On March 4-5, 2019, the Republic of Estonia is under review of UN Human Rights Committee (HRCtee) during its 125th session in Geneva.

In List of issues prior to submission of the fourth periodic report of Estonia among others there were such important questions from the HRCtee in block “Non-discrimination and prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred (arts. 2, 3, 20 and 26)”:

  • Please clarify whether the Criminal Code has been amended to: (b) recognize hatred on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and racism as aggravating circumstances for all offences and crimes.
  • Please provide information on measures taken to combat: (b) discrimination against and the harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, homophobic and transphobic discourse by politicians and impunity for such acts. Please report on steps taken to ensure the collection of data on cases of racist, homophobic and transphobic hate speech and violence, encourage reporting of such cases and raise awareness of the criminal nature of such acts, including among law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges.

ECOM has prepared the alternative report on Human Rights violations on LGBTQI in Estonia, Legislative Situation Pertaining to Discrimination and Prejudice, Right to Health, and in particular HIV-related issues among MSM in Estonia, which Yuri Yoursky, Human Rights and Legal Issues Officer has presented today to the members of the Committee in Geneva on March 4th.

To note, ECOM has been the only NGO to submit the alternative report to the HRCtee during this periodic review.

Ms. Photini Pazartzis, committee member from Greece, raised her concerns about weak engagements of Estonian Civil Society with international human rights mechanisms, and encouraged to raise their voices more loudly next time.

Estonia has submitted it’s state party report in the timely manner for the 4th time. And on 4-5th March 2019 the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia will introduce their report to the UN Human Rights Committee members. ECOM will highlight the main finding in the next days.