Estonia: Treatment of homosexuals and available state protection; update to EST34035.E of 21 March 2000
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||12 June 2002|
|Citation / Document Symbol||EST39106.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Estonia: Treatment of homosexuals and available state protection; update to EST34035.E of 21 March 2000, 12 June 2002, EST39106.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be2f0.html [accessed 18 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Information on the treatment of homosexuals in Estonia and the available state protection was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. The Baltic News Service reports that
... Estonian society has become significantly more tolerant during the past decade, with the biggest change occurring in the people's attitude toward homosexuals and people with AIDS, a survey indicates (19 Nov. 2001).
An article in the June 2001 ILGA Euro-Letter indicates that the Estonian parliament voted to replace the Criminal Code, which contained the "only anti-gay article in the criminal law," with a new Penal Code on 6 June 2001 (June 2001). The new code lowers the age of consent for homosexual sex from 16 to 14 years of age, matching the age of consent for heterosexual intercourse (ibid.). Article 151 of the Code "provides provisions for incitement of social hatred or violence on the basis of nationality, race, colour, sex, language, origin, religion, political opinion, property or social status," however, neither sexual orientation nor "on other grounds" is included in this legislation though there is a provision in the Consitution for "other grounds" (ibid.). The implementation of the new Penal Code was expected around June 2002 (ibid.). No further information concerning its implementation could be found by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Baltic News Service [Tallinn]. 19 November 2001. "Estonians Have Become More Tolerant of Gays, People With AIDS – Survey". (NEXIS)
International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) – Europe. June 2001. Euro-Letter. No. 89. Lillian Kotter. "Estonia Repeals Discriminatory Age of Consent for Same-Sex Activity".
Additional Sources Consulted
World News Connection
Internet sites including:
Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty
Homosexual Rights Around the World
Human Rights Campaign
International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA)
United Kingdom (UK). Estonia Bulletin 2001