Estonian Human Rights Centre announces that its fourth annual report “Human Rights in Estonia 2011” is available in English and Russian from today. The report was originally launched in Estonian last month. Similarly to last year’s report it deals with developments in Estonia in nearly all rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.
The report describes, analyzes and illustrates developments in human rights in Estonia in 2011 through positive and negative examples. The report provides criticism, but also specific recommendations for solving the problems that are mentioned.
Marianne Meiorg, co-editor of the report, noted that the overall developments have mostly been positive, but there is also a notable lack of progress. “The amendment of the Penal Code, which was adopted a few weeks ago criminalizes human trafficking as a specific crime. This is a development that various organizations have been working towards for years in Estonia,” said Meiorg, “however, updating regulation on covert surveillance activities by the Police has encountered a number of setbacks.”
Several issues that were raised in previous reports have been solved in 2011. For example, the Supreme Court declared the post-sentence detention unconstitutional. But there are several issues that still demand attention. “Since the population is aging, it is more important to deal with migration, integration and other issues concerning tolerance towards minorities – progress has been slow in all of these issues so far,” said Kari Käsper, co-editor and the Head of the Estonian Human Rights Centre, “this is demonstrated by how we treat asylum seekers, for example, or in the difficulty in ensuring equal rights and opportunities to different minorities living in Estonia, whether they are disabled persons, LGBT persons or ethnic minorities.”
Estonian Human Rights Centre is an independent public interest foundation dedicated to the advancement of protection of human rights in Estonia and abroad.