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Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner

ESTONIA: Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner

Main Informations


The Equality Commissioner is an independent and impartial official, an expert who monitors compliance with the requirements of the Gender Equality Act and the Equal Treatment Act. The Commissioner carries out surveillance in both the public and private sectors.
Any persons who suspect that they have been discriminated against – due to their sex, nationality (ethnic origin), race or skin colour, religion, views, age, disability or sexual orientation – can consult the Equality Commissioner. The Office of the Commissioner can also assist if persons have been treated less favourably due to their being a parent or having family obligations, or because they belong to a trade union.

Brief history

The Commissioner’s institution was created with the Gender Equality Act that came into force May 01, 2004. Until September 01, 2009, the Commissioner’s institution was responsible only for gender equality. The mandate of the Commissioner was broadened with the coming into force of the Equal Treatment Act (01 September 2009). Since then the Commissioner deals with all discrimination grounds listed in the two Acts.

Mandate type
  • Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type
Litigation powers
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding
  • Commissioner cannot represent clients in front of courts but can participate as advisor of one of the parties.
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Recommendations on discrimination issuesyesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Publications and reportsyesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Research projects (including surveys)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Other statistics
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)288358394403471209no datano datano datano data
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)479032116196209no datano datano datano data
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social mediano data48715969no datano datano datano datano data
  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)
Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Commissioner is appointed for 5 years by the Minister of Social Affairs.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
no data22689no datano datano datano data
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
Grounds / FieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Gender Identityyesyesyesyesyes
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyes
Sexual Orientationyesyesnonono
Religion & Beliefyesyesnonono
Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
no data6013660786134828235952225825no datano datano datano data
Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions).
no data6013660786134828235952225825no datano datano datano data
We are accountable to:
  • National Parliament
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)

Related News

Equinet Calendar 2017

January 13th 2017

Equinet celebrates its 10th birthday this year! As a celebratory gesture, we have put together a 2017 calendar highlighting the work of some of our members across Europe.


On 13-14 November, Equinet organised a seminar for its members on the issue of (lack of) career progress for women. It was cohosted by the Estonian Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner.


Equinet Calendar 2019

January 3rd 2019

Equality bodies assist victims of discrimination in a wide variety of ways. This calendar highlights some of the work that our members do to promote equal treatment in their respective countries.


Back to European Directory of Equality Bodies

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner

Full name in the national language(s):

Soolise võrdõiguslikkuse ja võrdse kohtlemise volinik

Postal address:
Roosikrantsi 8b, 10119 Tallinn

General email address:
Telephone number:


Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

Estonian, English, Russian

Person of contact for media enquiries:

Liisa Pakosta, +372 50 26 191

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Liisa Pakosta

Engagement with Equinet

Contact Person


Merit Ulvik