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Commissioner for Human Rights

Estonia: all children should be citizens

27/03/2013

"Children should be granted citizenship automatically at birth even when their parents are stateless” urges Commissioner for Human Rights
Estonia: all children should be citizens
Nils Muižnieks 

Tallin, 27/03/2013 - “In Estonia there are 1200 stateless children – all children should be granted citizenship automatically at birth even when their parents are stateless” urged Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after concluding his three-day visit to Estonia. “It is in the best interests of the child to hold citizenship from birth as this is key to enjoying fully all human rights.”

The Commissioner welcomed the on-going reform of the Child Protection Act and stressed that qualified staff for child protection should be made available in every municipality. “Children should be heard when decisions are made about their placement in alternative care. There is a specific need to develop psychological and psychiatric support services for children” said the Commissioner after meeting with children and staff at the Maarjamäe Centre of the Tallinn Children’s Home.

Commissioner Muižnieks called on the Estonian Government to prohibit corporal punishment of children explicitly in all settings. “The legal prohibition of corporal punishment sends a clear signal that any kind of violence against children is unacceptable, also at home.” (more...)

 

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