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Estonian watchdog organizations

Logo of the Estonian Human Rights Centre.Estonian Human Rights Centre
www.humanrights.ee – Estonian Human Rights Centre (EHRC) is an independent public interest foundation dedicated to the advancement of protection of human rights in Estonia and abroad. The activiteies of EHRC include inter alia the monitoring and research of the human rights situation in Estonia and other countries, advocacy on human rights areas, including participating in the public debate and guaranteeing the representation of individuals in court and other proceedings, organising projects with the aim of raising awareness of human rights.

Logo of the Institute of Human Rights.Estonian Institute of Human Rights www.eihr.ee – The Institute of Human Rights is Estonia’s first and oldest independent organisation dealing systematically with the protection of human rights. The goal of the Institute of Human Rights is to collect, systematise, analyse and promote information about human rights, to increase public awareness about the field and to make proposals about how to better protect human rights in Estonia and elsewhere in the world. To achieve this, the Institute cooperates with NGOs, universities and governmental institutions. It also organises training courses and conferences, publishes articles and reports, and participates in international networks.

Logo of the Legal Information Centre for Human Rights.Legal Information Centre for Human Rights www.lichr.ee – The Legal Information Centre for Human Rights (LICHR) was established in 1994 with the support of three Danish non-governmental organizations within the Democratisation programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA) and with the assistance of the Presidential Round Table on National Minorities, the Representative Assembly of Non-Citizens of Estonia and Tallinn City Chancellery. The core areas of activity of LICHR are provision of access to justice and protection of human rights, legal aid, analysis of the human rights and national minorities’ rights situation, monitoring of Estonian legislation, contribution to the integration process and inter-ethnic dialogue in society, legal training in the sphere of human rights.

Logo of the Institute of Baltic Studies.Institute of Baltic Studies www.ibs.ee – The Institute of Baltic Studies (IBS) is an independent non-profit research and development centre that aims at assisting the development of public policy in the Baltic Sea region by providing high-quality socio-economic analysis. With its activities, IBS aims at contributing to the increase of knowledge and understanding of the development challenges and opportunities facing Estonia in particular and Baltic Sea region in general.


Logo of the Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals.Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals www.loomakaitse.ee – The Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals (ESPA) has been operating since spring 2000. ESPA is a non-profit association comprised of animal friends with a mission to assure and improve animal welfare and prevent animal abusing. The mission is carried out by helping the animals directly, raising public awareness, educating people on the subject, animal protection control and being engaged in legislative drafting.

Logo of the Estonian Environmental Law Center.Estonian Environmental Law Center www.k6k.ee – Estonian Environmental Law Center (EELC) was founded in 2007 by an environmental NGO Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) and 3 public interest environmental lawyers.The aim of the organization is to create, collect, disseminate and use expert knowledge on environmental law in order to enhance development of environmental law and quality of environmental decisions of different levels as well as environmental legislation. EELC is a non-governmental non-profit organization, acting in public interest.

Logo of the Estonian Fund for Nature.Estonian Fund for Nature www.elfond.ee – The aim of the Estonian Fund for Nature (Eestimaa Looduse Fond – ELF) is to preserve the entire Estonian nature and its diversity. Since 1991, the voluntary civic association in cooperation with many people and organizations has been the leader of various wildlife conservation projects important to Estonia. On the initiative of ELF, natural parks and wildlife preserves have been established; also extensive inventories to map Estonia’s natural resources have been carried out.

Logo of the Estonian LGBT Association.Estonian LGBT Association www.lgbt.ee – The Estonian LGBT Association is a non-profit organization for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) people.The mission of the Estonian LGBT Association, as a representative of the Estonian LGBT people, is to raise awareness of LGBT topics in the society through education and advocacy. The association also aims to increase the self-awareness and social activity of LGBT people by providing support and personal growth possibilities.

Logo of the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition.Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition –  www.saptk.ee The mission of the foundation is to stand up for morals, family and a traditional polity which values human rights, dignity and property and the protection of European cultural heritage in accordance with the Christian teaching. As of today the activities have included campaigns against same-sex partnerships and abortion.

Logo of the Estonian Internet Community.Estonian Internet Community www.kogukond.org – Internet Society Estonia Chapter was actually founded in October 2010 as NGO Estonian Internet Community (in Estonian: “MTÜ Eesti Interneti Kogukond”) to address problems associated with the .ee domain reform, in 2011 the Community organized a successful media campaign and public protests against ACTA. Currently the Community is actively pressuring the government on the issues concerning PRISM and the privacy rights of Estonian citizens. Key topics for the future include sensible copyright reform and instituting full net neutrality across the European Union. In the latter we would very much appreciate the support and cooperation of everyone all over Europe.

Logo of the Estonian Patient Advocacy Association.The Estonian Patient Advocacy Association www.epey.ee – The Estonian Patient Advocacy Association is a non-profit NGO established in 1994 whose primary aim is to advocate for the human and civil rights of health and social care service users. For the past 14 years has EPAA advocated for the rights of 19 550 clients, carried out education work about patients’ rights for 20 500 different stakeholders, litigating test-cases about human rights, raising up number of systemic issues in different levels and influencing decision making in Estonian health and social care system to respect service users’ choices.

logo of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry www.koda.ee – The mission of the Chamber is to develop entrepreneurship in Estonia. The ECCI is an active partner to the parliament, government and ministries in designing the economic policy and climate. Whenever tax policies, corporate law, laws on property and obligations, foreign trade and EU-related issues or professional qualification are discussed, the Chamber speaks actively on the behalf of the Estonian business community. The ECCI provides many business-related services – consultation (legal, foreign trade, EU-related), business match-making (trade missions, trade fair visits, presentations), information services (business contacts, co-operation proposals etc.), training and foreign trade documents.

Logo of the Estonian Chamber of Disabled People. Estonian Chamber of Disabled People www.epikoda.ee – The Estonian Chamber of Disabled People is the national umbrella organisation for people with disabilities in Estonia. The Chamber has 46 member organisations. The Chamber acts as the coordinator, main cooperation partner and advisor in the issues related to the rights of disabled people.

Logo of the Estonian Mentally Disabled People Support Organisation.Estonian Mentally Disabled People Support Organisation www.vaimukad.ee – The support organisation was founded in 1990 as an association of mentally disabled people support organisation. For mentally disabled people and their families it is a source of independent information and services, a channel through which the problems of disabled people can be communicated to the authorities. Among others the tasks of the support organisation include defending the rights of mentally disabled peaople at local, national and international level and the forming of public opinion.

Logo of the Federation of Estonian Student Unions.Federation of Estonian Student Unions www.eyl.ee – The organisation’s main goal is to represent students’ interests on national level. Key issues include student rights, educational and social issues. FESU works closely together with the parliament, the government, different ministries, higher education institutions and other partners. FESU is also a leading NGO in Estonia and sometimes also represents students in schools, youth in general or just NGOs in different committees. FESU is recognised as a 100% partner by the Ministry of Education and Research and the government.

Logo of the NGO Estonian Carers.NGO Estonian Carers www.omastekooldus.ee – NGO Estonian Carers stands for improving the conditions of care takers of family members through regional support groups and local authorities.

Logo of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare.Estonian Union for Child Welfare www.lastekaitseliit.ee – Estonian Union for Child Welfare is a non-governmental non-profit organisation, which has become acknowledged and supported by institutions in public, business and non-profit sectors as well as the population. The organisation tracks the legal and institutional amendments which might affect the general wellbeing and safety of children, acts as an advisor, educator and opinion leader.

Logo of the Estonian Property Owners Union.Estonian Property Owners Unionwww.omanikud.ee – EPOU represents the voice of Estonian property owners inter alia by maintaining an active dialogue with the state institutions, currently the key issues are related to the taxation of property.

Logo of the Transparency International Estonia.Transparency International Estonia www.transparency.ee – Transparency International Estonia is a leading civil society organization in the fight against corruption in Estonia. TI Estonia’s main fields of activity are analyzing and highlighting the risks of corruption, awareness raising and strengthening cooperation between public institutions and private persons in the fight against corruption.

Logo of the NGO Urban Lab.NGO Urban Lab www.linnalabor.ee – Urban Lab is an experimental testing ground for urban innovations. The organisations aims to work on new solutions to improve and diversify the urban life. As the name tells, the Lab is all about experimenting. The tasks and purposes include enchancin sustainable urban development, popularisation of urban studies, raising citizen awareness on the issues of urban planning and promoting participation. The organisation maintains dialogue with the state and local municipality institutions.

Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Centre www.enut.ee – Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Centre (ENUT) is a grassroots, non-profit, non-governmental organisation with the aim to advance gender equality in all spheres of life. ENUT serves as a specialised library on women’s and gender issues, collects and disseminates information on gender issues, raises gender awareness through seminars, conferences and publications as well as promotes, co-ordinates and initiates activities to advance gender equality, co-operates with orgainzations with similar aims in Estonia and beyond.

Logo of the Estonian Consumers Union.Estonian Consumers Union www.tarbijakaitse.ee – Estonian Consumers Union represents and promotes the values and interests of consumers. The activities include different awareness raising campaigns and courses, critical dialogue with public authorities on the national and EU level and contribution to the shaping of consumer-friendly policies.


Logo funduszy szwajcarskich, Ecorys oraz Euroregion Bałtyk.


The above list was prepared under the project “Powerful Watchdogs” supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

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