WAVE Letter to the Estonian Government
On 15 December 2016, the WAVE office sent a letter to the Estonian President, Kersti Kaljulaid, as well as Members of Parliament and Members of Government. Within the letter, WAVE commended Estonia's record in promoting and protecting women's human rights, and therefore its excellent reputation in the international and European arena.
For example, Estonia has built up a well-functioning women’s shelters network where women threatened or affected by violence have round-the-clock access to uniform high-quality assistance and support across the country; furthermore, women experiencing violence in Estonia have had access to a single nationwide 24/7 free-of-charge helpline, which has been funded by the government, thereby complying with the basic requirements stupulated in the Istanbul Convention. Estonia has also set up sexual violence referral centers and in 2014, Estonia signed the Istanbul Convention, however the Convention has not yet been ratified.
With great concern, WAVE continues the letter by referring to the recent disturbing 2017 state budget allocations for women’s shelters have been cut by 100,000 euros in comparison with the current year. This has led to a situation where women’s shelters in nine counties with smaller populations are forced to close down altogether and shelters in two counties fail to provide adequate service, due to lack of funding. Therefore, the letter, on behalf of the WAVE Network, called upon the government to allocate the missing funding in the state budget for women’s shelters to guarantee their sustained operations preventing the collapse of the well-developed and well-functioning network of women’s shelters and telephone hotline.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.