Ethnic Origin and Language: Applying International and EU Quality Standards on the Estonian Labour Market
Riga Graduate School of Law Working Paper Series No. 25
46 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2005
The purpose of the present research is to analyze compatibility of practical outcomes of Estonian legislation and policies resulting in ethnic differences on the labour market with international and European standards on equality and nondiscrimination on the basis of ethnic origin and language.
The issue of discrimination in employment based on ethnic origin and language in the Estonian context has a practical meaning. The existence of discrimination as such and the understanding of what constitutes prohibited discrimination are highly controversial topics in Estonian society, politics, and law. National academic legal writings on the issue of discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin and language in employment are lacking and socio-economic inquiries are very limited.
Following the Introduction, Chapter II provides an analysis of International (United Nations) and European (Council of Europe) standards in relation to protection from discrimination on the basis of language and ethnic origin in employment. The analysis is built on country-specific recommendations by monitoring bodies on Estonia, general comments, and jurisprudence of relevant international organs as well as commentaries of legal scholars.
The second stage of analysis (Chapter III) then addresses the scope of protection from discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin and language in employment at the level of the EU. More specifically, Chapter III addresses in detail the compatibility of recent amendments to the Employment Contracts Act with minimum requirements of protection from discrimination as provided in the European Community Race Directive. Following analysis of the Race Directive, Chapter III discusses the role of the European Employment Strategy and the European Social Fund in promoting change on the Estonian labour market. The research concludes with a clear statement on compatibility of the situation existing on the Estonian labour market with international and EU standards on equality and non-discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin and language.
Keywords: labour market, discrimination, ethnic origin, EU law, International law
JEL Classification: J00, J71, K31, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation