On the election of Donald Trump

Posted: November 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: diversity, elections, governance, politics, technology, united states | No Comments »

My take is that the election of Trump was a loud message of disapproval from a signficant part of the electorate to the political elite, which had formed a closed, clientelist and thus undemocratic system. In a world where people have an increased expectation of more equal access to power, those closed systems are unappealing, especially to those left out. And those people are very much happy to destroy the system, just because they can. It is somewhat difficult to understand for those within the system or benefitting from it, but they should. In the US elections the choice was also so clearly between the candidate that embodies the establishment and an absolute outsider, so this was rather easy. I do not think that people will get what they wanted, but as a message it could have been worth it.

If one wants to avoid such things then one needs to increase diversity and inclusion within political parties to involve people from different backgrounds and open the whole thing up to a larger variety of people. In order for democracy to survive, parties have to be reformed from the hierarchical “old-boys-clubs” to modern networked, transparent and democratic institutions. In the UK, Labour has done some of this after much controversy and rebellion from those supporting the status quo. But that is just one part of it.

There is also a need to talk about elections and political representation as such in the ICT age, and not talking about potentially damaging pseudo-reforms like internet voting or direct digital democracy, but a substantial upgrade of representative democracy for the digital age. Perhaps we do not need regular elections, but just a way to trigger elections when enough of the population is no longer happy or when there is a stasis. Perhaps we need to re-think self-governance beyond the nation-state, to involve in the equation trans/supranational modes of governance. Somehow the mismatch between self-government aspirations of individuals who belong to different governance spheres and the corresponding dismal performance of democratic institutions or non-existence of those should be settled in a way that still resembles representative democracy.

Estonia has a female president

Posted: October 4th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: diversity, human rights, thoughts | No Comments »

3 October 2016 was a historic day for Estonia, because after lengthy, incredibly convoluted political campaign the Parliament voted to install Kersti Kaljulaid as the country’s first president who is not a man. It is important and significant step for the development of the country.

The prospect of a female president is not so new. Already in 2006 Ene Ergma was almost elected as president, she was just three votes short in the parliament.

So in itself it does not seem such a big deal that the political elite considers women acceptable as leaders until one thinks about the poor situation in Estonia in terms of gender equality. Estonia’s parliament has had the number of women parliamentarians constantly hovering around 20%; in the government it is usual that one or two women make an appearance in an otherwise boys club. The gender pay gap is the largest in the European Union and the rate of gender based violence is remarkably high. The voice of women is constantly underrepresented in the media and even mainstream feminists considered radicals.

Already there have been voices that the gender of the president actually makes no difference. But it does. As a man I cannot really imagine what it must be like living in a society where almost everyone in government, and the vast majority of past political leaders not in your country but everywhere in the world are not the same gender as you are. Kersti Kaljulaid will be a role model and an inspiration to many of those who have been previously left out.

Of course, a female president alone does not automatically make men and women and others in Estonia more equal. But it is a step in the direction of a more representative, inclusive state which can heal the divide between the political elite and people.

The final frontier for a woman in Estonian politics is obviously the position of the Prime Minister, who actually is the Head of Government in Estonia.

In terms of my take on who Kersti Kaljulaid is, I will reserve this for a later date. It is not a good idea to build up one’s expectations too high regarding politicians, because these will be inevitably crushed at some point (see Obama). From the first look she seems a middle-of-the-road classical conservative, a rational and thoughtful person, not too far from my own views in terms of classical Kantian constitutional republicanism. In terms of values of Estonian people, she seems to click better than the previous president did, which makes her a good candidate for reaching out to, listening to and communicating with the Estonian people.

Read also:

Homonegativity and religion

Posted: June 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: diversity, Estonia, thoughts | No Comments »

The horrible massacre of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, perpetrated by who seems to be a non-devout Muslim man of Afghan descent, who was dealing with his own repressed homosexuality and at the same time believed in the hateful ideology espoused by ISIL online, is shocking and deeply painful. There are already those who use the event to incite hatred against Muslims, and others they perceive as dangerous in general. Perhaps then it is useful to look at a more nuanced picture of what connects homonegativity and religion, and see how is this applicable in Estonia.

While it is true that all religions promote homonegativity, the approaches and intensity vary. It is, of course, also not possible to take into account the diversity within the religions, when talking about broad groups. Sebastian Jäckle and Georg Wenzelburger have analysed the attitudes towards homosexuals in 79 countries and ranked religions according to their homonegativity, compared with atheism:

  1. Islam
  2. Catholicism/Protestant Free Churches/Orthodox Christianity
  3. Traditional (European) Protestantism
  4. Hinduism
  5. Buddhism/Taoism/Confucianism
  6. Atheism

Of course, the level of religiosity is also a factor, when it comes to individual attitudes. A devout Christian that associates with others and is exposed to regular anti-gay messages can be more homonegative than someone who has only limited contact with the church, even though both consider themselves believers.

At the same time, religion is not the only, or even the most important thing that impacts attitudes towards homosexuals. We know, globally, from different studies that older people are more homonegative than younger, men more than women. We know that people with low education, lower income and social status are more also more homonegative than others.

The results of the Sebastian Jäckle and Georg Wenzelburger study presented important findings:

  1. The more post-material a person is, the lower their homonegativity. Socio-economic statuses thus matter regardless of religion.
  2. Religiosity of a person matters as well: the more religious an individual is, the more homonegative. However, the impact is different among different religions. The religiosity of a Muslim affects the attitudes towards homosexuals more than the religiosity of a Buddhist.
  3. In terms of countries, the level of development is an important factor. The more highly developed a country is, the less homonegative it is. Other relevant factors include the duration of legalisation of homosexual relations: the longer it has been legal, the less homonegative people are. It also matters whether the country is communist/post-communist or not, with the former being more homonegative than the latter.

In terms of communist legacy, the authors state the following, which is relevant for Estonia: “In communist or post-communist countries, an increase in religiosity leads to a less strong rise in homonegativity than in non-communist countries. This can be explained by the suppression of religion in these countries during the communist rule.”

How are things in Estonia?

In Estonia, the connection between homonegativity and religion has not been researched. When we asked Turu-uuringute AS to conduct a survey in 2014 on the attitudes to homosexuality among Estonians, we also asked about the religious beliefs of respondents. When asked how acceptable homosexuality is, a picture emerged, in which Orthodox Christians were the most homonegative, while atheists were least.


Acceptability of homosexuality by religious beliefs in Estonia in 2014

At the same time it was interesting to note that even religious people did not associate their homonegativity with religion.

When looking at other results as well, there is a remarkable difference between Russian Orthodox Christians and Lutherans. When looking at a support for same-sex civil unions, 68% of Orthodox were against, with 49% firmly against. Among atheists, more people supported same-sex civil unions than were against.

When discussing homonegativity and religion in Estonia, it seems that religion plays a role, but it is unclear how large of a role. It seems that Russian Orthodox religion is the most homonegative in Estonia, while in other religions the impact is less important. There are a number of further issues this raises, including how to support those LGBTI+ people who grow up in or belong to a religion that is so homonegative.

Further reading:

Why A Chairman’s Tale matters

Posted: April 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: cool, diversity, Estonia, human rights | No Comments »

Today, an exhibition entitled “Not Suitable for Work. A Chairman’s Tale” opens in Tallinn. It is a remarkable and important work which details the life story of a gay man living in Soviet Estonia. Added significance is that the exhibition is displayed at the Estonian Museum of Occupations, which is a museum dedicated not to careers or professions, but the military occupations of Estonia during and subsequent to World War II.

The oppression of totalitarian regimes against minorities is a well-known fact, but repression against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people and other such minorities has not received similar attention as against other groups. This is due to the fact that discrimination and violence against LGBTQI+ people has occurred and continues to exist in even the most democratic and progressive countries. It was only in 2009, 55 years after his death that the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised for the prosecution and chemical castration of Alan Turing, the father of computers, for being gay. Many people who were prosecuted like this all over the world have yet to receive an apology or any compensation. A memorial to homosexuals persecuted during Nazism was only opened in Berlin in 2008, although it was known before that Jews were not the only group that suffered at the hands of the Third Reich. The first groups of people sent to die in the concentration camps were actually people with disabilities.

It is essential for the fight against intolerance based on sexual orientation and gender equality that past injustices do not stay covered up. Remembering violence and discrimination helps to prevent it from happening again. It is also important to recognise that such minorities have always existed even though history books do not tell about them. When discussing the Soviet period in Estonia, too little focus has been placed on the situation of minorities such as LGBTIQ+ people.

Therefore the Estonian society has to be grateful to Jaanus Samma and his team for shedding light to this aspect of Soviet era and help us to understand this period better. Hopefully there will be more people like him who will expand the so far very incomplete knowledge about the history of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender Estonia and Estonians, which will be useful not only to us, but also for generations to come.

The uniqueness of Yogyakarta

Posted: September 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: cool, diversity, human rights, thoughts, travel | No Comments »

I have just returned from a brief trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia (better known as Jogja locally), which was interesting in many ways.

First of all, for governance scholars Jogja is quite unique because the Yogyakarta special administrative region is governed by the Sultan of Yogyakarta who is both the hereditary monarch and an executive governor like other heads of regions. During colonial times, the Dutch agreed to have self-government by the Sultan and at the independence of Indonesia it was agreed that the Sultan could continue on as a regional governor. After controversially not appointed as the governor in 1998, the current Sultan, His Majesty Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X was democratically elected as governor in 1998 and in 2012 the Indonesian parliament passed a law that the Sultan of Yogyakarta would also inherit the position of the governor. One can say that this is not democratic, but if the Sultan continues to have output legitimacy based on superior performance, then why to bother with the instability, hassle and cost of elections and adopt a wider concept of democratic governance? It is a credit to the Indonesian system that such traditional governance system can exist within a democratic, predominantly muslim country.

Secondly, Jogja is the centre of education and Javanese/Buddhist/Hindu culture and history. This means a lot of students which creates a special kind of liberal vibrance and a relaxed peaceful atmosphere unlike some of the bigger cities. It is also diverse city and one of the most liberal Muslim cities as the Muslim faith and tradition is mixed with ancient Javanese traditions and Hindu and Buddhist legacies. The flexibility of Islam in accommodating and facilitating other religions side by side is very visible and real in Indonesia (which is also the world’s largest Muslim country) and other countries in South East Asia, including also Malaysia.

My previous knowledge of the place was only based on the Yogyakarta Principles, which were adopted in the meeting of international human rights experts at Gadjah Mada University and which formed the second part of an exhibit on LGBTI tolerance which we brought to Estonia from Poland (see the online gallery).

Minu nägemus soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise voliniku institutsioonist

Posted: July 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: diversity, eesti keeles, Estonia, human rights | No Comments »

This post is in Estonian and includes my vision for the development of the Estonian equality body Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner, a position for which I was running for, but in the end was not successful.

Avaldan oma visiooni sellest, milliseks oleksin soovinud kujundada võrdõigusvoliniku institutsiooni juhul kui oleksin osutunud valituks. Ehk leiab tulevane võrdõigusvolinik sellest kasulikke ideid, mida ellu viia.

Minu nägemus soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise voliniku institutsioonist minu ametiaja jooksul

Esitan visiooni sellest, milliseks kujundan võrdõigusvoliniku institutsiooni.

Soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise volinik on Eesti riigihalduses ebatavaline asutus. Tegemist on Euroopa Liidu õigusest tulenevalt loodud sõltumatu institutsiooniga, mis tekitab pingeid aga ka erilisi võimalusi. Voliniku sõltumatus loob unikaalseid väljakutseid nii töö korraldamisel kui sisuliste küsimuste lahendamisel.

Voliniku institutsioon on olnud algusest peale alarahastatud, mis näitab, et vähe on olnud poliitilist tahet anda eesmärkide saavutamiseks vajalik minimaalne ressurss. See on olnud seotud ka soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise teema pealiskaudse omaksvõtuga poliitilise eliidi poolt ning senise vähese prioriteetsusega. Seda arvamust saab muuta tulemusliku töö ja vajalikkuse selgitamisega, aga voliniku eelarvevahendite tagamine vähemalt sellel tasemel nagu see institutsiooni loomisel 2008. aastal Riigikogule esitatud seletuskirjas ette oli nähtud (ca 280 000 eurot aastas), on esmatähtis.

Võrdõigusvolinik on minu nägemuses kõigi inimeste võrdsete inimõiguste tšempion ja “tark mees taskus”, kes aitab riigil ja ühiskonnal võrdõiguslikkuse teemasid avada ja mõtestada ning liikuda võrdõiguslikuma ühiskonna suunas.

Milliseks voliniku institutsiooni kujundan?

Võrdõigusvoliniku eesmärk on saavutada muutus inimeste hoiakutes ja käitumises. Seda saab teha vaid juhul kui ka voliniku institutsioon on ühiskonnas mainekas ja seda nähakse vajalikuna. Ametisse asudes panen paika konkreetse tegevuskava, konsulteerides enne laia ringi inimeste ja organisatsioonidega. Suur osa konkreetsest tegevusest sõltub ka olukorra arengust Eestis, sest volinik peab olema võimeline reageerima võimalustele, mida erinevad sündmused ja arengud pakuvad, et neid oskuslikult võrdõiguslikkuse edendamiseks ära kasutada.

Olen olnud edukas, kui viie aasta pärast saab võrdõigusvoliniku institutsiooni iseloomustada järgnevalt.

1. Voliniku roll ühiskonnas: mitte näpuga vibutav järelevalveametnik vaid igaühe abiline teekonnal võrdõiguslikuma ühiskonna suunas.

Voliniku kuvand on olla pigem soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise valdkondade strateegiline eestvedaja kui järelevalveametnik. See tähendab, et volinik peab olema võimeline teemat ‘müüma’ teistele olulistele riigi-, era- ja kolmanda sektori liitlastele, kellega ühiselt tulemusi saavutada. Hea näide on minu juhitud “erinevus rikastab” projektide raames loodud mitmekesisuse kokkulepe, mis ühendab pea 60 ettevõtet ja organisatsiooni, mis on seadnud mitmekesisuse ja kaasatuse esiplaanile.

Volinik peab tingimata jätkama kaebuste osas ekspertarvamuste andmist, proovides samas leida võimalusi arvamuse andmise menetlemise kiirendamiseks, tehes koostööd valdkonnast huvitatud advokaatide ja juristidega. Juba antud arvamuste põhjal saab voliniku institutsioon välja töötada lihtsad juhendmaterjalid erinevatele sihtrühmadele erinevates olukordades tegutsemiseks (näiteks tööandjatele juhis kuidas vältida diskrimineerimist värbamisel).

Strateegiliste kaasuste osas ei tohi volinik võtta liiga suuri riske, vaid hagelema ainult neid kaasusi, mida on võimalik võita ja mille kaudu ka ühiskonnale teemat paremini avada. Arvan, et volinik võiks hageleda kahe-kolme hoolikalt valitud strateegilise kaasusega aastas. Inimõiguste keskuses oleme teinud advokaatidega väga tihedat koostööd strateegilistes kaasustes, mis puudutavad varjupaigataotlejaid ja tean, et varasemat on ka voliniku bürool mitme advokaadibürooga hea koostöö. Vaid töövaidluskomisjonides saadud vastustest ei piisa, vaid tuleb edukalt hageleda kõigis kohtuastmetes.

Loon voliniku institutsiooni juurde nõuandva koja, kuhu palun erinevate ühiskonnagruppide esindajaid, et saavutada parem ülevaade rohujuure tasandil toimuvast ning tagada tegevuse laiapõhjalisus. Nõukoja liikmed seostavad kogukonda ja voliniku institutsiooni, aga saavad täita ka voliniku tegevust toetavad kõneisiku rolli.

2. Voliniku institutsioon: jätkusuutlik, ettevõtlik ja uuendusmeelne.

Voliniku tegevuseks ei ole seni eraldatud piisavat ressurssi, sest ühiskonnal ja riigil on olnud raske aru saada selle vajalikkusest. Investeeringut voliniku institutsiooni tuleb vaadata seemnerahana, mille abil tõmmata muutuse läbiviimisse kaasa teisi ja mille abil volinik saab osaleda ja mõjutada muude ressursside kasutamist. Seega peab volinik ka adekvaatse rahastuse korral leidma võimalusi väheste vahenditega suurt mõju saavutada. Seda on võimalik teha sünergiat leides teiste nii avaliku kui erasektori organisatsioonidega, sealhulgas ka sotsiaalsete ettevõtetega.

Tehnoloogia on üks valdkond, millele voliniku tegevuses suurt tähelepanu kavatsen pöörata. Volinikuna pööran tähelepanu info- ja kommunikatsioonitehnoloogiatele, et neid senisest enam võrdõiguslikkuse edendamiseks saaks kasutada. Sealhulgas otsin võimalusi koostööks Eesti IKT sektoriga, et töötada välja lahendusi senisest tõhusamaks diskrimineerimise vastu võitlemiseks ja mitmekesisuse edendamiseks. Hea näide on minu ideest alguse saanud Garage48 Enable hackathon, mis keskendus puuetega inimestega koos ligipääsetavust võimaldavate tarkvaralahenduste loomisele.

Erinevus rikastab kampaania käigus oleme välja töötanud mitmeid uuenduslikke kampaaniaid ja lahendusi, millest saadud kogemused toon ka võrdõigusvoliniku töösse (nt Berlin-Yogyakarta virtuaalnäitus (vt www.erinevusrikastab.ee/berlin-yogyakarta, diskrimineerimiskompass www.erinevusrikastab.ee/kompass). Inimõiguste keskuses lõime auhinnatud Pagulase teekonna www.pagulane.ee. Voliniku kohalolek ja tegevus sotsiaalmeedias ja internetis laiemalt suureneb minu ametiajal märkimisväärselt, rohkem tuleb kasutada audio-visuaalset kommunikatsiooni, näiteks videokokkuvõtteid muidu keerulistest õigusalastest tekstidest.

3. Volinik teeb tihedat ja tulemuslikku koostööd.

Voliniku amet tuleb oluliselt enam sisuliselt ja formaalselt sotsiaalministeeriumist lahti siduda, jätkates samal ajal sellega tihedat koostööd. Kõige rohkem arengupotentsiaali näen koostöös haridus- ja teadusministeeriumi ja kultuuriministeeriumiga, vastavalt hariduse ja lõimumise valdkondades. Senisest suuremat tähelepanu tuleks pöörata ka kohalikele omavalitsustele, kus pilootprojektina erinevaid algatusi läbi viia ja kellega koostöös üle Eesti nõustamist pakkuda.

Voliniku strateegilisteks partneriteks on minu arvates: õiguskantsler (kellega saab tegevust koordineerida ning strateegiliselt tegutseda); sotsiaalministeerium ja kultuuriministeerium (kuna tegelevad võrdse kohtlemise ja soolise võrdõiguslikke valdkonnas õigusloomega); rahandusministeerium (kuna tegeleb riigiametnike koolituse ja riigieelarvega koostamisega); justiitsministeerium (kuna tegeleb inimõiguste üldise järelvalvega); haridus- ja teadusministeerium (kuna tegeleb haridusvaldkonnaga); inimõiguste kaitse, vähemuste ja naiste esindusorganisatsioonid (sh võrdse kohtlemise võrgustik); tööandjate ja töövõtjate esindajad (nii tööalase diskrimineerimise kui ka mitmekesisuse edendamise mõttes).

Olen ise juuraharidusega ja tihedalt seotud Eesti juristkonnaga läbi oma liikmelisuse Eesti Juristide Liidu volikogus ja Euroopa õiguse ühenduse assotsiatsiooni FIDE Eesti juhatuses ning viimased kuus aastat õigusteadlaste päevade korralduskomisjonis, mistõttu suudan teemat senisest enam ka juristkonna jaoks relevantseks teha, et aidata ja motiveerida advokaate ja juriste võimalikke diskrimineerimiskaasusi ka ise rohkem kohtutesse viima ja neis küsimustes sõna võtma.

Suur võimalus on teha rohkem koostööd erialaorganisatsioonidega ja sotsiaalpartneritega, et motiveerida ja aidata neil oma valdkonnas tõstatuvate võrdõiguslikkuse küsimustega tegeleda. Volinik peab korraldama ka regulaarsemalt kohtumisi laiema avalikkusega ning suurendama oma nähtavust ja kättesaadavust erinevates Eesti piirkondades.

Teen ettepaneku kokku kutsuda ministeeriumidevaheline regulaarne töörühm võrdõiguslikkuse edendamiseks, et paremini tegevust koordineerida, teadmisi jagada ja ühiseid lahendusi otsida. Eraldi oluline teemavaldkond on EL struktuurifondide rakendamise nõustamine, mille osas volinik on heaks partneriks rakendusasutustele.

4. Mitte ainult soovolinik.

Eelkõige peab volinik omama terviklikku ja süsteemset nägemust võrdse kohtlemise ning mitmekesisuse ja kaasatuse teemadest. Sageli võib juhtuda, et erinevad alused kattuvad või toimub diskrimineerimine mitme aluse koosmõjul. Minu enda lähenemine on vaadata iga inimest kui indiviidi koos võimalike takistustega, mis tema konkreetsest tunnustest võivad tekkida.

Sooline võrdõiguslikkus saab minu ametiaja jooksul jätkuvalt suure tähelepanu osaliseks. Selleks, et teemat senisest tulemuslikumalt edendada, näen statistiliste andmete kõrval olulisena juhtumianalüüside ja kvalitatiivsete uuringute abil selgitada ühiskonnale neid väljakutseid, mida naised täna Eestis kogevad ning kuidas sooline ebavõrdsus mõjutab negatiivselt kogu ühiskonna toimimist. Samuti pean oluliseks meeste konstruktiivset kaasamist sooteemade aruteludesse, et välistada asjatut vastandumist ja liikuda edasi. Volinik ei peaks tingimata sooteemadel võtma kõneisiku rolli, aga ta saab leida ja koordineerida sõnumeid ja olla eestvedaja konkreetsetele algatustele.

Samas on oluline, et voliniku institutsioon aitaks võidelda diskrimineerimise vastu võrdselt kõikidel alustel. Suurt potentsiaali näen rahvuspõhise diskrimineerimise vastu võitlemise osas. Seni pöörduvad voliniku poole selles küsimuses vaid vähesed. Voliniku võimekust ja pädevust nii venekeelse vähemuse kui uusimmigrantide ja Romade teemadega tegelemiseks tuleb oluliselt tõsta. Võrdõigusvolinik kui tõhus diskrimineerimisalaste vaidluste lahendamise ja teadlikkuse tõstmise vahend aitaks objektiivselt uurida nii rahvuspõhise diskrimineerimise olukorda kui pakkuda tõhusat mehhanismi võimalike tekkivate või olemasolevate pingete lahendamiseks. Eesti on mitmerahvuseline riik ja võrdõigusvolinik saab teha ka omalt poolt rohkem, et kõik Eesti elanikud siin ennast võrdselt kodus tunnevad.

Puuetega inimeste olukorraga tegelemine saab olema üks olulisemaid väljakutseid. Puuetega inimeste õiguste kaitse konventsiooni rakendamise järelevalvesse tuleb kaasata eelkõige puuetega inimesi endid ning neid võimestada oma õiguste kaitsel. Volinik saab omalt poolt ka kaasa aidata edukale töövõimereformi rakendamisele pakkudes tööandjatele teadmisi ja tööriistu puuetega inimeste edukaks rakendamiseks. Samuti on oluline töö puuetega inimeste seas nende õigustest, et ära hoida puuetega inimestest töötajate võimalik diskrimineerimine nii värbamise, edutamise kui töötasu osas.

Lisaks tegeleb volinik muidugi ka kõikide teiste alustega, otsides sobivaid liitlasi ja moodustades või osaledes erinevates koalitsioonides. Üha enam on päevakorras lesbide, geide, biseksuaalsete, trans- ja intersooliste inimeste õiguste küsimused, mille osas volinik saab mängida olulist stereotüüpide ümberlükkaja ja võrdsete inimõiguste eest võitlemise toetaja rolli. Vanuse- ja usupõhine diskrimineerimine on fenomenid, millele Eesti seni pole piisavat tähelepanu pöörata, aga mida volinik samuti ignoreerida ei tohi. Tihe diskussioon Eestis tegutsevate usuorganisatsioonidega on vajalik, et koos probleeme lahendada, respekteerides nende autonoomiat usuasjades.

5. Volinik ja meedia: head partnerid

Meedial on võrdõiguslikkuse valdkonnas äärmiselt oluline roll. Ühest küljest on ühiskondliku muutuse läbiviimiseks vajalik professionaalne, järjepidev ja objektiivne meediatöö, mille abil teemat ühiskonnale teavitada. Teisest küljest on üha olulisem meediat aidata, et suurendada vähemuste ja naiste kogemuste kajastatust ja nähtavust igapäevameedias ning vähendada meediakajastusi, mis vastutustundetult mängivad rassismi, anti-semitismi, anti-mustlasuse, kseno-, homo- või transfoobia õhutamisega. Voliniku roll on siin aidata ajakirjanikel oma töö kvaliteeti tõsta, astudes nendega konstruktiivsesse dialoogi ja pakkudes välja alternatiive.

Voliniku töö meediasuhtlusel peab olema senisest proaktiivsem ja inimlähedasem. Volinik peab olema võimeline kommunikeerima mitte niiväga diskrimineerimisega seotud halbu uudiseid vaid eelkõige järjepidevalt selgitama mitmekesisuse ja kaasatuse sotsiaalset ja majanduslikku kasu ühiskonnale, kaasates sellesse liitlasi, nagu poliitikud, ametnikud, arvamusliidrid, ettevõtjad ja erialaprofessionaalid. Volinik peab meedia jaoks olema hea ja kättesaadav kõneisik, kes oskab võrdõiguslikkusega seonduvaid teemasid kommenteerida inimlähedaselt ja kes on valmis ühiskondlikes aruteludes kaasa lööma.

Voliniku institutsioon peab olema oluliselt professionaalsem oma meediatöös ning otsesuhtluses Eesti elanikega. Volinik peab identifitseerima strateegilised muutjad (arvamusliidrid, poliitikud, ajakirjanikud, vabakonna liidrid jt), kellega koos või läbi kelle eesmärke saavutada. Tuleb vältida kuvandit, et volinik on üksi, vaid alati tegutseb kellegagi koos ja omab laia ühiskondlikku tuge oma tegevusele.

Olen viis aastat aktiivselt inimõiguste ja võrdse kohtlemise eest seisnud ning motiveerinud selles teisigi. Leian, et olen valmis väljakutseks, et viia võrdõigusvoliniku institutsioon uuele tasandile.

Tallinn, 30. aprill 2015

Kari Käsper

Migration, globalisation and diversity

Posted: June 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: diversity, Estonia, migration | No Comments »

Until a few days ago, I thought that globalisation has increased the migrations of people, because there are more planes in the air, more cars on the road, more refugees trying to escape war and persecution, etc. But that has turned out to be a very deceptive picture. Last year, Mathias Czaika and Hein de Haas from the University of Oxford analysed migration from a globalisation perspective in their article “The Globalization of Migration: Has the World Become More Migratory?” It appears that some of the common conceptions there are about migration today are wrong, or at least very misleading.

Czaika and de Haas come to the somewhat unexpected conclusion that international migration has not accelerated. This is not so much due to the restriction of immigration by the destination countries, but much more due to the impact of technological change. While one might think that improvements in transportation and communication technology has made it so much easier to move around, these also make it easier to stay at home. You can commute long-distance (i.e. work in Finland and live in Estonia) and you can work from home. You do not need to physically relocate yourself in a country to do at least certain level of business there, and you can use different internet-based services such as Skype.

But how does one then explain the congestion in the skies and the rapid rise of the overall volume of people moving? The authors say, that the growth has come mainly from non-migratory forms of mobility, i.e. people commuting long-distance, going on tourist trips, business trips and short-term assignments. So the increase in mobility has not resulted in an overall relative increase of migration.

It is also not true that migration has made all countries more diverse. It has made the countries to which people migrate more diverse (with the benefits and challenges that come with it), but source countries have become more homogeneous as a result. This is also applicable to Estonia, from which 22 495 people more have emigrated from than have immigrated to in the years 2004 – 2014. At the same time, ethnic diversity has decreased: the share of ethnic Estonians in the population has grown from ca 68% in 2001 to ca 70% in 2011 (data from Statistics Estonia). This means that minorities emigrate in a larger share than others, presumably due to discrimination and lower economic opportunities resulting from their social status.

Migration trends also show the concentration of talented people in certain cities and regions, which results in more inequality and obstacles for development for those left behind. Richard Florida has stated that successful areas focus on the quality of place to attract high-skilled creative people that produce high-value economic growth.

Quality of place cuts across three key dimensions: what’s there or the combination of the built environment and the natural environment, the setting it provides for the pursuit of creative lives; who’s there or the diverse kinds of people that can be found, signaling that anyone can make a life in a community; and what’s going on, the vibrancy of street life, café culture, arts, music, and outdoor activities. (Florida 2014)

In this sense globalisation can make countries/cities/regions winners and losers. Winners are those which are able to create an environment to attract (and grow) the creative class. Losers become more homogeneous and will be left behind with less talent and more challenges.

Migration flows are not something that happen in themselves. They are a result of political choices. Restriction of immigration (especially refugees) and unwillingness to deal with sexism, racism, xenophobia, homo- and transphobia is a political choice that Estonia has made in the past. In my opinion that choice is hurting Estonia’s future.


Czaika, M. and de Haas, H. (2014), The Globalization of Migration: Has the World Become More Migratory?. International Migration Review, 48: 283–323.

Florida, R. (2014). The Creative Class and Economic DevelopmentEconomic Development Quarterly28(3), 196-205.