Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee was created on 15 November 2011 with an aim to include children in discussions on important issues relating to them, to give them a chance to express their opinions and to raise children related issues.
The task of the Advisory Committee is to support the Chancellor of Justice in his or her activities as a representative of children, introducer of children's rights and administrator. 
The members of the Advisory Committee to the ombudsman for children are under 18-year old children from various children's and youth organisations. Currently the members of the Advisory Committee are representatives from the following children's and youth organisations:
  • Assembly of Student Representations

The Assembly of Estonian School Students’ Councils is an organisation that represents school students and that is involved in the development of school student government at Estonian schools and in school education issues. The Assembly has been operating in an open collaborative format for 10 years. The main working language of the Assembly is Russian.
Members of the Assembly include 58 schools, accounting for 90% of schools with a gymnasium level where Russian is the language of instruction. The core objective of the Assembly is to:
  1. inform school students and their representatives about the education policy and relevant legislation, and involve them in debates on issues in education through conferences, seminars and regional roundtables, also suing other forms of collaboration;
  2. represent school students and protect their interests in decisions made concerning the national education policy, through appeals to the Government and other public authorities, through attendance at events to generate involvement and through appeals to the public as well as other avenues for advocacy;
  3. develop school students’ councils through training events, consultations and informational support measures.
School students’ councils join the Assembly en bloc (15 to 20 people on average). Each academic year, member lists are updated.
The highest body at the Assembly is the Council, on which every member school has two seats. Sessions of the Council are convened twice during an academic year, normally in autumn and spring. When the Council is not in session, the activities of the Assembly are guided by a Representative Body of ten members, elected by the Council. All members in the Assembly may run for seats on the Representative Body. Immediately after taking office, the Representative Body elects a Secretary General from amongst its members to represent the Assembly in external relations, supervise the activities of the Representative Body and chair the sessions of the Representative Body and of the Council. In its activities, the Representative Body is guided by resolutions of the Council. The agenda and draft resolutions of an upcoming Council session are drafted by the Representative Body. If needed, the Representative Body may discuss draft resolutions at regional roundtables first.
The Assembly of Estonian School Students’ Councils is funded from the budget of the MTÜ Avatud Vabariik non-profit association.
  • Association of Estonian Scouts

The Scout movement was launched in England in 1907. In Estonia, the first Scout groups launched in 1912. The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) was founded in 1922. The Scout movement was banned in Estonia in 1940 but restored in 1988. 1995 saw the founding of the Estonian Scout Association (ESÜ), a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1996. The ESÜ is a bearer of the historical continuity of the Scout movement in Estonia.
The Scout movement is a voluntary, apolitical, educational youth movement open to all regardless of ethnicity, race, gender or creed. The ESÜ aims to contribute to the development of young people, offer them interesting and thoroughly stimulating activities year-round, as well as develop young people into responsible individuals who are active members of the society and fully-fledged citizens of the Republic of Estonia. In planning activities, the ESÜ’s main target group is the ESÜ’s members, who are grouped as follows:
  • Cub Scouts – aged 6 to 10;
  • Scouts – aged 11 to 14;
  • Venture Scouts – aged 15 to 17;
  • Rover Scouts – aged 18 to 26.
In addition to young people, adult Scout Leaders number amongst the members. Of the total membership, approximately 90% are aged 6 to 26. The Estonian Scout Association, with approximately 1 500 members, is one of the biggest youth organisations in Estonia today. Worldwide, Scouts total more than 30 million.
  • Estonia 4H

Estonia 4H is a nonreligious and apolitical youth organisation, its members including young people aged seven and older. 4H has been operating in Estonia for 20 years.
4H provides its members with an opportunity to make their thoughts and ideas a reality. The majority of 4H’s members are clustered into various clubs that organise educational, stimulating and fun events and gatherings. In addition to the club activities, 4H’s members can take courses, participate in competitions, and attend camps and several other joint events.
4H's motto is “Learning by doing”.
  • 4H is for young people wishing to achieve success in their daily lives, improve their self-esteem, communication ability, career opportunities, and gain work experience and business skills.
  • 4H stands for being pro-active and offers young people an opportunity for developing themselves and having self-confidence.
  • Membership in 4H enables young people to make new friends around the world, travel, acquire new knowledge and, most importantly, learn to respect themselves and others.
  • Grownups can get involved in 4H’s activities as volunteers and help to organise various events. Besides, they can work at the organisation as volunteers or also become members of 4H’s Management Board. 4H organises a variety of activities and events for the whole family.
  • Estonian Guide Association

The Estonian Guide Association is a youth organisation operating under the principles of international Guiding and offering activities to young people of all ages. This is an organisation that educates young people in an interesting and fun way. Membership in the organisation provides an opportunity to make friends worldwide, attend camp, go on hikes and receive training together.
Guides are bound together by similar uniforms, neckerchiefs and traditions. Under a terrific progress system, young people acquire knowledge about society and nature and about coping in either independently, learning through activities and play.
  • Estonian National Youth Council

The Estonian National Youth Council (ENL) is an umbrella organisation established in 2002, uniting 61 youth associations and assemblies active in Estonia. The ENL’s main objective is to advocate on behalf of youth associations, assemblies and councils; shape a public opinion and a legal environment that are supportive of young people; represent members’ interests in Estonia and internationally in youth policy terms; and promote the active involvement of young people in the society.
The ENL organises campaigns and projects that support the involvement of young people and every year marks the international Youth Day with an Estonia-wide youth event. The ENL is represented on the Youth Policy Council advising the Minister of Education and Research and in several other working groups, on committees and at roundtables that decide issues related to the life of young people. Membership is developed by large-scale training events like Winter Camp and Summer School.
  • Estonian Union for Child Welfare

The Estonian Union for Child Welfare is a non-government, non-profit organisation helping to preserve the rights of the child and to shape a child-friendly society in Estonia. The activities of the Union are acknowledged and supported by institutions in the public, business and non-profit sectors and by the population.
The work of the Union is guided by the principles of the Code of Conduct of the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations.
The core values of the Union:
  • We care about children, families and one another.
  • We are open and positive.
  • We take joy in contributing to the child welfare movement.
The activities of the Union advance the child welfare movement by protecting the interests of, advocating on behalf of and involving the most vulnerable target groups (children and families) as well as drawing attention to difficulties that hamper assuring their welfare, by means of proposing solutions, offering partnership, being open and engaging in a dialog with various partners.
Across all of its activities, the Union considers it crucial to maintain the focus on the child and on the needs of the child.
  • For a Joint Cause

The For a Joint Cause (“Ühise Eesmärgi Nimel”) project was started in order to help young people who are transitioning or have transitioned from foster homes to life. The main objectives of the project is to:
  1. create a support group for young people who are transitioning or have transitioned from foster homes to life;
  2. make the work of the support group visible to other young people and collaborative partners;
  3. assure the sustainability and development of the support group.
The founders of the project are young people who have already made the transition to life and are aware of the kinds of difficulties and unexpected situations that may come up during this transition, who know how to deal with them and where to get advice and support if needed.
The project aims to:
  1. generate interest in young people in being “part of the conversation” and a collaborative partner for other young people, foster services providers and decision-makers;
  2. implement activities that contribute to the attainment of the objective;
  3. visit young people receiving foster home services and involve them in the activities of the project.
  • Girls’ corps of the Estonian Defence League

The girls’ corps is a dedicated organisation within the Estonian Defence League, operating actively across many areas. Their can-do attitude knows no obstacle – be it crafts, cooking, surviving in wilderness, soldiering skills, orienteering or some other type of sport. Members in the corps learn and gain knowledge through practical activities. Training exercises, camps and formations are organised. A lot of joint events are held together with Noored Kotkad (Estonian Defence League’s boys’ corps) and Naiskodukaitse (Estonian Defence League’s women’s corps).
The animating principle of the corps is courtesy, readiness to help and always helping those smaller or weaker than oneself. This is intertwined with a patriotic mindset and a love for one's native land.
  • Union of Estonian School Students’ Councils

The Union of Estonian School Students’ Councils is a non-profit association of school students’ councils representing Estonian school students, advocating for their interests, protecting their rights and promoting the learning environment and life at school. The Union looks after the continuity of school students’ councils and supports their development. Through its members, the Union represents approximately 100 000 school students across Estonia and is thus the largest youth organisation representing school students in Estonia.
The Union of Estonian School Students’ Councils aims to:
  • represent the interests and views of Estonian students and students’ councils vis-a-vis the public;
  • promote the democratic development and continuous activities of school students’ councils;
  • contribute to the collaboration and pooling of experience amongst school students’ councils;
  • promote quality of education, improvement of the learning environment and the motivation to study;
  • make interaction amongst students more frequent;
  • increase young people’s involvement and contribute to the development of the civil society.
The Union of Estonian School Students’ Councils offers its members:
  • active involvement in the shaping of the education system through the work of working groups and discussion groups at the organisation;
  • student counselling on education-related issues;
  • opportunities for gaining experience and for self-actualisation through involvement in the work of the Union.
School students have several rights of which there is little awareness. The Union sees to it that school students are aware of their rights and know how to better stand up for them. To that end, the Union has set up a separate working group involved in legal aid for and awareness-building amongst school students.
  • Young Eagles (Boys’ corps of the Estonian Defence League)

The Young Eagles is an organisation uniting approximately 3 500 young men across Estonia who wish to do something for their homeland. Members in the corps share the conviction that a young man who has been a member in the ranks of the corps is going to cope considerably better in certain situations in life than those without the benefit of experience in the corps.
The organisation of work at the corps is aimed at the provision of a quality civic education. Core work is done at the level of a detachment led by a detachment captain elected from amongst its members. Most detachments, numbering 4 to 10 members each, also have their own banners.
Members in the corps learn by doing and are often guided by older corps members and a platoon captain. The platoon captain oversees a platoon consisting of three detachments. A group bigger than a platoon is a battalion, comprising all the platoons in a county (except the Tallinn Battalion). The work of a battalion is directed by its captain in the corps and an instructor working for the battalion in the Defence League.
Members in the corps share numerous activities: parachute jumping, flying gliders, diving, skiing, hiking, shooting various weapons, playing games of drafts and chess, orienteering and many other interesting activities. One of the biggest and most popular competitions in the corps is the Mini-Erna reconnaissance competition, held since 1997. In the reconnaissance competition, a team has to traverse a track of approximately 35 kilometres as fast and attracting as little notice as possible.