 of the 4th report on Estonia.

65 CERD 2014: § 15.a.

66 § 64 of the 4th report on Estonia.

67 ACFC 2014: p. 6.

Document data: CRI(201 5)36 Adopted 16.06.2015, public 13.10.2015. Link: Also available in French and Estonian

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