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Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, A/HRC/7/19/Add.2, 17 March 2008: Estonia


A. Legal and institutional framework to combat racism and racial discrimination
1. Constitutional and legislative provisions

20. The Constitution of Estonia establishes the general right to non-discrimination under its Article 12, which provides that “No one shall be discriminated against on the basis of nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origin, religion, political or other opinion, property or social status, or on other grounds”. This principle is further specified in the Penal Code (§ 152), which establishes a possibility of punishment by fine, detention or one year of imprisonment to any “unlawful restriction of the rights of a person or granting of unlawful preferences to a person on the basis of his or her nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origin, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, financial or social status”.

21. Article 12 of the Constitution provides that “the incitement of national, racial, religious or political hatred, violence or discrimination shall, by law, be prohibited and punishable”. The Penal Code (§ 151) increases the scope of the prohibition by referring additionally to colour, sex, language, origin, sexual orientation, financial or social status. Different levels of punishment are established, ranging from a fine to 3 years of imprisonment.

Link to full text of the report: Mission report-SR Racism-Estonia-2008-eng