87% of Estonian residents believe that everything is alright with human rights in our country and 85% of the respondents found that the emergency situation restrictions have not breached anyone`s human rights.
14% think their privacy/rights have been infringed on social media and 8% believe that they themselves have violated someone`s human rights. 57 % of the respondents think that Estonian media adhere to human rights in its work, but 23% think this is not the case.
Commissioned by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights, Turu-Uuringute AS conducted a web survey among slightly more than 1000 Estonian residents on August 25-30. The survey asked people to assess whether the emergency situation has violated people`s rights in Estonia and whether state institutions, the media and businesses have adhered to and protected human rights in their work. In addition, the survey looked at people`s perception of whether the Estonian Constitution protects their rights and values and whether the obligations provided in the Constitution are important to people. A similar previous survey was conducted in May of this year.
87% of Estonian residents find that everything is in order with human rights in our country. At the time of the previous survey in 2018, 73% were happy with the human rights situation (2016 – 68% and 2012 – 54%). “Therefore, we can state that the human rights situation in Estonia is still very good despite the emergency situation and what is taking place in society,“ said the Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Institute of Human Rights Vootele Hansen.
The respondents were also asked for the second time whether they think they themselves have violated anyone`s human rights. 8% out of all respondents answered “yes“ to this question. The largest group was formed by 20-29 year-olds, pupils or students, people with primary or basic education and the unemployed or job-seeking youth.
Proportionally, the result in all age groups has moved toward the positive across the years. People`s assessment of whether human rights are followed is greatly affected by their language of communication, the correlating nationality, level of education and income, social status and to some extent, also place of residence and income.
85% of all respondents felt the emergency situation restrictions have not breached anyone`s human rights. 11% believe the emergency situation has breached their human rights. 14% of men compared to 9% of women found their human rights have been violated during the emergency situation.
The percentage of people who answered “yes“ to the question whether the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia protects their rights and values was 81. 88% of Estonian citizens believe that the Constitution protects them, however, among Russian citizens and those with undefined citizenship correspondingly 53% and 51% answered “yes“ .
It was also important to respondents that the Estonian Constitution states not only the rights but also obligations. 95% believe following the Constitution is important, 93% stated the same for paying taxes and 86% of respondents said the willingness to defend the country`s independence is important. There is no change compared to spring.
14% of all respondents feel their privacy and rights have been violated on social media and in the online environment. Compared to spring, the share of women has increased (13% vs 10% in spring), the result remained the same as in spring for men (14%).
The answer to the question whether Estonian media has followed and protected human rights in its work was the following: Estonian-language media has done so to the extent of 57% and “has not done so“ 23% and 20% were not able to answer the question. The corresponding percentages in Estonian Russian-language media were 33%, 17% and 50%.
65% of the respondents believed that Estonian Public Broadcasting has adhered to human rights the most in its work, 14% thought the contrary and 21% answered “I don`t know“. In case of Estonian private media, the results have improved by a few percentages (47%) compared to spring (44%), 17% thought the contrary and 36% were not able to give an opinion. In case of Estonian print media, 55% answered “yes“ to this question, 19% answered “no“ and 26% of the respondents answered “I don´t know“. Among Estonians, the support percentage to Estonian media was 66% vs other nationality 33%.
According to the respondents, in the past three years, the Police and Border Guard Board has followed and protected human rights in its work the most (74%), healthcare system (75%), Tax and Customs Board (65%). The opinion has dropped slightly regarding local governments (62%) and the national government (58%) compared to spring. The Defence Forces 60%, the legal system (59%), companies based on public capital (49%) and private capital (46%).