Government adopts first human rights diplomacy action plan

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Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On Monday, the government adopted the first human rights action plan that sets out Estonia's foreign policy actions for the protection of human rights and advancing democracy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

Estonia's human rights diplomacy has been consistent and remained on the same course for decades, focusing on protecting the rights of women, children and indigenous peoples; freedom of speech and expression, including online; and upholding the principles of civil society, rule of law and democracy, the foreign ministry wrote on Tuesday morning.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets said that in addition to establishing current thematic priorities, the action plan makes it possible to add new focuses, especially when it comes to technological solutions and human rights.

"It is crucial that we pay more attention to advancing and protecting women's rights online in addition to other domains, and are determined to fight violence against women and harassment online," Liimets added.

A country-specific approach requires efforts to make sure that serious human rights violations across the world are noticed and condemned. The ministry wrote that Estonia supports country-specific discussions and resolutions at UN and other international forums.

"Authoritarian regimes across the world are expanding their influence and are violating human rights with impunity, threatening global peace and security," the foreign minister noted.

Estonia is upholding and advocating its human rights priorities in both international organizations – the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU and the OSCE – as well as through bilateral relations and development cooperation, and in informal diplomatic cooperation formats, such as the coalitions on media, internet and religious freedom and the group of European human rights ambassadors.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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