On 4-5 March the Estonian delegation presented its fourth periodic report on the compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The delegation was headed by Annely Kolk, the Undersecretary for Legal and Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Estonian delegation briefed the Committee on recent developments in the areas covered by the Covenant. The Committee was interested in the progress Estonia has made but also the challenges it has faced in areas such as equality, the activities of the chancellor of justice, the reorganisation of the prison system, citizenship and integration, and the fight against human trafficking. After the discussions, the Committee will publish its conclusions and present its recommendations for Estonia on how to further implement the Covenant.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was opened for signature on 19 December 1966 in New York. Estonia joined the Covenant by the decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia on 26 September 1991. The pact entered into force for Estonia on 21 January 1992.
All parties of the Covenant are obligated to present a periodic report within a year of it taking effect in a given participating country and subsequently present it at the request of the Committee. In the report the country will demonstrate the steps it has taken to implement the rights recognised in the Covenant and the progress that has been made in exercising these rights.
The Estonian delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.