Rights of the Child (Human Rights in Estonia 2016 – 2017)
Authors: Helika Saar, Kiira Gornischeff
Years ago, at a Chicago church on Father’s Day the then senator, later 44th President of the United States Barack Obama emphasised in his speech: “What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children – all of our children – a better world.” In a globalising world, at a time of over-population, hybrid wars and ecological crises we all need to take the time to think about what kind of world we are going to leave our children, and make our contribution, as private individuals, communities and the state as a whole.
Contributing to the rights of the child will contribute to creating a fairer and a more inclusive society. It is a positive occurrence that in years 2016–2017 Estonia was on the international front line of promoting rights of the child. Children and rights of the child are also in focus on a national plane with several remarkable developments and initiatives taking place, a selection of which will be discussed in this chapter.
Estonia celebrated the 25th anniversary of passing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2016. Estonian Ambassador to the UN served as the President of the United Nations Children’s Fund Executive Board; Estonia was also given an award by the UN partner organisation IFFD (International Federation for Family Development), which recognised the state’s consistent and powerful activity in improving welfare of children and families. At Council of Europe presidency, the rights of the child, among other issues, were also in focus; discussion was initiated on implementing the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016–2021). The priorities of the strategy – creating equal opportunities for all children; children’s right to participate; violence-free life; child-friendly justice; rights of the child in digital environment – are all equally topical for Estonia as well. The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union takes place from July until December of 2017 with the goal of helping to create an inclusive and sustainable Europe. Even though European Union has not joined the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child the EU has expressed the desire to be bound by principles of rights of the child stated in the Convention; which was also confirmed in the 2017 “EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child”.
Estonia has the obligation stemming from the Convention to submit reports describing the national situation to the Convention’s monitoring authority, the Committee on the Rights of the Child every five years. Estonian state submitted its second report in 2014, in 2015 reports were submitted by the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare as representative of citizens’ association, and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and children’s ombudsman. In February of 2016 representatives of the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice jointly presented their reports in Geneva in front of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and answered the Committee members’ questions. The Committee submitted the state its Concluding observations in March of 2017, where it welcomed passing the Child Protection Act that had come into force 1 January 2016, recommended Estonia set up the necessary regulations and make budgetary provisions in order to effectively enforce the current legislative measures, including the effective implementation of the Child Protection Act. The recommendations confirm what was mentioned in the Estonian Human Rights Centre’s Annual Report “Human Rights in Estonia 2014/2015” that children are people here and now, just adopting acts of law is not enough to guarantee their rights, supportive action and changing the entire situation is needed (law in books →law in action). The Committee recommended making improvements regarding collecting data concerning children, training of specialists working with different children, helping abused children, fighting against bullying, hiring supporting specialists, granting Estonian citizenship for 15–18-year-old children, but also that Estonia further regulate obligations of local authorities in creating child protection officials’ positions. Most of the Committee’s regulations match the supplementary report of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare and the report of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice.
The main effect of regional development in Estonia on need for social protection and its organisation stems from differentiation in incomes of the population on local authority level. In comparison of the years the proportion of under-18-year-old children and young persons in the population has primarily decreased and the proportion of persons 65 and older has increased. The decrease, aging and relocation of population has a direct effect on sustainability of local authorities. The results of the survey on increasing effectiveness and development of child protection work on local level once again confirmed that the organisation, customs and work methods of child protection work differ greatly in various local authorities, based primarily on the type of local government – whether it has great socio-economic effect, whether it surrounds the regional centre or is a small local authority on the outskirts of the region. The problem is that the child protection workers are overworked and lack time, which causes the preventative activities to suffer. The challenges stemming from the administrative reform are almost at hand. It is essential that the number of officials does not further decrease due to the administrative reform and reforming of rural municipalities, that children as a vulnerable target group are not the collateral damage of the reform, but that local authorities are more capable in guaranteeing welfare of children and families. Cooperation and interdisciplinary developments would help bring state closer to those who need help as well as use the existing resources more effectively.
The Child Protection Council established by the Government of the Republic based on the Child Protection Act convened for the first time in June 2017 with the intention of setting child protection policy goals and implementing them, making proposals regarding guaranteeing children’s welfare and protection of rights of the child and making recommendations on preventative work regarding child protection. It is important to have an overview of the rights of the child and children’s welfare on a government level in a situation where different disciplines discuss children often only from their point of view, and activities regarding children are often fragmented.
The new Child Protection Act increased the role of local authorities and state authorities. With the Child Protection Act coming into force 1 January 2016 the Estonian National Social Insurance Board, which has created a department for child protection, was given the role of increasing the quality of child protection work and supporting accessibility to good quality national help. The National Social Insurance also has the task of organising child protection, implementing the national child protection policy, implementing national strategies and coordinating interdisciplinary cooperation and prevention on child protection. Due to county governments finishing work in 2018 in the course of the Administrative Reform the National Social Insurance Board also organises national adoption since 2017.
According to the survey on spread of children’s and young people’s sexual abuse 32% of young people of the age 15–19 have experienced sexual abuse; every 10th young person has experienced sexual violence, while every 6th young person was under 14 at the time of the incident. Since 2017 the National Social Insurance Board provides a child-friendly and multidisciplinary service of Children’s house, which allows to provide better help to abused children and detect more instances of abuse. The service supports closer cooperation between the child protection and the legal protection system, helps put child’s best interests first and make criminal proceedings more child-friendly.
UNESCO special ambassador Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands emphasised at the international conference of ISPCAN (International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) in The Hague in October of 2017 that children are not only our future, they are our present as well. Any kind of abuse of children must be combated and prevented every day. This goal is, in addition to the Strategy for Preventing Violence for 2015–2020 and the Strategy of Children and Families 2012–2020, also supported by the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention and the Istanbul Convention, that were adopted in Estonia in the reporting period.
The large number of maintenance allowance debtors (ca 8900) who do not pay alimony to their children (more than 11,000) continues to be a big problem. In 2017 the maintenance allowance scheme came into force, measures applied to maintenance allowance debtors also became stricter. A supplementary state support for hobby education and recreational activities is a positive development worth noting. Despite opposition from interest groups the amendments to the Employment Contracts Act were passed, which should broaden the opportunities for employment for minors and make it easier for entrepreneurs to hire them.
Committee on the Rights of the Child published General Comment No 19, which for the first time provides states specific guidelines on UN level regarding investing in children, emphasising that states must follow the practice of open, inclusive and responsible mobilisation of resources and expenses, this means including children and young people in planning the budget. Hopefully this comment will be considered in future budgeting on state and local authority level.
The Government has initiated amendment to the Penal Code and other relevant acts (the treatment of juvenile offenders’ amendment, draft act 453 SE), which was motivated by the draft act amending the Social Welfare Act and other relevant acts (draft act 360 SE), which would declare the Juvenile Sanctions Act invalid as of 1 January 2018 and dissolve the juvenile committees. A paradigm shift is taking place – from penalizing justice to restorative justice; juvenile offenders will be treated after the amendment comes into force as children who need help.
Court proceedings and practice
Several judgments of the Supreme Court had to do with providing maintenance to a child – for example, the Supreme Court was of the opinion that the parents have the duty to earn an income stemming from obligation to provide maintenance to an underage child, however, the parents cannot be required to earn an income that allows paying maintenance allowance that is larger than the minimum amount (3-2-1-15-17). Application of the 1980 Hague Convention (on international kidnapping) also came up – the Supreme Court found, among other things, that there is no specific requirement regarding the form of consent of the parent’s agreement to moving to another state with the child in the sense of Article 13 section 1 of the Convention, but the agreement has to be sufficiently clear (3-2-1-179-16). Once again arose the question of best interest of the child regarding a mother who had been imprisoned, where the Court found that according to section 54 subsection 1 of the Imprisonment Act the mother doesn’t always have the right to live with the child and this will be decided on each individual case’s facts (3-2-1-26-16). The Supreme Court also conceded that determining the whereabouts of the child each time is not a regular matter of child care, but an important matter relating to the child (3-2-1-35-16), that the kindergarten in addition to the service of child care also has contractual liability (3-2-1-128-16), and that same-sex couples have the right to protection of family life as well (3-3-1-19-17).
European Court of Human Rights emphasised in the reporting period among other things that in deciding the right to communicate with the separated parent also the child’s recent opinion must be considered (case no 23280/08 Moog v. Germany); in deciding communication with the child the court is not allowed to rely on expert opinion that is years old (case no 68884/13 Cincimino v. Italy); the state has the obligation to actively support preserving relations between the parent living separately and the child (case no 76171/13 Solarino v. Italy) and the principle of best interests of the child has to be the basis in the decision-making process (case no 71776/12 N.Ts. v. Georgia). In October of 2017 the European Court of Human Rights (case no 23022/13, D.MD. v. Romania) emphasised that states members to the Convention should strive for protection of dignity of children expressly and uniformly. In practice this requires presence of suitable legal framework which enables children protection from domestic violence, including a) efficient deterrent from serious violation of such personal integrity, b) reasonable steps to prevent abuse that the authorities know or should know about, and c) effective official investigation if a person has submitted a believable claim regarding abuse.
Statistics and surveys
In comparison to 2014 poverty of children, young people and middle-age people has decreased. At the same time, according to the 2016 UNICEF survey children from the poorest families in Estonia suffer from 28% more health complaints than children from richer families. Various studies show that many children are overweight, chronic illnesses are on the rise, there are increasingly more mental health problems detected, children smoke and use alcohol earlier than in other states, and are less physically active. The speed of increasing number of children with disabilities is worrying – for years it has been more than twice of what has been detected among people of working age or the older population. The proportion of children among persons with disabilities has reached 41% by 2017, while mental and behavioural disorders have increased by 3.4 times in comparison to 2010. According to the National Audit Office’s audit on state’s activity in keeping children healthy and treating them the health care organisation of Estonian children requires rapid changes, since the children’s illnesses are not detected sufficiently early they are not treated in time, treatment is not always consistent and the state lacks overview of the number of children with illnesses and their illnesses.
In at least 26% of the registered instances of domestic violence in 2016 the domestic violence was either witnessed by a child, or a child was the victim. Children in domestic violence instances were most often (in nearly 80% of the case) victims to physical abuse (hitting with a hand or a belt, kicking with feet), in 13% of the cases they were victims to sexual abuse, and in 4% of threatening.
It is a positive tendency that in ten years the number of offences committed by minors has decreased a little over three times. In 2016 there were 1016 criminal offences committed by minors registered, which is 29% less than in 2015. The number of misdemeanours committed by minors has also decreased. Analysis of need and opportunities for special intervention for minors who have committed sexual offences revealed that there is no special standard model for treatment of minors who have been convicted of committing sexual offences and are imprisoned or probationers, and they lack the opportunity to receive professional help stemming from the specifics of the offence.
The proportion of young persons who are studying or working has generally increased. The survey on young people starting independent life from substitute homes revealed the causes of lower than average levels of education for substitute home youths: gaps in education (including interruptions at various levels of schooling); difficulties in continuing the interrupted education (including difficulties in combining work and studying), young persons’ lower educational ambitions and relatively low awareness of support opportunities aimed at young persons from substitute homes.
An example of a good practice is the project coordinated by Eesti Noorteühenduste liit “Noored valimisvalvurid” (young election guardians), which aims to guide young persons 16–19 years of age to participate in their local electoral committee’s work, to try out the role of an official election observer, or to participate in activities of election guardians.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment no 12, which explains what the right of the child to be heard means, was translated into Estonian on the initiative of the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare. The Estonian Union for Child Welfare will continue to translate the Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comments also in the coming years in order to better understand the content of articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In the past couple of years, the most common type of abuse of minors has been abuse with intention of trafficking in human beings. The Ministry of Justice carried out the campaign 1ELU (1 life) in February of 2017 inviting people to notice cases related to trafficking in human beings; a short film for young people exploring cases involving trafficking in young persons was made as well.
Stemming from section 14 subsection 2 of the Child Protection Act refresher training of child protection officials was started in 2016. The study module on rights of the child was compiled and implemented on the initiative of the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare in cooperation with the Office of the Chancellor of Justice. The course received positive feedback from participants and will continue in 2018.
For the sixth time, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s Children’s and Youth Film Festival Just Film contained the programme on the rights of the child, which was organised in cooperation with Just Film, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Affairs and the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare.
Noteworthy public discussion
The topic of funding of private schools gained the public’s attention. On 7 June 2016 the Riigikogu passed an amendment replacing the earlier obligation of the state to cover operational expenditure of private schools with the local authorities’ voluntary participation in covering operational expenditure.
In 2017 the school students’ health protection working group started work on the initiative of the Ministry of Social Affairs; it is to discuss whether limits to organisation of studies, which have been set for the protection of children’s health have been sufficiently implemented. Amendments to current legislation will be prepared based on the recommendations of the working group.
The Office of the Chancellor of Justice initiated discussion on whether it is justified to ask for a transference fee upon the child changing a sports club. Several sports federations, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Estonian Youth Work Centre, Estonian Olympic Committee, and Tallinn Sports and Youth Department participated in the discussion.
In October of 2017 young persons of at least 16 years of age could participate in municipal council elections for the first time. So far only a few European states have applied such rare extension of the right to vote. The effects of the amendment can be discussed in the future, however, in order to prevent risks associated with lowering of voting age the Office of the Chancellor of Justice in cooperation with Eesti Noorteühenduste Liit helped the Ministry of Education and Research put together guidelines on election and schools, principles on how to guarantee neutrality of educational establishments during local government elections. One of the reasons why participation of children and young people in society is necessary is the aspect of the rights of the child, which states that children are full members of the society and as people they must also have the right to participate in society and processes. The repeat poll of the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare on supporting children’s participation and inclusion in decision-making processes revealed that in comparison to 2006 the local authorities were much more active at initiating inclusion of children and young persons, and they used more diverse forms and channels of inclusion, also the proportion of direct communication had increased in 2013. Nevertheless, local authorities check the opinion of children and young persons significantly less in questions regarding local cultural life and the local transport. 63% of the participant children and young people are aware of their right to express opinion on organisation of local life. Readiness of children and young people to get involved in organising the local life has somewhat decreased in comparison to 2013. Dalia Doman and Linda Tälli from the Youth Council of Estonian Union for Child Welfare emphasised in their presentation at 13th Towns’ and Rural Municipalities’ Days in March that participation of children and young people in organising their own lives and life around them and in voluntary activities creates a basis for developing a strong civil society, where the young people are part of active social change. In order for the voice of children and young people to have weight in different environments, it is necessary to contribute on the level of the individual, the community, as well as the state.
- Guarantee a more effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (including children’s social fundamental rights). Systematically collect statistical data (this includes regularly submitting reports), analysis of which to base policies guaranteeing rights of the child on.
- Increase children’s opportunities to participate in issues concerning the society, the community, and school life. Increasingly include children in decision-making processes in all environments.
- Increase multidisciplinary cooperation and knowledge and skills of investigators, judges and other experts working with children on child-friendly justice (for example, offering them training on how to question children)
- Develop the school system as a whole in order to more effectively implement inclusive education politics (this includes organising training for teachers, adjusting the necessary study environment).
- Guarantee children, including children with disabilities, access to consistent health care services, also guarantee access to support specialists at schools.
- Raise the public’s awareness on rights of the child more, introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to adults and children alike. Increase volume of human rights education on various educational levels and continuing education in occupations relating to children.
 ÜRO lapse õiguste konventsioon [UN Convention on the Rights of the Child]. Available at: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/24016
 The main focus of the “Conference on Children’s Rights in the Migration Crisis and in the Digital Environment” organised by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights, the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice in Tallinn on 3–4 November 2017 was on the rights of the child and their greater inclusion in decision-making processes and children’s rights in the digital environment and the Migration Crisis. Read more at: http://childrensrights.humanrightsestonia.ee/
 Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021). Available at: https://rm.coe.int/168066cff8
 Council of Europe developed a means of assessment consisting of ten indicators, which aims to assess children’s participation in the state on three different levels: protection of right to participate, promotion and raising awareness of participation and creating space for participation. This means of assessment was piloted by three countries – Ireland, Romania and Estonia. In Estonia this means of assessment was piloted by the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare in association with the Ministry of Social Affairs. Available at: https://www.sm.ee/sites/default/files/content-editors/Lapsed_ja_pered/Lapse_oigused_ja_heaolu/et_laste_osalusprojekt_raport_2015_21_07_2015.pdf
 The Court of Justice in its 20016 case C-540/03 European Parliament v. Council of the European Union recognised the principle that in order to evaluate whether EU law is in concordance with fundamental rights of the child, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is binding to the Member States, must be relied on (points 35–37).
 EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child Available at:
 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 44.
 NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare. 2015. Supplementary report to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Supplements, commentaries and recommendations of Estonian NGOs. Tallinn, 2015. Available at:
 Office of Chancellor of Justice. 2015. Report of Chancellor of Justice on implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding third and fourth periodic report. Available at: http://www.oiguskantsler.ee/sites/default/files/LÕK-i%20raport-eesti-FINAL.pdf
 Saar, H., Gornischeff, K. 2016. On the supplementary report to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Social work 4, 2016. Available at: http://www.tai.ee/images/2016_4_31kuni37.pdf
 Committee discussed Estonia’s combined 2nd–4th periodic report (CRC/C/EST/2-4) at its 2167th and 2169thmeetings (CRC/C/SR. 2167th and 2169th) held on 17–18 January 2017 and took its 2193rd meeting held on 3 February 2017. Concluding observation on the 2nd–4th periodic reports of Estonia. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. CRC/C/EST/CO/2-4. Available at: http://www.sm.ee/et/lapse-oigused-ja-heaolu-0
 Saar, H. 2015. Rights of the Child. Human Rights in Estonia 2014/2015. Estonian Human Rights Centre. Available at: https://humanrights.ee/teemad/inimoigused-eestis/inimoiguste-aruanne/inimoigused-eestis-2014-2015/lapse-oigused/
 Kõre, J., Keskpaik, A. 2017. Regionaalareng ja sotsiaalne kaitse Eestis: seosed ja vastastikused mõjud [Regional development and social protection in Estonia: connections and mutual effects]. Social Work. 2016 special edition. Available at: https://intra.tai.ee//images/prints/documents/146789980772_ST2_eri_2016_web.pdf
 There were 258,000 children up to the age of 18 in Estonia in 2015, forming 20% of the population. In ten years the number of children has decreased by nearly 30,500 or ca 11%.
 Read more at: http://www.lastekaitseliit.ee/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/kiri2-4.pdf
 Viira, A. 2017. Kohaliku tasandi lastekaitsetöö tulemuslikkuse suurendamine ja jätkusuutlik arendamine [Increasing effectiveness and sustainability of child protection work on a local level]. Ministry of Social Affairs. Available at: https://www.sm.ee/sites/default/files/content-editors/Ministeerium_kontaktid/Uuringu_ja_analuusid/Sotsiaalvaldkond/kohaliku_tasandi_lastekaitsetoo_tulemuslikkuse_suurendamine_ja_jatkusuutlik_arendamine.pdf
 The Council includes representatives of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, Association of Estonian Cities, Association of Municipalities of Estonia, Eesti Õpilasesinduste Liit and Eesti Noorteühenduste Liit as well as the Minister of Education and Research, the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance and heads of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board and the National Institute for Health Development. The chair of the Council is the Minister of Social Protection, whose responsibilities include coordinating the child protection policy.
 Lastekaitseseadus [The Child Protection Act]. RT I, 06.12.2014. Available at: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/LasteKS
 Seksuaalse väärkohtlemise leviku uuring Eestis [Survey on spread of sexual abuse in Estonia]. 2016. Ministry of Justice. Available at: http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/sites/krimipoliitika/files/elfinder/dokumendid/raport.pdf
 The model of Children’s house (Barnahus) has been used in work with abused children since 1998 in Iceland. Read more about the service: http://www.tai.ee/images/Lastemaja.pdf
 Read more at: https://www.ispcan.org/
 The act ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. State Gazette II, 03.11.2016, 1. Available at:
 Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. State Gazette II, 26.09.2017, 2. Available at: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/203112016001
 Töölepingu seadus [Employment Contracts Act]. State Gazette I 2009, 5, 35. Available at: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/112072014146?leiaKehtiv
 General comment No. 19. 2016. on public budgeting for the realization of children’s rights. Article 4.
 Available at: https://www.riigikohus.ee/lahendid?asjaNr=3-2-1-15-17
 Available at: https://www.riigikohus.ee/lahendid?asjaNr=3-2-1-179-16
 Available at: https://www.riigikohus.ee/lahendid?asjaNr=3-2-1-26-16
 Available at: https://rikos.rik.ee/?asjaNr=3-2-1-35-16
 Available at: 3-2-1-128-16
 Available at: https://www.riigikohus.ee/et/lahendid/?asjaNr=3-3-1-19-17
 Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-166950
 Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-162220
 Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-170838
 Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-160313
 Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-177226
 The number of overweight school children has increased from 7.4% to 11.3% in 2006–2014.
 Kreitzberg, M. 2017. Puuetega inimeste arv, suundumused ja osatähtsus rahvastikus [Number of persons with disabilities, tendencies and proportion in population]. Social Work. 3/2017. Available at: http://www.tai.ee/images/uudiskirja_Puuetega_inimeste_arv.pdf
 National Audit Office. 2.11.2016. Riigi tegevus laste tervise hoidmisel ja ravimisel [State’s activity in keeping children healthy and treating hem]. Available at:
 Kraas, K., Tammiste, B. 2016. Seksuaalkuritegusid toime pannud alaealistele mõeldud erisekkumise vajaduse ja võimaluste analüüs [Analysis of need and opportunities for special intervention for minors who have committed sexual offences]. Kriminaalpoliitika analüüs [Criminal policy analysis]. Ministry of Justice. Available at: http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/sites/krimipoliitika/files/elfinder/dokumendid/seksuaalkuritegusid_toime_pannud_alaealiste_erisekkumiste_vajaduse_ja_voimaluste_analuus_2016.pdf
 Kuritegevus Eestis 2016 [Crime in Estonia 2016]. Alaealiste kuritegevus [Minors’ crime]. Pages 24-53. Available at: http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/sites/krimipoliitika/files/elfinder/dokumendid/kuritegevus_eestis_est_web_0.pdf
 Osila, L., Turk, P., Piirits, M., Biin, H., Anniste, K., Masso, M. 2016. Asendushoolduselt elluastuvate noorte uuring [Survey on young people starting independent life from substitute homes]. Tallinn: Praxis Center for Policy Studies. Available at: https://www.sm.ee/sites/default/files/content-editors/Lapsed_ja_pered/Asendushooldus/asendushooldus_loppraport_praxis_final.pdf
 Eesti Noorteühenduste Liit in association with Eesti Õpilasesinduste Liit, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations initiated on the election year the project of “Noored valimisvalvurid” (young election guardians).
 Available at: http://www.lastekaitseliit.ee/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/%C3%9CRO-Lapse-%C3%95iguste-Komitee-%C3%9Cldkommentaar-nr-12-Lapse-%C3%B5igus-olla-%C3%A4ra-kuulatud-eesti-keeles.pdf
 In 2016 there were 59 registered instances of abuse of minors (§ 175) regarding 8–18-year-old children. Most of the instances of abuse were committed via web cameras on Facebook, Skype, web pages and other social networks (such as Snapchat and VKontakte), using various user accounts and names.
 Kriminaalpoliitika koduleht [Criminal policy home page]. Sotsiaalkampaania 1ELU alaleht [Sub-page of social campaign 1ELU]. Available at: http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/et/kuriteoennetus/sotsiaalkampaania-kutsub-markama-inimkaubandusega-seotud-juhtumeid
 Read more at: http://www.kriminaalpoliitika.ee/et/kuriteoennetus/valmis-luhifilm-noortega-seotud-inimkaubanduse-juhtumitest
 Read more about refresher training for child protection officials on the home page of the National Institute for Health Development: http://www.tai.ee/et/tegevused/koolituskeskus/koolitused/lastekaitsetootajate-koolitused
 Erakooliseaduse, noorsootöö seaduse ning põhikooli- ja gümnaasiumiseaduse muutmise seadus [Act amending the Private Schools Act, the Youth Work Act and the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act] – State Gazette I, 16.06.2016, 1;
 The poll on school bags (“Sinu lapse koolikott”) carried out by the NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare revealed that the school bag of 85% of the students exceeds the limit set by Minister of Social Affairs Regulation no 36 “Tervisekaitsenõuded kooli päevakavale ja õppekorraldusele” [health-protection requirements to schools’ daily plan and organisation of studies]. Available at: http://www.lastekaitseliit.ee/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Uuring-Sinulapsekoolikott.pdf
 The queries submitted to the Chancellor of Justice in the reporting period included protection of children’s rights in relation to media, questions concerning organising tests at school, if and at what age can children be temporarily left at home alone, whether schools’ limitations on use of smart devices are in accordance with the Constitution, issues related to education of children with educational special needs, etc. See more in Chancellor of Justice’s Annual Report 2015/2016. Available at: riigi järjepidevat ja jõulistseles kohus rõhutab, etus inud ema suhtes, kus kohus leidis, et tal olt algatatudhus ja alaealiste riigi järjepidevat ja jõulistseles kohus rõhutab, etus inud ema suhtes, kus kohus leidis, et tal olt algatatudhus ja alaealiste http://www.oiguskantsler.ee/ylevaade2016/lapsed-ja-noored
 Read more at: https://www.hm.ee/sites/default/files/kool_ja_valimised_pohimotted.pdf
 Farthing, R. 2012. Why Youth Participation? Some Justifications and Critiques of Youth Participation Using New Labour’s Youth Policies as a Case Study. Youth&Policy. Nr 109. September 2012. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rys_Farthing/publication/298745098_Why_Youth_Participation_Some_Justifications_and_Critiques_of_Youth_Participation_Using_New_Labour’s_Youth_Policies_as_a_Case_Study/links/56eab5c108ae8c97677b9fa9/Why-Youth-Participation-Some-Justifications-and-Critiques-of-Youth-Participation-Using-New-Labours-Youth-Policies-as-a-Case-Study.pdf
 NGO Estonian Union for Child Welfare. 2017. 49 local authorities and 856 children and young persons (for 698 the mother tongue was Estonian and for 158 of them the mother tongue was Russian) participated in the repeat poll “Laste osaluse toetamine ja kaasamine otsustusprotsessides”. Available at: http://www.lastekaitseliit.ee/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Laste-osalus-ja-kaasamine-otsustusprotsessidesse-3.pdf
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