Estonia evaluated on compliance with UN convention on children's rights

  • 2024-05-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - On May 15-16, the United Nations conducted an evaluation in Geneva of Estonia's compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, during which the Estonian delegation provided a comprehensive overview of the nation's efforts to ensure children's rights and welfare.

Prior to the session, Estonia submitted a national report in the spring of 2023. Additional reports on the state of children's rights were submitted by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, and for the first time, by children themselves.

Over two days, Estonian representatives answered questions that helped the committee gain a clearer understanding of the state of children's rights and welfare in Estonia. The inquiries covered children's general rights, participation opportunities, coping mechanisms, education, health, and interactions with the justice system.

The committee members commended Estonia for its clear and thorough overview of ongoing and planned initiatives and the country's innovative solutions to enhance the welfare of children and families. However, concerns were raised about the shortage of specialists to assist children and the need to improve mental health services for children. The committee's conclusions on Estonia's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child will be published at the end of May.

The Estonian delegation was led by Hanna Vseviov, deputy secretary general for social affairs.

"The feedback from the UN experts confirms that we have made significant progress in child welfare. The committee members particularly noted the implemented and ongoing changes, where we use technological solutions to identify the need for assistance and proactively support families. The UN representatives also appreciated that many of their previous recommendations, such as the establishment of a national family mediation service and the creation of a network of children's houses, have been realized. There are still areas that need improvement, and we eagerly await the UN's proposals for Estonia," Vseviov said.

Estonia joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, and the previous review meeting on Estonia's compliance with the convention was held in 2017.