Ministry outlines refugee integration policy principles ({{commentsTotal}})


Estonia reserves the right to prohibit some cultural practices, like forced marriages and circumcision, in its territory, Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu said after Monday's roundtable.

Participants at the Justice Ministry's roundtable agreed on the rules and main principles, which will form the basis of the government's strategy for integrating the soon-to-arrive Mediterranean refugees into Estonian society.

"Estonia has the right to set rules the way we hold right as a society," Reinsalu said, adding that these rules touch upon issues like education, segregation and the resulting extremism and severe intolerance. "This also concerns the question of extreme cultural traditions, which we will say is prohibited in Estonia and punishable by law," he explained.

Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna added that to work out a successful integration strategy, Estonia must learn from the mistakes of its neighbors.

It was agreed that language tuition must be improved to make sure that new arrivals actually master Estonian.

"Adults and children will get free language tuition on the expense of the state," he said, adding that this tuition should be made compulsory for two years.

The roundtable was also attended by the head imam of the Estonian Muslim community, Ildar Muhamedšin, who was supportive of the ideas but pointed out that Estonia lacks an official mosque.

"If the Estonian Islamic community cannot build its own mosque, other prayer houses may emerge," he said. "God save us if this happens! We won't know who paid for them and what they teach," he said.

Editor: M. Oll

+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long

Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: