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Estonia was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the years 2013-2015. Our goal was to enhance, via international channels and steps, the defence, development and awareness of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental body within the UN system, consisting of 47 electable members (UNHRC member states) whose goal is to protect and develop human rights around the world. UNHRC was founded with the decision of the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006. Estonia is a member of the council for the first time.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, Estonia focuses on the rights of women and children, consideration of the gender perspective in conflict situations (UN Security Council Resolution 1325), the fight  against impunity, protection of the rights of indigenous people, freedom of expression and internet freedom. We also value LGBT rights. That is why Estonia considers it important to use and protect  human rights language in resolutions and decisions and to participate in initiatives related to human rights in countries where there have been major violations. Estonia supports the formation and activity of independent commissions of inquiry to identify and collect evidence of severe human rights violations. Estonia also supports the implementation of recommendations from these commissions . We are open for dialogue with all member states and wish to continue constructive transregional cooperation within the Human Rights Council. The Republic of Estonia has presented a standing invitation to the UN Special Rapporteurs to visit Estonia. As a country ruled by law, Estonia will continue paying attention to the inclusion of the civil society and the possibilities of participating in the work of the Human Rights Council.

Read more from the webpage Estonia’s permanent representation in Geneva.

Last updated: 17 November 2016

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