HRC Concluding observations (excerpt on language), 2019

[..]

C.Principal matters of concern and recommendations

[..]

Rights of minorities

37.While welcoming the measures taken and the progress made with regard to the integration of the Russian-speaking minority, including the improved proficiency in Estonian language, the Committee remains concerned at the remaining gaps (CCPR/C/EST/CO/3, para. 16), particularly those relating to the impact of the language policies and practices that have been implemented, which continue to frustrate the full enjoyment of rights by the Russian-speaking minority on an equal basis with the rest of the population and may result in indirect discrimination. The Committee refers to the concerns of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights with regard to high unemployment rates (E/C.12/EST/CO/3, para. 12), the lack of flexibility in the implementation of the 60 per cent quota for teaching in Estonian in the Russian-speaking secondary schools (see E/C.12/EST/CO/3, para. 48 (g)) and the punitive approach to enforcing the Language Act (see E/C.12/EST/CO/3, para. 50 (a)) (arts. 26 and 27).

38. The State party should strengthen legislative and policy measures aimed at addressing effectively the impact of the language policies and practices that may contribute indirectly to unequal treatment of the Russian-speaking minority. It should also continue to pursue policies to foster greater trust in the State institutions, and should reinforce and promote social inclusion. The Committee reiterates the recommendations made in March 2019 by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/EST/CO/3, paras. 13, 49 (g) and 51 (a)).

[..]


Document data: adopted 21.03.2019, public 18.04.2019; CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Also available in Russian

HRC Concluding observations (excerpt on citizenship), 2019

[..]

C.Principal matters of concern and recommendations

[..]

Nationality

35.While welcoming the measures taken to resolve the situation of persons “with undetermined citizenship”, including the 2015 amendments to the Citizenship Act granting children with undetermined citizenship born in Estonia the right to automatically acquire Estonian citizenship, the Committee remains concerned at (a) the limited scope of the amendments insofar as they exclude certain categories of stateless children; (b) the stringent language requirements that form part of the naturalization tests; and (c) the adverse impact of the “undetermined citizenship” status on the right of long-term residents to political participation (arts. 24, 25 and 26).

36. The State party should strengthen its efforts to reduce and prevent statelessness by addressing the remaining gaps, including by:

(a) Establishing a statelessness determination procedure that ensures that stateless individuals are systematically identified and afforded protection;

(b) Facilitating the naturalization of persons with “ undetermined citizenship ” and removing excessive barriers that hinder the process;

(c) Ensuring that every child has a nationality, in accordance with article 24 (3) of the Covenant, including by granting citizenship to stateless children aged between 15 and 18 as at 1 January 2016 and to children born to stateless parents, irrespective of their legal status.

[..]


Document data: adopted 21.03.2019, public 18.04.2019; CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Also available in Russian

HRC Concluding observations (excerpt on anti-discrimination), 2019

[..]

C.Principal matters of concern and recommendations

[..]

Anti-discrimination framework and the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner

9.The Committee notes the general prohibition of discrimination and the open-ended list of prohibited grounds in article 12 of the Constitution. However, it is concerned that the Equal Treatment Act does not afford equal protection against discrimination on all the grounds prohibited under the Covenant in all spheres of life. While amendments to the Equal Treatment Act were initiated in 2014 to expand its scope of protection against discrimination, the Committee notes that the proposed amendments still restrict such protection to social welfare, health care and social insurance services and allowances, education and access to and supply of public goods and services, rather than to all spheres of life (arts. 2 and 26).

10.While welcoming the increase in the budget of the Office of the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner, the Committee regrets that the Commissioner does not have standing in domestic court proceedings, neither as a legal representative of victims of discrimination nor as an expert party, and that no tangible progress has been achieved in that regard despite the Government’s consideration of the matter. The Committee is also concerned that awareness among the population at large about equal treatment legislation and the available remedies remains insufficient (arts. 2 and 26).

11. The State party should step up its efforts to amend the Equal Treatment Act with a view to ensuring an adequate, effective and equal scope of substantive and procedural protection against discrimination on all the prohibited grounds under the Covenant, in all spheres and sectors. It should also (a) increase efforts aimed at raising awareness about equal treatment legislation and the remedies available among the population at large; (b) improve access to effective remedies against any form of discrimination; and (c) consider granting standing to the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner in domestic court proceedings relating to discrimination.

[..]


Document data: adopted 21.03.2019, public 18.04.2019; CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Also available in Russian

HRC Concluding observations (excerpt on hate speech/crime), 2019

[..]

C.Principal matters of concern and recommendations

[..]

Hate speech and hate crimes

12.The Committee is concerned that the current legal framework does not provide comprehensive protection against hate speech and hate crimes due to, inter alia, the light penalties and the high threshold for the offence of incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination under article 151 of the Criminal Code, which requires “danger to the life, health or property” of the victim; the absence of gender identity among the prohibited grounds for offences against equality in articles 151 and 152 of the Code; and the recognition of hate motives, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as aggravating circumstances for all offences. The Committee notes the plans to amend article 151 of the Criminal Code and to recognize hate motives as aggravating circumstances. The Committee is concerned that other acts, such as the public denial, justification or condoning of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or hate propaganda that is racist or otherwise inciting to discrimination, are not prohibited by law (arts. 2, 19, 20 and 26).

13.While welcoming the measures taken to combat hate speech and hate crimes, including the creation of web constables to identify and react to online hate speech, the Committee remains concerned about reports of hate speech, including by opinion makers and politicians, and hate crimes. While noting that data on hate crimes have been collected since autumn 2016 and that information technology support has been introduced to better categorize incidents motivated by hatred while registering criminal complaints, the Committee regrets the lack of specific data on the number of complaints regarding hate speech and hate crimes, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and on their effective investigation and prosecution (arts. 2, 19, 20 and 26).

14. The State party should ensure effective protection against hate speech and hate crimes, both in law and in practice, in accordance with articles 19 and 20 of the Covenant and the Committee ’ s general comment No. 34 (2011) on freedoms of opinion and expression, including by:

(a) Revising the penalties and the threshold for the offence of incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination under article 151 of the Criminal Code;

(b) Including gender identity among the prohibited grounds for hatred-motivated offences provided for in articles 151 and 152 of the Criminal Code;

(c) Recognizing hate motives, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as aggravating circumstances for all offences;

(d) Prohibiting by law the public denial, justification or condoning of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or hate propaganda that is racist or otherwise incites discrimination;

(e) Conducting regular awareness-raising activities among the public at large aimed at promoting mutual tolerance, respect for diversity and countering hatred; ensuring continuous training on hate crimes for law enforcement officials, border guards, prosecutors and judges; and expanding the number of web constables, as planned;

(f) Investigating hate crimes effectively, prosecuting suspected perpetrators where appropriate and, if they are convicted, punishing them with appropriate sanctions; and providing victims with adequate remedies.

[..]


Document data: adopted 21.03.2019, public 18.04.2019; CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR/C/EST/CO/4 Also available in Russian

CESCR Concluding observations (excerpts), 2019

[..]

C.Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

[..]

Non-discrimination

10.The Committee is concerned that the Equal Treatment Act only prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion or views, age, disability and sexual orientation in areas relating to working life and the acquisition of professional qualifications. It regrets the delay in amending the Act to broaden its scope and application to other social sectors. It is also concerned at the insufficient level of financial and human resources allocated to the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner to fully carry out the mandate (art. 2 (2)).

11. The Committee recommends that the State party amend without delay the Equal Treatment Act with a view (a) to ensuring that it prohibits all direct, indirect and intersectional forms of discrimination, on the grounds set out in article 2 (2) of the Covenant and in all spheres relevant to economic, social and cultural rights, and (b) to providing effective remedies for victims of discrimination, including through judicial and administrative proceedings. It also recommends that the State party allocate a sufficient level of financial and human resources to the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner for the effective functioning of the mandate. In this context, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.

Discrimination based on language

12.While noting the efforts made by the State party to increase opportunities for the non-Estonian-speaking population to learn the Estonian language, the Committee remains concerned at the persistent discrimination experienced by this population due to a lack of proficiency in the Estonian language. This has led to systemic discrimination affecting their enjoyment of Covenant rights, as illustrated by the high unemployment and poverty rates among the non-Estonian-speaking population (art. 2 (2)).

13. The Committee recommends that the State party address the systemic discrimination faced by the non-Estonian-speaking population in the enjoyment of the Covenant rights due to the language barrier, particularly in the areas of employment, housing education, health care, access to services indispensable for ensuring an adequate standard of living and enjoying cultural rights.

Persons with undetermined citizenship

14.While welcoming the overall achievement of the State party in reducing the number of persons with undetermined citizenship, the Committee remains concerned at the large number of such persons, comprising 5.5 per cent of the population as at 1 January 2019. The vast majority of such persons are citizens of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics who were not able to acquire Estonian citizenship due to their lack of proficiency in the Estonian language after the restoration of Estonian sovereignty in 1991. While welcoming amendments made to the Citizenship Law in 2015, under which Estonian citizenship is granted to children with undetermined citizenship born in the State party, the Committee is concerned that the amendments do not apply to stateless children aged between 15 and 18 years old as at 1 January 2016, children born to stateless parents who have not been legally resident in Estonia for the preceding five years and stateless children whose parents have Estonian nationality but are unable to transmit their citizenship to their child. It is further concerned at the lack of disaggregated data on the enjoyment by persons with undetermined citizenship of the Covenant rights (art. 2 (2)).

15. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Accelerate the acquisition of Estonian citizenship by persons with undetermined citizenship by removing the remaining obstacles;

(b) Grant Estonian citizenship to stateless children born in the State party regardless of their parents ’ legal status;

(c) Consider acceding to the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;

(d) Collect data on the enjoyment by persons with undetermined citizenship of the Covenant rights and provide disaggregated data thereon in its next periodic report.

[..]

Right to education

48.The Committee appreciates the achievements made in the education sector, including the high educational attainment rate at the secondary level, the high proportion of adults with a tertiary qualification and the almost universal access to pre-primary education. The Committee remains concerned, however, at:

[..]

(g)The lack of flexibility in the implementation of the 60 per cent quota of teaching in Estonian in the Russian-speaking secondary schools and vocational schools. This often makes it difficult for Russian-speaking students in Russian-speaking schools to acquire mastery in core subjects that are taught only in Estonian and, in the case of vocational schools, leads to an insufficient number of qualified teachers capable of teaching the specialized subjects so as to adequately reflect this percentage and the school specificity (arts. 13, 14 and 15).

49. The Committee recommends that the State party:

[..]

(g) Gradually and flexibly implement the 60 per cent quota of teaching in Estonian in the Russian-speaking secondary schools and vocational schools, take measures to gradually increase the number of qualified teachers in vocational schools so as to better reflect the specificity of these schools and ensure that the quota does not undermine the right of children to education and is implemented in line with the principles stipulated in article 13 of the Covenant.

Cultural diversity

50.The Committee is concerned at:

(a)The punitive approach of the State party to enforcing the Language Act, including through the mandate and functions of the Language Inspectorate and the lack of monitoring of its activities, which may have an adverse impact on the implementation of the Integrating Estonia 2020 development plan;

(b)Administrative barriers against the use of patronymics in official personal documents, which restricts certain national minorities from enjoying their right to protect their cultural identity;

(c)The high threshold (50 per cent of residents must be minority language speakers) for allowing the use of a minority language in communications with the local authorities in areas where people belonging to a linguistic minority group reside traditionally or in substantial numbers;

(d)The excessive conditions for the use of traditional local names, street names and other public topographical indications in a minority language in areas where people belong to a linguistic minority reside traditionally or in substantial numbers;

(e)The fact that persons with undetermined citizenship are not in a position to fully enjoy their rights to take part in cultural life, including the cultural rights of persons belonging to national minorities (arts. 13 and 15).

51. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Remove all punitive elements of the enforcement of the Language Act, including by reviewing the mandate and functions of the Language Inspectorate and putting in place, with the participation of civil society, a mechanism to monitor its activities, and ensure the full implementation of the Integrating Estonia 2020 development plan;

(b) Remove all administrative barriers against the use of patronymics in official personal documents;

(c) Consider lowering the threshold for the use of a minority language to a reasonable level, with a view to facilitating communication with the local authorities in minority languages in areas where people belong to a linguistic minority group reside traditionally or in substantial number;

(d) Review the conditions for the use of traditional local names, street names and other public topographical indications in a minority language in areas where people belonging to a linguistic minority group reside traditionally or in substantial number;

(e) Remove all barriers to the acquisition of Estonian citizenship by persons of undetermined citizenship so that they can enjoy their right to take part in cultural life on the basis of equality with Estonian citizens.


Document data: 27.03.2019; E/C.12/EST/CO/3 Link: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E/C.12/EST/CO/3 Also available in Russian

Eurobarometer: Perceptions of antisemitism (excerpts), 2019

[EU flag] 27.643 interviews 04>20 / 12 / 2018

[EE flag] 1.004 interviews 04>17 / 12 / 2018

Methodology: face-to-face

1. PERCEPTIONS OF ANTISEMITISM IN COUNTRY

QD1 Do you think antisemitism is a problem or ot in (OUR COUNTRY)? %

EU28 ЕЕ
Total ‘A problem’506
Total ‘Not a problem’4386
Don’t know78

Socio-demographic breakdown:

Answer: Total ‘A problem’EU28EE
TOTAL506
AGE
15-244615
25-39487
40-54525
55+512
EDUCATION (End of)
15-443
16-19498
20+542
Still studying5112

QD2 Over the past five years, do you think antisemitism has increased, stayed the same or decreased in (OUR COUNTRY)? %

EU28EE
Increased367
Decreased107
Stayed the same3960
Don’t know1526

Socio-demographic breakdown:

Answer: IncreasedEU28EE
TOTAL 367
AGE
15-242715
25-39317
40-54398
55+393
EDUCATION (end of)
15-312
16-19366
20+425
Still studying2916

[..]

QD3.6. More precisely, do you think that each of the following situation is a problem or not in (OUR COUNTRY)?

Antisemitism on the Internet, including online social networks (%)

Socio-demographic breakdown

Answer: Total ‘A problem’EU28EE
TOTAL 5112

AGE
15-245824
25-395515
40-545413
55+463
USE OF THE INTERNET
Everyday5613
Often/Sometimes452
Never4410

QD3.8. More precisely, do you think that each of the following situation is a problem or not in (OUR COUNTRY)?

People denying the genocide of the Jewish people, the Holocaust (%)

Socio-demographic breakdown

Answer: Total ‘A problem’EU28EE
TOTAL 539
EDUCATION (End of)
15-4610
16-195210
20+567
Still studying5719
LEFT-RIGHT POLITICAL SCALE
Left6020
Centre528
Right516


LV 1.002 interviews 05>18 / 12 / 2018

2. KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION

QD4 Overall, to what extent do you think that in (OUR COUNTRY) people are well informed or not about the history, customs and practices of (NATIONALITY) Jewish people? (%)

EU28EE
Total ‘Well informed’2724
Total ‘Not well informed’6866
Don’t know510

QD4 Overall, to what extent do you think that in (OUR COUNTRY) people are well informed or not about the history, customs and practices of (NATIONALITY) Jewish people? (%)

Socio-demographic breakdown

Answer: Total ‘Well informed’ EU28 EE
TOTAL2724
EDUCATION (End of)
15+2116
16-192923
20+2626
Still studying3030
THINGS IN COUNTRY ARE GOING IN…
Right direction3327
Wrong direction2626
Neither2424

QD6 As far as you know, is there a law in (OUR COUNTRY)…? (%)

… that criminalises incitement to violence or hatred against Jewish people

EU28612118
EE362539
Total ‘Yes’Total ‘No’Don’t know

… that criminalises the denial of the Holocaust

EU28 423424
EE183646
Total ‘Yes’Total ‘No’Don’t know

QD7 Generally speaking, do you think that the Holocaust is sufficiently taught or not in (NATIONALITY) schools? (%)

EU28 EE
Total ‘Yes’4337
Total ‘No’4224
Don’t know1539

QD7 Generally speaking, do you think that the Holocaust is sufficiently taught or not in (NATIONALITY) schools? (%)

Socio-demographic breakdown

Answer: Total ‘No’EU28EE
TOTAL 4224
GENDER
Man4021
Woman4526
LEFT-RIGHT POLITICAL SCALE
Left4027
Centre4227
Right4613

3. MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT

QD5 Do you think that conflicts in the Middle East have an influence or not on the way (NATIONALITY) Jewish people are perceived by people in (OUR COUNTRY)? (%)

EU28 EE
Total ‘Yes’5421
Total ‘No’3566
Don’t know1113

QD5 Do you think that conflicts in the Middle East have an influence or not on the way (NATIONALITY) Jewish people are perceived by people in (OUR COUNTRY)? (%)

Socio-demographic breakdown

Answer: Total ‘Yes’EU28EE
TOTAL5421
EDUCATION (End of)
15-4413
16-195119
20+6119
Still studying5838
LEFT-RIGHT POLITICAL SCALE
Left6227
Centre5621
Right5323

Document data: Special Eurobarometer 484; published in January 2019. Link: http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/survey/getsurveydetail/instruments/special/surveyky/2220 Also available in  Estonian

Commissioner’s visit report (excerpts), 2018

SUMMARY

[..]

Human rights of older persons

[..] Consideration should be given to the situation of older persons among the Russian-speaking minority.

[..]

INTRODUCTION

[..]

3. The Commissioner’s visit included Ida-Viru, the north-easternmost of Estonia’s 15 counties, where over 70% of the population belongs to the Russian-speaking minority. [..]

[..]

1 GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS

[..]

1.3 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

[..]

28. According to surveys referenced in the Strategy for Preventing Violence, while the vast majority of the Estonian population condemns domestic violence, 21% of respondents think it is a private matter for the family and that others should not intervene. Moreover, 54% of the respondents believe that female victims of domestic violence are “partly guilty” of the crimes committed against them, and 47% of the respondents that “rape victims bring it on themselves because of their clothing”. The Strategy asserts that these views may be most commonly held among older men, and men belonging to the Russian-speaking minority.

[..]

1.3.1 SUPPORT AND PROTECTION SERVICES

30. Estonia has a national women’s helpline, “Tugitelefon” (1492), which is free of charge and operates 24/7. The helpline offers emotional support, information on accessing support services, as well as legal counselling – in Estonian and Russian – for women experiencing physical, emotional, economic, and/or sexual abuse. [..]

[..]

3.2. The Commissioner had an opportunity to gain first-hand information about support services for victims by visiting the women’s shelter in the municipality of Jõhvi. The shelter comprises a publicly accessible office and an apartment located at a confidential address, which is provided by the municipality. At the time of the visit, accommodation services were used by
one woman and her child. In addition to support staff, the shelter employs a lawyer and a psychologist. The shelter’s staff indicated that the women who contact them need, above all, psychological and legal counselling. The shelter’s psychologist is Russian-speaking, a necessity given that 80% of the women contacting the shelter are Russian-speaking (a reflection of the population’s composition in the area).

[..]

1.4 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

[..]

40. The Commissioner stresses in particular the importance of continuing efforts to combat discriminatory gender stereotypes, which influence women’s choices, prospects and opportunities in all areas of their lives. The Commissioner calls on the authorities to review school curricula and conduct trainings for teachers to ensure that education is free from
gender-bias and stereotypes. Awareness-raising campaigns should be conducted regularly, including for the Russian-speaking minority.

[..]

44. Violence against women undermines their dignity and integrity as individual human beings, as well as seriously harming families, communities and society as a whole. She encourages the Estonian authorities to support regular awareness-raising and prevention campaigns, including in regions inhabited by members of the Russian-speaking minority. [..]

[..]

2 THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS

[..]

2.1 DISCRIMINATION

[..]

56. Finally, the Commissioner was also reminded that despite Estonia’s significant efforts to integrate members of the Russian-speaking minority and solve the issue of non-citizens, including by easing conditions of naturalisation for persons above 65, a number of Russian-speaking older persons are still unable to obtain Estonian citizenship because of their inability to learn the Estonian language. Non-citizens are members of Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority who did not acquire either Estonian or Russian citizenship after 1991. There are about 80,000 non-citizens in Estonia. Non-citizens cannot create or join a political party, stand for elections or vote in national parliamentary elections; otherwise, they have essentially the same political and civil rights as Estonians.46

46 For more information, see Framework Convention on National Minorities Advisory Committee, “Fourth Opinion on Estonia”, 2015, available at: https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=090000168047d0e5.

2.2 POVERTY

[..]

58. [..]. Commissioner Mijatović was also informed that the poverty rate is higher among the Russian-speaking community, which is a reflection of existing economic inequalities between the respective communities. 50

50 Legal Information Centre for Human Rights, “National minorities in Estonia: risk of poverty and social marginalisation”, OSCE human dimension implementation meeting, 2014, available at: https://www.osce.org/odihr/124459?download=true.

[..]

2.4 NEW TECHNOLOGIES

[..]

82. For some older persons, in particular those with lower education or little exposure to information communication technologies (ICT) during their work life, getting acquainted with the internet may represent a challenge. The Estonian authorities organise free ICT training courses targeted at older persons, notably to teach them the e-government services. These courses are held in Estonian and in Russian in the areas inhabited by Russian-speaking minorities.69 [..]

69 Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, “Digital Agenda 2020 for Estonia”, available at: https://www.mkm.ee/sites/default/files/digital_agenda_2020_estonia_engf.pdf.

[..]

3 INDEPENDENCE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STRUCTURES

[..]

3.1 NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STRUCTURES

[..]

3.1.2 THE GENDER EQUALITY AND EQUAL TREATMENT COMMISSIONER

[..]

109. According to the Equality Commissioner, there has been a considerable increase in public interest in the mandate, with the number of individual complaints having increased from 90 in 2011 to 440 in 2017. While the Equality Commissioner has revamped her website, the latter is still not available in Russian [..]

[..]


Document data: 28.09.2018, CommDH(2018)14 Link: https://rm.coe.int/report-of-the-council-of-europe-commissioner-for-human-rights-dunja-mi/16808d77f4 Also available in Estonian: https://rm.coe.int/euroopa-noukogu-inimoiguste-voliniku-dunja-mijatovici-raport-11-15-juu/16808de6a3

HCNM statement to the 1188th Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council (excerpt), 2018

[..]

I have just concluded a visit to Estonia where I attended the Lennart Meri Conference and held a series of meetings with representatives of the Government, civil society and national minorities in Tallinn. I took note of the significant progress made in the integration of the Estonian society during the last two decades, especially among the younger generations.

Positive results have been achieved, particularly in the field of education, where the knowledge of the State language among national minorities has improved, while the preservation of minority identities is ensured through the continued provision of education in minority languages.

I also observed positive initiatives to create a common media space for all citizens of Estonia, including through the creation of a TV channel in the Russian language by the Estonian Public Broadcaster.

I welcomed facilitated access to Estonian citizenship, in particular for children and elderly persons, took note of the very significant reduction in the overall number of non-citizens and encouraged the authorities to continue with their efforts in this area.

At the same time, divisions along ethnic lines persist. While efforts of the Estonian government to reach out to minority communities residing compactly in the northeast of the country are commendable, additional steps are required to address these divisions and bring majority and minority communities closer together in all areas of public life. All of these efforts will need to be continued in a systematic manner for the sustainable integration and resilience of the Estonian society.

[..]


Document data: 07.06.2018 Link: https://www.osce.org/permanent-council/384168?download=true

ECRI follow-up conclusions (excerpt on integration), 2018

[..]

2. In its report on Estonia published on 13 October 2015, ECRI recommended that the authorities take advantage of the launch of the 2020 integration strategy to run an information campaign for all vulnerable groups, and in particular the Russian-speaking minority and/or persons of undetermined citizenship, placing the emphasis on the fact that the state believes that each of these groups should integrate fully into Estonian society and that they are welcome there.

ECRI notes that the Estonian authorities have taken several steps with regard to this recommendation. ECRI has been informed that the Estonian Ministry of Culture allocated funds to conduct an information campaign to encourage young people with a different mother tongue to Estonian to apply for work in the public sector and to explain employment opportunities to these people. Prepared by the Estonian Integration Foundation (MISA) and implemented in the first half of 2017, this campaign was conducted bilingually3 – in Estonian and Russian – and included a media campaign on Internet, including social media, as well as several outreach activities in schools and universities. In the framework of this campaign, the administrations of Estonian ministries were also informed of the importance and the methods of recruiting people from different language backgrounds rather than just Estonian native speakers.

3 http://karjeravestonii.meis.ee/?lang=ru and http://karjeravestonii.meis.ee/

ECRI is also pleased to note that a cross-media programme on integration was created to introduce positive and integration-friendly attitudes to Estonians and people of other nationalities who live in Estonia. A television programme called “Meie Eestid”4 was designed for this particular purpose and was broadcast on the main Estonian public TV (ETV) channel during the Autumn 2017.

4 https://etv.err.ee/v/377a7b0f-ef30-44a8-8e37-f15c95db9c2b

In view of these considerations, ECRI concludes that its recommendation has been fully implemented.


Document data: adopted 21.03.2018, public 15.05.2018; CRI(2018)23 Link: https://rm.coe.int/interim-follow-up-conclusions-on-estonia-5th-monitoring-cycle/16808b5705 Any developments which occurred after 23 November 2017 are not taken into account in this analysis

ECRI follow-up conclusions (excerpt on hate crime & data collection), 2018

1. In its report on Estonia (fifth monitoring cycle) published on 13 October 2015, ECRI recommended that the authorities introduce without delay in parliamentary proceedings a draft amendment to Article 151 of the Criminal Code, removing the restriction whereby an offence cannot be deemed to have taken place unless it is proven that it entails a risk to the health, life or property of the victim. At the same time, ECRI recommended that the authorities put in place a system to collect data and produce statistics offering an integrated and consistent view of the cases of racist and homo/transphobic hate speech and violence brought to the attention of the police and/or being pursued through the courts.

With regard to the first part of the recommendation, ECRI has been informed that Article 151 of the Criminal Code has not been amended. The authorities, particularly the Ministry of Justice, are of the opinion that the current wording of Article 151 allows for the interpretation that the crime has taken place, without requiring a proof of risk to either the health, life or property of the victim. Based on information received from the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office and the police have been advised to interpret this provision more broadly to this end and hence, there is no intention to change the legislation. Recalling the importance of legal certainty, ECRI reiterates that the criminal law provisions must be sufficiently clear to provide individuals with the means to regulate their own conduct and to protect against any arbitrary use of the law. In ECRI’s view, Article 151 cannot be applied in line with its recommendation by way of interpretation and ECRI therefore concludes that this part of the recommendation has not been implemented.

ECRI takes positive note that significant steps have been taken in order to collect data and produce statistics on cases of racist and homo/transphobic hate speech and violence, which constitutes the second part of the recommendation. ECRI has been informed that, since the end of 2016 1 , the police are able to register reported cases on the basis of “hate motive” (vaenumotiiv in Estonian) that are available in different classifications which are as follows: i) bias against race, religion, origin; ii) bias against sexual orientation and gender identity; iii) bias against other groups. Once registered, all reported crimes are kept in an electronic system called E-File that is used by several databases including the Criminal Case Management Register, which is a database for prosecutors and investigative bodies. In addition, the Ministry of Justice has started to regularly publish data on hate crimes as part of its annual report on crime in Estonia. ECRI is pleased to note that a special chapter has been devoted to hate crimes in the 2016 report.2 The authorities have also informed ECRI that the Ministry of Justice prepared an instruction to describe methods for identifying hate crimes, on which law enforcement officials are currently receiving training. ECRI welcomes these developments and considers them to be very positive and important steps towards combating racism and intolerance more effectively. It therefore concludes that this part of the recommendation has been implemented.

1 Also see. http://hatecrime.osce.org/estonia

2 See p. 62-64, available on http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/sites/krimipoliitika/files/elfinder/dokumendid/kuritegevus_eestis_est_web_0.pdf

Overall, ECRI considers that its recommendation has been partially implemented.

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Document data: adopted 21.03.2018, public 15.05.2018; CRI(2018)23 Link: https://rm.coe.int/interim-follow-up-conclusions-on-estonia-5th-monitoring-cycle/16808b5705 Any developments which occurred after 23 November 2017 are not taken into account in this analysis