An emergency situation has been declared in Estonia due to the pandemic spread of the coronavirus in the world.

From 17 March there will be a temporary restriction on entry to Estonia for foreign nationals who do not hold an Estonian residence permit or right of residence, or have family members in Estonia. Foreigners are allowed to transit Estonia on the way to their home country if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19. At the border control travel documents and medical symptoms will be checked.There are no restrictions on exiting the country.

We care about your and everyone’s health. For this reason and in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus and flu, we kindly ask you to seriously consider whether coming to the representation is essential, and refrain from doing so if you are not feeling well, suspect that you or a family member has become infected, or you or a family member has been in an area of the coronavirus epidemic in the past 14 days. Thank you for your understanding!

In addition to previous measures, restrictions on movement are in force in Estonia from 14 March in line with the emergency situation.

On 17 March 2020, applications for Schengen visas and long-stay visas to Estonia can no longer be submitted at representations and visa centres of external service providers. This also applies to Schengen visa applications that are processed by Estonia on behalf of another member state.

Further information

UN Human Rights Council 43rd Session – Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material – Nordic-Baltic Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, Estonia, 3 March 2020

Madame President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Estonia.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Special Rapporteur for her valuable work during the past six years and thank her for the latest report providing the overview of the work done and the challenges ahead.

We, the Nordic and Baltic countries are committed to the fight against the sale and sexual exploitation of children. Through the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention), we have taken steps towards preventing this often hidden, yet one of the worst forms of violence against children. Committed also to gender equality we stand for eradication of patriarchal structures that is a fundamental factor driving for the demand for the sexual exploitation of girls. States are ultimately responsible to ensure the rights of the child and to protect children from all forms of violence. We firmly believe that comprehensive sexuality education is indispensable to ensure that victims of sexual exploitation and violence are equipped with the means to claim their rights.

The challenges and opportunities facing the world of today are inevitably also affecting the lives of our children. As your report points out, it is unacceptable that the information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become an alarming facilitator to the sexual exploitation of children. It is our strong conviction that all human rights, including the rights of the child and their right to a life free from violence, must be equally protected offline as well as online.

Madame Special Rapporteur, with that in mind, what would be your recommendation to the next mandate-holder to hold States more accountable for enacting safeguards for the rights of the child in the digital context?

 

Thank you.