ESTONIA: Children's Rights in the UN Special Procedures' Reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of the UN Special Procedures. This does not include reports of child specific Special Procedures, such as the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which are available as separate reports.

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity

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Report by the Special Rapporteur on racism

Visit undertaken from 16 - 28 September 2007

Report A/HRC/7/19/Add.2

Issues raised:

Roma children: The Roma community, despite its small size, referred to important problems they face, particularly concerning socio-economic marginalization. Education was pointed out as one of the key obstacles for the integration of Roma in the Estonian society. Roma children suffer from much higher dropout and drastically lower educational achievement rates, which directly affect their ability to enter the labour market. (Paragraph 63).

Nationality: The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government revisit the existing requirements for naturalization with a view to facilitate the granting of citizenship to persons of undefined nationality. In particular, the Government should facilitate the citizenship procedures for vulnerable groups, including elders and economically marginalized segments. This should involve the offer of free-of-charge language courses for all non-citizens that wish to apply for citizenship, as partially foreseen in the Programme for Integraton of Society (2008-13) The Government should also consider appropriate measures to tackle the low level of registration as citizens of children born in Estonia after 20 August 1991 to non-citizen parents. These measures could include granting automatic citizenship at birth, without a requirement of registration by the parents, to those children born to non-citizen parents who do not acquire any other nationality. (Paragraph 91).

Roma children: Particular attention should be granted to the vulnerable situation of the Roma community. The Government should reinforce its programmes, drawing attention to general recommendation 27 of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on discrimination against Roma. In particular, specific measures should be taken to improve the educational attainment of Roma children and to reduce dropout rates. The Programme should also promote a sensitization effort among the Estonian society at large to Roma history, traditions and living cultures, including their fate during the Holocaust, in order to eliminate the negative stigma and stereotypes that Roma are recurrently associated with. (Paragraph 94).


Requested visits

None made.


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