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Leia murele lahendus

Sa ei ole oma murega üksi. Siit leiad vastuse erinevatele diskrimineerimist puudutavatele küsimustele. Oleme siin selleks, et Sind aidata.

What is equal treatment?

The principle of equal treatment derives from the idea that all people are equal in terms of their rights. The right to the equal protection of the law is a fundamental right enjoyed by all and is written into the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia. The requirement of equal treatment was established so as to bring to an end the restriction of the rights of groups within society that historically had been ostracised and to guarantee everybody equal rights and opportunities regardless of their identity or origins.

Section 12 of the Constitution states that everybody is equal before the law. Nobody may be treated unequally because of their nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origins, religion, political or other views, property or social status or on other grounds. These qualities and characteristics form the grounds of discrimination. People are protected against discrimination because of these very grounds, because most of the discrimination that is seen in many societies is connected to them.

Abiding by the principle of equal treatment presupposes that persons in an equal situation are treated equally. However, when people are in unequal situations, it may be necessary to treat them differently in order to ensure that they have equal opportunities to participate in society. For example, it’s justified if an employer takes the special needs of disabled or older employees into account. For example, the law states that buildings must be accessible to people with disabilities, etc.

Prejudice towards the different groups of society and the direct or indirect, usually unacknowledged, less favourable treatment or discrimination caused by this increases the risk of poverty and the social exclusion of members of society.

The concept of equal treatment is often interpreted as identical treatment. However, identical treatment doesn’t guarantee equality, because people have different starting points and different opportunities, which depend mainly on the external environment. Achieving real equality requires noticing the processes that create inequality or discrimination in society, combating them and actively reducing inequality.

The Equal Treatment Act protects people from unequal treatment on grounds of their nationality, colour, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief.

The protection of laws varies in the case of different grounds. While unequal treatment based on a person’s sex is prohibited in all areas of life, the Equal Treatment Act protects people against unequal treatment on grounds of, for example, disability, age, religion or belief, and sexual orientation only in the field of employment, vocational training, retraining or further training, and membership in an organisation of employees or employers.

Read more in the Equal Treatment Act Manual

If you feel that you’ve been treated unequally, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at avaldus@volinik.ee or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.