In addition to inspection visits, the Chancellor of Justice performs other work that prevents mistreatment, which is aimed at increasing the awareness of people working and held in detention facilities as well as of the general public of the nature of mistreatment and the need to fight it. For example, officials working under the Chancellor of Justice have carried out training and information events to increase the awareness of people working and held in detention facilities and distributed information materials during inspection visits to help people whose freedom has been restricted gain a better understanding of their fundamental rights and freedoms and to use various complaint mechanisms efficiently. In order to raise general awareness, the Chancellor of Justice and the Chancellor's advisers have published various articles about mistreatment in print media and online publications.
International cooperation with other preventive mechanisms and relevant international organisations is also extremely important to the Chancellor of Justice. The Chancellor of Justice has been active in the European network of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and he or she has close contacts with several other NPMs in other countries.
Articles and interviews
- Eva Lillemaa clarified at the Kuku Raadio News of 30 January 2018 that single pensioner allowance may not be calculated as part of a person’s income when rural municipalities and cities assess a person’s ability to pay for the care home service.
- Maria Sults provided comments and clarifications about the care service at the Radio 4 programme „Подробности“ on 30 November 2017.
- Eva Lillemaa and Maria Sults, "Vabatahtlikkuse põhimõte üldhooldusteenuse osutamisel" (The principle of voluntarity in providing general care services), journal Sotsiaaltöö No. 4/2017.
- Eva Lillemaa, "Ressursi nappusega ei saa õigustada inimväärikust alandavat kohtlemist hooldekodudes" (Scarcity of resources cannot justify degrading treatment in nursing homes), Delfi, 20.07.2017.
- Andres Aru, "Kas elu koos emaga vanglas võib olla lapse parimates huvides?" (Is living with their mother in a prison in the best interest of the child?), journal Sotsiaaltöö No. 4/2016.
- The Chancellor of Justice has a special radio broadcast “Law and Justice” in Radio Kuku, which is on-air every Sunday at noon and which re-broadcasts can be heard on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. In the 20 November broadcast, the Chancellor of Justice discussed the application of prohibition of ill-treatment in theory and practice with criminologist Jako Salla and the Head of Inspection Visits Department of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice Indrek-Ivar Määrits. The radio broadcast was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of OPCAT.
- Radio broadcast "Reporteritund. Kontrollkäigud kinnistesse raviasutustesse" ("Reportage hour. Inspection visits to closed clinics"), Vikerraadio 25.11.2016.
- Kristiina Albi, "Receiving an Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant", journal Juridica VI/2015.
- Ksenia Žurakovskaja-Aru, "The Rights of the Child vs. an Opportunity to Remain in Contact with a Detained Parent – a Reverse View on Communication Outside a Prison, journal Juridica VI/2015
- Marje Allikmets, "Surnud ei lobise. Mis toimub hooldekodu kinniste uste taga?" (article "Dead people don't talk. What happens behind closed doors in a care home?" is about unnatural deaths in care homes and psychiatric hospitals), Postimees, 09.11.2015.
- Nele Parrest and Kärt Muller, "ÜRO puuetega inimeste konventsioon lõhkumas eestkostesüsteemi" (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is breaking the guardianship system), Journal Sotsiaaltöö No 1/2015.
- Kristi Paron, "Lõimigem kiusamisvastased programmid kooli väärtuskasvatusse" (Let’s make anti-bullying programmes a part of moral education), Õpetajate Leht, 17.10.2014
- Kristi Ploom and Ralf Järvamägi, "Ela ise ja lase teisel ka elada" (article "Live and let others live" is about the fundamental rights of persons living in special care homes), Journal Sotsiaaltöö No 2/2014.
- Kristi Paron, "Kiusamine koolis – paratamatus või tegemata töö?" (Bullying in schools – inevitable or the result of work left undone?), Postimees, 02.04.2014.
- Indrek Teder, "Vana olgu vaiki, sant seisku paigal" (article "Let the old be silent and the cripple stand still" is about the restriction of the fundamental rights and freedoms of elderly people), newspaper Õhtuleht, 30.01.2014.
- The Chancellor of Justice has published together with professionals a booklet “Bullying-free school”. The booklet gives practical recommendations for pupils, teachers and parents for the prevention of bullying and resolving bullying incidents.
- Ksenia Žurakovskaja-Aru, "Children’s connections with imprisoned parents in Estonia", EUROCHIPS Special Edition Newsletter 1 of 4-2013 "Justice for Children of Prisoners", pp 18-19
- Indrek Teder, "Public address to the Minister of Social Affairs on prohibition of corporal punishment of the child", 19.11.2012
- Andres Aru, "Ikka veel ihunuhtlus?" (Still corporal punishment?), journal "Märka Last" autumn 2012, pages 6-10
- Igor Aljošin, "Väärkohtlemise ennetamine hoolekandeasutustes (2)" (Prevention of ill-treatment in social welfare institutions (2)), Journal Sotsiaaltöö No 5/2011, pages 12-16
- Igor Aljošin, "Väärkohtlemise ennetamine hoolekandeasutustes (1)" (Prevention of ill-treatment in social welfare institutions (1)), Journal Sotsiaaltöö No 3/2011, pages 47-51
- Raivo Sults, "Kaitseväelase õigused ja kohustused said selge õigusliku aluse" (Rights and obligations of members of Defence Forces got clear Legal Base), Soldier´s Newspaper no 33 (320), 19.07.2010
- Nele Parrest, "Väärkohtlemine on ka tänase Eesti mure" (Ill-treatment is still problem in Estonia) Maaleht 26.06.2010
- Kristiina Albi, „Põhiõigustest lühiajalisel kinnipidamisel“ , (Fundamenta rights in short-term detentsion) Estonian Border Guard journal „Piirist Piirini“ no 3 (8) 2009
- Indrek Teder, „Väärkohtlemise valus hind“, (Painful price of ill-treatment) Estonian Daily Newspaper 26.06.2009
- Mari Amos, „Eesti vanuripoliitika – ellu jäävad tugevamad“ (Estonian policy in respect of the elderly – survival of the strongest) Maaleht 26.03.2009
- Eve Liblik, „Inimõigused hoolekandeasutustes“, (Human rights in social welfare institutions)Journal Sotsiaaltöö No 1 (February) 2009 and European Ombudsmen Newsletter no 12 (2009)
- Indrek Teder, „Lubamatud karistused kaitseväes“ (Inadmissible punishments in the Defence Forces) Estonian Daily Newspaper 17.12.2008
- Mari Amos, „The role of ombudsmen in the fight against torture”, European Ombudsmen Newsletter no 11 (2008)
- Mari Amos, “Tervishoiutöötaja kohustused piinamise ja ebainimliku kohtlemise tuvastamisel” (Duties of health care workers in ascertaining torture and inhuman treatment) Journal „Estonian Doctor“ 4/2008
- Allar Jõks, „Väärikas võim – väärikas inimene“ (Respectable authority – respectable people) Daily Newspaper „Postimees“ 27.06.2007; in russian „Postimees“ 29.06.2007 and Severnoje Poberežje 28.06.2007
- Improving the quality of the general care service was discussed at the information day organised at the Ministry of Social Affairs, where the Head of the Inspection Visits Department I.-I. Määrits talked to heads of care homes about problems observed during inspection visits.
- E. Lillemaa and M. Sults participated in the development seminar of forensic psychiatry on 19 January in Tallinn.
- E. Lillemaa and M. Sults trained officials of the Social Insurance Board on general care homes on 17 January in Tallinn.
- K. Žurakovskaja-Aru gave a lecture on "The child and prison" to the students of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences on 10 March.
- The training programme wherein adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Raivo Sults introduces fundamental rights to conscripts serving in the Defence Forces continued in 2017. He delivered 5 lectures in different battalions.
- In 2016, adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Raivo Sults introduced fundamental rights to conscripts in 5 battalions and delivered 2 lectures at the Estonian National Defence College.
- On 28 November a colloquium dedicated to the 10th anniversary of OPCAT was organised in the Office of the Chancellor of Justice. In the colloquium, Estonia's renowned legal scholars discussed substance of the prohibition of ill-treatment and how the principle should be interpreted in practice.
- For the sixth time, the children’s and youth film festival ‘Just Film’ held as part of the PÖFF Film Festival included a special programme on the rights of the child, prepared in cooperation between Just Film, the Chancellor of Justice, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Estonian Union for Child Welfare. Bearing in mind the anniversary of OPCAT, three films speaking about youth in closed institutions were chosen into the programme – 4 Kings, They Call Us Monsters and Starless Dreams. On 15, 17 and 18 November, screening of the films were followed by debates with invited experts and recognised personalities analysing the films together with viewers.
- I.-I. Määrits, K. Žurakovskaja-Aru, E. Lillemaa and R. Sults visited the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman on 1-3 November and the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman on 6-8 December on monitoring migration detention matters. The visits were co-financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
- E. Lillemaa made a presentation on respecting for fundamental rights in health care institutions at the conference of the Tartu University Hospital and Ida-Viru Central Hospital "An elderly patient in health care institution" held on 21 October.
- K. Žurakovskaja-Aru gave a lecture on "The child and prison" to the students of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences on 30 September, in which she explained, among other things, what is ill-treatment, the OPCAT and the role of the Chancellor of Justice in the prevention of ill-treatment.
- The Chancellor of Justice debated issues of dignity at the end of life on 12 August 2016 at the Opinion Festival (Arvamusfestival).
- The training programme wherein adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Raivo Sults introduced fundamental rights to conscripts serving in the Defence Forces continued in 2015. He delivered 6 lectures in different battalions and 3 lectures at the Estonian National Defence College.
- Nele Parrest and Marje Allikmets gave a lecture on preparation and conducting of the inspection visits of the Chancellor of Justice to representatives of county governments on 11 March.
- Marje Allikmets and Andres Aru delivered a presentation "The Chancellor of Justice's supervision over detention facilities" at an information day for education inspectors held in Harju County Government on 22 May.
- N. Parrest participated in the conference "The CPT at 25: taking stock and moving forward" on 1-3 March in Strasbourg.
- M. Allikmets attended the conference "Strengthening the Follow-up on NPM recommendations in the EU" on 28-29 April in Vienna.
- M. Allikmets visited the NPM of France on 29 May to 6 June and attended a 5-days inspection visit to psychiatric clinics.
- N. Parrest and I.-I. Määrits participated in workshop "Implementing a preventive mandate” on 16-19 June in Riga.
- K. Žurakovskaja-Aru attended workshop “Preventing torture and ill-treatment of female detainees through gender-sensitive monitoring” on 9-13 August in Bristol.
- K. Žurakovskaja-Aru participated in a work meeting „Monitoring of forced return operations of migrants“ on 13-15 October in Madrid.
- R. Sults participated in the annual International Conference of Ombudsman Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) held on 25-27 October in Prague.
- The training programme wherein adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Raivo Sults introduces fundamental rights to conscripts serving in the Defence Forces continued in 2014. He delivered 19 lectures in different battalions and two lectures at the Estonian National Defence College.
- Kristi Ploom, Ralf Järvamägi and Marje Allikmets attended the training event “Restraining with drugs” on 4 February.
- Ralf Sults attended the workshop and conference organised by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) in Vienna from 9-11 April.
- Adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Kärt Muller delivered presentations at the information events organised by the State Agency of Medicines and the Health Board in Tartu and Tallinn.
- Nele Parrest, Marje Allikmets, Indrek-Ivar Määrits, Kristiina Albi, Margit Sarv, Andres Aru, Aigi Kivioja and Kärt Muller attended the training event “Restraining measures” on 30 May.
- Marje Allikmets and Kärt Muller attended a roundtable about placing persons in welfare institutions on the basis of court rulings which was organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs on 4 June.
- Indrek Teder, Nele Parrest, Andres Aru, Kärt Muller, Eva Lillemaa, Margit Sarv and Raivo Sults attended the first OPCAT cooperation meeting of Baltic and Polish ombudsmen held on 12 & 13 June.
- Nele Parrest, Aigi Kivioja, Marje Allikmets, Kärt Muller and Kristi Ploom attended the training event “Dementia and dealing with sufferers” held on 26 August. Representatives of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the Ministry of Social Affairs and service providers also attended the event.
- Marje Allikmets, Aigi Kivioja and Margit Sarv attended the roundtable “Handbook of coping with harmful behaviour for people working with clients” which was organised by the Centre of Welfare Expertise and Consultation on 15 September.
- Nele Parrest, Aigi Kivioja, Indrek-Ivar Määrits, Kristiina Albi, Ksenia Žurakovskaja-Aru, Raivo Sults, Andres Aru, Aigi Kivioja, Marje Allikmets, Angelika Sarapuu and Kärt Muller attended the training event “Interviewing” on 6 November.
- Angelika Sarapuu and Marje Allikmets attended a training event for psychiatric nursing and care workers on 4 & 5 November.
- Marje Allikmets attended the seminar “Strengthening the effective implementation and follow-up of recommendations by torture-monitoring bodies in the European Union” at Bristol University on 10 & 11 November.
- Marje Allikmets attended the forum “The First South-East European OPCAT Forum” on 27 November and the conference “Preventing Torture and Other Forms of Ill-treatment and Fighting Impunity” on 28 November in Belgrade.
- Nele Parrest and Kärt Muller attended the annual conference of the Institute of Human Rights on 10 December.
- Angelika Sarapuu attended the training “Work with patients: about attitudes and communication” on 22 December.
- R. Sults' training sessions for conscripts in units of the Defense Forces.
- Legal Advisers to the Chancellor of Justice made presentations at the seminars organised by the Social Insurance Board, Tartu County Government and Viljandi County Government.
- K. Muller attended the training course "Case law of the European Court of Human Rights" held on 1 February in Tallinn.
- K. Muller attended the training course "Four most frequent dementia syndromes" held on 29 April in Tallinn.
- N. Parrest, K. Muller, A. Aru, I.-I. Määrits, A. Kivioja, K. Ploom and R. Järvamägi attended the training course “Restraining with drugs” organised by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice on 6 May in Tallinn.
- A. Aru, M. Sarv, K. Paron and A. Reinomägi visited on 9-13 September child protection institutions in Iceland, incl. supporting centre for sexually abused children Barnahus, centre for children with psychological and behavioural disorders Studlar and counselling and diagnostic centre for children with special needs Greiningar.
- R. Järvamägi attended the training course “De-institutionalization in Estonia - guidance by the European Commission and international practices" held on 19 September in Tallinn.
- R. Järvamägi and K. Ploom attended the training course “Self-employed guardian” held on 18 and 25 September in Tallinn.
- M. Allikmets attended the training course “Training about behavioural psychology: how to be a successful communicator. Coping with complex patients” held on 9 October in Tallinn.
- R. Järvamägi and M. Allikmets attended the training course “Mental illness and recovery - how to understand and support" held on 21-22 October in Tallinn.
- K. Ploom attended the training course “Guardianship” held on 25 October in Tallinn.
- N. Parrest, S. Laos, M. Mikiver visited the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland on police law and data protection matters on 28-31 October. The delegation’s special topic of interest was the police law enforcement activities (incl. practice in applying direct coercion, forcing sampling, sobering).
- K. Muller and R. Järvamägi attended the training course “Application of coercive psychiatric treatment” held on 15 November in Tallinn.
- K. Albi participated in the seminar „Immigration detention in Europe: Establishing Common Concerns and Developing Minimum Standards“ held 20-22 November in Strasbourg.
- M. Allikmets attended the Estonian Council of Bioethics conference “Accessible high quality health care - a dream or ethical imperative?” held on 22 November in Tallinn.
- R. Sults, training sessions for conscripts in 24 units of the Defense Forces.
- Officials of the Chancellor of Justice were trained in intellectual disability matters (f. ex. what is intellectual disability, how to reach contact with persons with intellectual disabilities, how to assess the veracity of what has been said, etc.).
- K. Albi participated in the seminar "Monitoring for the risks of ill-treatment or torture during the immigration removal process: key issues facing the NPMs“ held on 19-22 March in Geneva.
- I.-I. Määritsparticipated in the working meeting of Baltic countries' ombudsmen on 18-20 June in Riga, where also OPCAT matters were under discussion.
- I. Teder and R. Sults participated in the fourth annual International Conference of Ombudsman Institutions for the Armed Forces (ICOAF) held on 22-27 September in Ottawa.
- I. Aljošin, training sessions for 242 staff members in 18 care homes about the persons’ fundamental rights and prevention of ill-treatment,.
- S. Laos and M. Mikiver, study visit to the mission of the deontology of the French Defender of Rights and to the French National Police on 10–13 October 2011.
- K. Žurakovskaja-Aru, presentation on the activities of the Chancellor of Justice as national preventive mechanism at the conference “3rd Regional Conference within the Russian PMC Pre-project” held on 5-7 September 2011 in Moscow.
- M. Sults, presentation on the activities of the Chancellor of Justice as national preventive mechanism at the conference "2nd Regional Conference within the Russian Public Monitoring Commissions (PMC) Pre-project" held on 10-11 August 2011 in Barnaul.
- M. Amos and psychiatrist Alo Jüriloo, training session on prevention of ill-treatment for the officials of the Tartu Prisons on 9 August 2011 in Tartu.
- M. Amos, presentation „Introduction on team debriefing/ cross checking during the visit“ at the 5th thematic NPM workshop of the project of Council of Europe „The European NPM Project. Setting up an active network of national preventive mechanisms against torture. An activity of the Peer-to Peer Network“ held on 15–16 June 2011 in the Office of the Chancellor of Justice of Estonia.
- I. Aljošin, presentation on the experiences of the Chancellor of Justice at the seminar „The role of National Human Rights Structures in promoting and protecting rights of persons with disabilities“ held on 23-27 May 2011 in Kiev.
- M. Amos, presentation "Monitoring the places of detention - task performed by the independent constitutional body" at the conference “Public monitoring of places of detention: Experiences from EU Member States”. Ankara 21-22 October 2010
- M. Amos, presentation “Preparation: Sifting and analysis of the relevant information collected; and consideration of tools needed” 3rd Thematic NPM Workshop “Methodology: Preparation and planning strategies for an NPM Visit”. Yerevan, Armenia 13-14 October 2010
- I. Aljošin, presentation ” Reasons for choosing to do mostly announced visits” üritusel 3rd Thematic NPM Workshop “Methodology: Preparation and planning strategies for an NPM Visit”. Yerevan, Armenia 13-14 October 2010
- R. Sults, presentations „NPM Mandate“, „Follow-up to vistis“ and „Co-operation between NPMs and other important actors“ at the seminar "Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Role and Functions of OPCAT National Preventive Mechanisms" Armenia, 27-29 November 2009
- K. Žurakovskaja, presentations at the seminar "Workshop on the Implementation of the OPCAT and the Establishment of the National Preventive Mechanism in Azerbaijan" in Baku, 25-26 November 2009
- Nele Parrest, presentation APT ja CPT Conference on new partnerships for torture prevention in Europe in Strasbourg, 6 November 2009
- Indrek Teder, opening speech in the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, 28 September-01 October 2009
- M. Amos, presentation „Current experience of the Estonian NPM“ at the seminar dedicated to the tasks of national preventive mechanism in Estonia, 28 September 2009
- Nele Parrest, presentation „Promotion of the NPMS and the OPCAT“ at a conference on the experience with OPCAT implementation, in Montenegro, Podgorica, 22 April 2009
- Nele Parrest, presentation „The operational modalities of the NPM“ at a conference on the experience with OPCAT implementation, in Montenegro, Podgorica, 22 April 2009
- Saale Laos, Monika Mikiver, seminar at the Police Board on the Chancellor’s last year’s procedures concerning law enforcement police, competencies of the Chancellor and his functions as the national preventive mechanism, 14 April 2009
- E. Liblik, I. Aljošin, seminar „Constitutional rights in welfare institutions“ to the managers of welfare institutions, 09 February 2009
- Eve Liblik, presentation „Human rights in welfare institutions" at the conference „Hoolekandeasutuste hea nimi ja praktika“ [Good name and practice of welfare institutions], 18 November 2008 „Inimõigustest hoolekandeasutustes“ konverentsil „Hoolekandeasutuste hea nimi ja praktika“,
- Mari Amos, presentation „Visiting psychiatric institutions in Estonia: main challenges“ seminaril „OPCAT in the OSCE Region“, Prague, 24-27 November 2008
- Nele Parrest, presentation „The Concept of Prevention“ seminaril „OPCAT in the OSCE Region“, Prague, 24-27 November 2008
- Mari Amos, presentation „Monitoring of Closed Institutions: Problems and perspectives“ at the conference of Baltic ombudsmen „Evolving Trends in Ombudsman Work“ in Vilnius, 28 May 2008
- Mari Amos, presentation on the competencies of the Chancellor of Justice in preventing torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the role of health care workers under the Istanbul Protocol, at the training seminar in Tartu University Clinic "Ohjeldamise regulatsioonist rahvusvahelises ja siseriiklikus õiguses" [Regulation of restraint in international and domestic law], 24 April 2008
- Mari Amos, organising the workshop “Effective functioning of the national preventive mechanism” at the Office of the ombudsman of the Lithuanian Seimas, Vilnius 25 February 2008
- Allar Jõks ja Mari Amos, presentation on the prevention of torture in the work of the Chancellor of Justice, at the conference „Prevention of torture in Europe“, Paris 17-19 January 2008
On 11 July 2017, the Chancellor of Justice sent a circular letter to Estonian social policy makers, municipalities and care homes to increase future funding of care homes in order to improve their living conditions and the quality of the provided services. In the circular letter, the Chancellor of Justice noted, among other things, that many problems with general care homes have raised from the scarcity of professional staff. For example, residents of a care home were locked up, detained or forcibly given tranquilizers, although the law does not allow it. Humanly, it is difficult to blame a carer who alone is responsible for so many residents dangerous to oneself and others. However, the dignified treatment of people living in care homes is possible and necessary. The situation can also be improved by motivating and educating carers and creating working conditions that prevent apathy.
In the circular letters of 11 March 2015, the Chancellor of Justice drew the attention of nursing care, 24-hour special care and involuntary psychiatric care providers to the problems that stood out in the institutions visited in 2014.
More specifically, the Chancellor of Justice drew the attention of psychiatric care providers to the compliance of surveillance and isolation rooms, documentation of the implementation of restraining measures, privacy, human dignity and the handling of medicines.
In a circular letter sent to special care providers, the Chancellor of Justice highlighted the problems related to the handling and administration of medicines, the number of activity instructors, decent treatment, locking clients in rooms, the safety of the isolation room, appropriate isolation and smoking.
In terms of the problems found among nursing care providers during the inspection visits carried out in 2014, the Chancellor of Justice highlighted the provision of care without valid consent, unjustified restriction of the fundamental right to freedom, the handling and administration of medicines, insufficient staff numbers, use of the system for calling a nurse and guaranteeing dignity and privacy.
In a circular letter of 20 February 2015, the Chancellor of Justice drew the attention of all 24-hour special care providers to the problems that stood out in the institutions visited in 2013. The purpose of the letter was to make the care providers review the practices employed in their institutions and, if necessary, make changes to them in order to provide sufficient protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons in 24-hour special care.
In the letter, the Chancellor of Justice explained that it is prohibited to isolate clients in rooms not adapted for this purpose, incl. their own rooms, and asked the care providers to review the doors to the rooms of all clients in 24-hour special care and to remove locking devices that only make it possible to lock the door from the outside.