Female genital mutilation, forced marriages criminalized in Estonia

A legislative amendment that entered into force in Estonia last week criminalizes female genital mutilation and forced marriages.

Although these offenses are not widespread in Estonia, defining them as criminal offenses in law is necessary due to the globalizing world and increased migration, the Ministry of Justice said.

Female genital mutilation is practiced primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and to a lesser extent in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The practice, which constitutes a violation of human rights, undermines the health and privacy of girls and young women and may pose a risk to their lives. An act like this is now punishable in Estonia, just like other acts causing severe damage to one's health, the ministry said.

As acts of female genital mutilation and forced marriage are committed first and foremost with respect to minors, the statutes of limitation pertaining to these acts have also been changed. If such an act was committed with respect to a minor, the limitation period will be suspended until the victim reaches adulthood, after which they will have five or ten years to report the crime, depending on the severity thereof.

Forced marriage is punishable under the same provisions of the Penal Code as human trafficking. The law was also amended to make the purchasing of sexual services from a victim of human trafficking a punishable offense.

The amendments to the Penal Code and other laws that entered into effect on July 6 are connected with Estonia's accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women as well as domestic violence.

The convention was adopted in Istanbul on April 7, 2011. Estonia signed the convention three years later, on Dec. 2, 2014, and is expected to ratify it this December.

In order to accede to the convention, Estonia brought its laws into conformity with the requirements of the convention and, as the last major change, added new acts classified as a criminal offense to its penal code. As part of the same amendments, sexual harassment and stalking were also classified as criminal offenses in Estonia.

Femalegenitalmutilation marriages Estonia
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
No rates yet
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...