Human Rights

All human beings are born free and equal in their dignity and rights—this was confirmed by nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights almost 70 years ago in 1948. That first step to create international human rights standards was followed by a number of human rights conventions that have defined the rights due to every individual—political and civil, economic, social and cultural rights. These rights are indivisible, inalienable and universal.

Estonia is committed to widening the democratic space based on rule of law and ensuring full respect for human rights. Protecting and advancing human rights is essential to guaranteeing global peace and security.

In the promotion of human rights, Estonia pays special attention to the issues related to the full enjoyment of all human rights by women, to rights of the child and to rights of indigenous peoples as well as the right to freedom of expression, including on the internet. Estonia also supports the fight against impunity and cooperation with and inclusion of civil society in the UN led activities. These topics have been in the focus of Estonia’s human rights statements in addition to the support given to various UN funds and programmes. Strengthening gender mainstreaming in the UN policies and programmes has been one of Estonia’s priorities in the process of improving the coherence of the UN’s activities. Estonia was the vice-president of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 2014-2015 and holds this position at the moment (2017-2019).  Estonia is also member of the UN Committee on NGOs in 2019-2022.

Estonia takes part in the main human rights meeting of the UN: UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and Third Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York.