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Estonia’s priorities for its Chairmanship: human rights, rule of law on the Internet, gender equality, children’s rights

Addressing the Standing Committee in Tallinn today, Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand gave a detailed overview of the country’s priorities for its Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, namely human rights and the rule of law on the Internet, gender equality and children’s rights.

“We will work together with all partners to ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms both online and offline, and contribute to the implementation of the Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy for 2016 to 2019,” she said.

“Achieving gender equality is central to the protection of human rights and the functioning of democracy,” she added. She mentioned that Estonia was striving to achieve equal representation at decision-making levels and equal treatment in the labour market in terms of competiveness and equal pay, and she announced a high-level conference “Are we there yet? Assessing progress, inspiring action – The Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017” to be held in Tallinn on 30 June and 1 July 2016.

“Continuing Bulgaria’s work in this field, we also wish to highlight three key issues: children’s participation, children’s rights in the digital environment and children in migration,” she said, adding that the prevention of and fight against the sexual abuse of children remains one of the priorities in the children’s rights agenda.

In addition, she said that Estonia would continue to advance other areas of political importance for the Council of Europe and further improve the Council’s co-operation with other international organisations.

Regarding the migrant crisis, she said that for a small country like Estonia, solidarity was the key, and that the country was determined to do its part in tackling the crisis. “We have started with the relocation process and work is under way to start with the resettlement from Turkey,” she underlined, adding that the government decided to contribute 2.8 million euros to the EU’s Refugee Facility for Turkey to support implementation of the EU-Turkey Agreement of March.