@inimoigused 23.02.2018 Happy 100th birthday, Estonia! Celebrate the jubilee by listening to some good Estonian music:… https://t.co/ufJoVVGPGc


The Estonian Institute of Human Rights (EIHR) is the first and oldest independent organisation in Estonia that has been systematically dealing with the protection of human rights. The Institute was established on Human Rights Day, 10 December 1992. The initiator and first patron of the Institute was President Lennart Meri. Currently, we have 40 members and a Board that directs everyday work.

The goal of the Institute of Human Rights is to collect, systematise, analyse and promote information about human rights, to increase public awareness about the field and to make proposals about how better to protect human rights in Estonia and elsewhere in the world. To achieve this, the Institute cooperates with NGOs, universities and governmental institutions. It also organises training courses and conferences, publishes articles and reports and participates in international networks.

Our work can be divided into four main areas: education, research, international cooperation and human rights related events. Under those areas, we implement human rights related researches, undertake international and educational projects and cooperate with several domestic and international organisations.

International cooperation

Currently, the EIHR is implementing four international projects: two educational projects in Central Asia, in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, an open diplomacy project with the Crimean Tatar community in Ukraine and a research project in Georgia.

Educational projects are aiming to advance human rights and support the democratic development of Tajik and Kyrgyz societies by working with the local civil society representatives, universities and schools. Through a training programme adapted to local needs, NGO partners and local residents from the two countries increase awareness of human rights and take steps in promoting and defending them.

The project in Ukraine is named “Advocacy of Human Rights for the Crimean Tatar People through Public Diplomacy” and its objective is to provide a foundation for systematic and effective Crimean Tatar public diplomacy, which is based on the understanding that the national cause of Crimean Tatar people is to restore and secure their individual and collective human rights as the indigenous people of Crimea.

Our fourth ongoing international project is related to research in Georgia, the outcome of which is a report on the current state of human rights in Georgia: “Georgian human rights report 2015”.

Human rights related events

One of our biggest events is the Annual Conference of Human Rights, which deals with international issues of human rights and is taking place this year for the sixth time. The conference has been held every year on Human Rights Day since 2011. Past subjects have included: internet and human rights, human rights and security, international institutions of human rights, human rights in changing time, etc. Conference performers are internationally recognised specialists and well-known experts in the field.

Other events include Remembrance Days for the victims of Nazism and communism (23 August) and deportations (25 March and 14 June), which we organise in cooperation with different organisations related to the subject.

This year, we are cooperating with the French Institute in Estonia (Institut Français) and with the Council of Europe in Estonia in organising a series of debates and discussions about migration. This November an international conference about children’s rights will be held in cooperation with several ministries in Estonia. The conference is about children’s rights with a focus on the digital world and migration, and it will take place on 4 November.


Our research topics are security, the internet and human rights in the international arena as well as different reports on the human rights situation in Estonia. We are currently working on international research “Georgian human rights report 2015” (as mentioned above); in recent years, we have published “Linguistic Human Rights and Security”, , “The right to privacy as a human right and everyday technologies 2014” and “Human rights in the Defence Forces 2013-2014”, “The freedom of religion in Estonia 2013” and “The Estonian human rights report 2012.”

This year, we are conducting and publishing “The Estonian human rights report 2016”, which explores Estonian public opinion about human rights and an understanding of the current migration flows. Research will be presented at the Annual Conference of Human Rights.


The main goal of this direction of action is to promote human rights education in Estonia, by working with schools, non-governmental organisations, youth centres and others, and by providing trainings and organising conferences for various participants in human rights education. We have two travelling exhibitions in Estonian schools and libraries: “Human rights during the Soviet occupation time and an exhibition on the life of Anne Frank in cooperation with the Anne Frank House. One more exhibition related to migration is yet to come.

We are implementing the concept of “human rights respecting schools” across Estonia. We also produce and translate relevant publications for human rights education such as the Council of Europe’s COMPASS-Manual for Human Rights education with Young People, and we have developed our own textbook for teachers to use in classes to teach human rights (“Inimese Õigus”). We cooperate with the European Wergeland Centre, the Council of Europe and Ministries of Education from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the organisation by rotation of the annual Baltic Summer Academies, which are aimed at creating local partnerships for the promotion of human rights and the democratic governance of schools.

The activities of the Institute are financed by European and Estonian funds, governmental funds and private donors. EIHR is a voluntary organisation comprised of different members working on different projects. The Institute is led by a General Assembly, an elected board and a council. Our funding mainly comes from the ministries of social affairs, culture, justice and foreign affairs as well as some independent foundations.

Thank You!