Annual Human Rights Conference
Extremism is a Sign of Ignorance


This year marks one hundred years since the adoption of the first Estonian Constitution, the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary and our annual Human Rights Conference was to be held for the tenth time. These are all distinguished milestones that we would like to honour. Yet this year we cannot do so in the traditional way.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will discuss hot topics in human rights and commemorate these milestones over the Internet. This will allow everyone to view the discussions when it suits them best. The discussions will be recorded in advance, and subtitles will be provided.

Ülle Madise, Chancellor of Justice


Parallel World Values and Interests

A clean environment and future of the globe, the possibility to preserve your privacy and option to disengage, which is necessary for the human psyche, are practical topics that apply to everyone.

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Conflicts of Values

In 2018, the panels discussed the topic of small countries as equal partners, whether human rights have a future, how much algorithms affect human rights and whether Russia has a future.

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Are Human Rights in Freefall?

The conference will address a number of today’s most important topics – terrorism, technological development, security, small states in a globalising world, culture and international cooperation – through a human rights perspective.

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Black and White Values in a Polarizing World

The topics under discussion this year include a survey of public opinion on human rights among the Estonian citizens and foreigners living in Estonia, questions related to collective human rights and propaganda that have changed people’s understanding of basic rights.

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Human Rights in Changing Times

The topics under discussion this year include case studies from the European Court of Human Rights, linguistic human rights, as well as the views of various generations of Russians today regarding their society.

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Dignity in the context of human rights

This year the conference agenda included three keynotes and a panel discussion following each one: 1) guarantees under international law; 2) rights of native peoples; guarantees under international law; 3) the situation and future in Russia and Ukraine and human rights.

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Human Rights and the Freedom to Association

This year’s annual conference, titled “Human Rights and the Freedom of Association” will analyse the global developments in human rights that have taken place in 2013.

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New Challenges of Human Rights

Our conference examined human rights where the internet and the concept of security have altered dramatically our 20th century understanding of the core issues of human rights.

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Dedicated to the 20th anniversary of restoration of independence of Estonia

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The rise of extremism is an onslaught of stupidity. When extremes collide, the main victims are regular people who are not involved. But not the extremists themselves, who continue pulling strings behind the scenes.

-Mart Nutt

Are we living in an era of extremes in which radicalism is in fashion?

The words extremism and radicalism are common in today’s political debate. Both of these terms signify an attitude towards someone or something. The former refers to being on the edge or extremes of something. The latter derives from the Latin word radix or root, and signifies an attitude that seeks to delve into the origin or root of something.
They are thus contrasting concepts, and yet they tend to be used as if they mean the same thing. Why is that? Is it possible to be an extreme radical or radically extreme? And if something is both extreme and radical, then in relation to whom or what? If everyone is extremist, then is moderation radicalism?


Ph.D. Ülle Madise
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Tarmo Jüristo

The media – a reflector of extremes or a taker of positions?

In the 21st century, the media is facing a number of serious challenges: the era of paper media is coming to an end, yet new digital solutions are not profitable; while social media is assuming the role of the primary mediator of news, a high level of professionalism is expected from journalists. At the same time, consumers do not distinguish between what is professional and what they like, which is why the media keeps finding itself in a situation where it no longer merely reflects the public debate, but rather surprisingly for itself, becomes a part of it. This poses a continual challenge for the trustworthiness of the media.
How should events be reflected at a time when political culture has become contentious and opinions are polarised? What is the role of the media in an era of extremes? Should it reflect what is happening or take a position? Whose voice should be heard and why? How dangerous is self-censorship and where does it begin?


Christophe Deloire
Barbara Oertel
James Kariuki
Raul Rebane
Indrek Treufeldt

Has the UN become a tool for states that violate human rights?

Estonia became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council this year when the United Nations Organization is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The focus of this distinguished organization are issues related to international peace, security, development and human rights; however, lately there has been increased criticism of its capacity and working methods.
Thus, whereas the promotion and protection of human rights are among the objectives and principles of the UN, as of next year, the Human Rights Council will include Russia, Cuba and China. The latter has in particular stuck out for its brutal attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms, both in Hong Kong and in its treatment of ethnic Uighurs. A statement made by the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the Security Council, also did little to foster trust, as it promised “to counter attempts to use human rights protection as a tool for exerting political pressure and interfering in the internal affairs of states”.
What can the UN do in such a situation? What position should democratic countries take? Should the UN undergo reform and if so, does this not entail the risk that attempts to change this global organization could turn it into a tool for states that violate human rights?


Urmas Reinsalu
Michael von Ungern-Sternberg
Carl Skau
Neeme Raud

The organiser reserves the right to make changes in the schedule and the presenters.


Madeleine Albright
Kersti Kaljulaid
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Mustafa Džemilev
Ph.D. Ülle Madise
Nina Khrushcheva
Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Peter C. Baker
Andy Carvin
Ph.D. Koldo Casla
Ashur Sargon Eskrya
Vsevolod Chaplin
Urve Eslas
Ph.D. Peter Fussey
Bibiana García
Vootele Hansen
Hille Hanso
Robert Ilatov
Siim Kallas
Ph.D. Anna-Maria Osula
Josh Lyons
Rouba Mhaissen
David Patrikarakos
Panu Pihkala
Ph.D. Eva Piirimäe
Peeter Selg
Toomas Tiivel
Peter Veit
Ph.D. Santiago Zabala
Karolis Žibas
Jens Ole Bach Hansen
Sergei Badamshin
Prof Ph.D Alison Brysk
Giovanni Buttarelli
Jean- Yves Camus
John Dalhuisen
Raivo Aeg
Helen Eenmaa-Dimitrieva
Aleksei Gaskarov
Luukas Ilves
Evelyn Kaldoja
Prof Leonhard Lapin
Raimonda Murmokaitė
Eiki Nestor
Mart Nutt
Liisa Pakosta
Pasi Patokallio
Vesselin Popov
Nina Reiners
Olga Shorina
Paul Teesalu
Harri Tiido
Hannes Vallikivi
Raivo Vare
Ben Wagner
Julian Burger
Jonathan Cristol
David Griffiths
Jeff Jarvis
Ivo Juurvee
Katre Luhamaa
Jacob Mchangama
Daniel Mitov
Mojca Pajnik
Nele Parrest
Paul Przemyslaw Polanski
Heiko Pääbo
Chandra Roy-Henriksen
Matti Saarelainen
Ivar Tallo
David Vseviov
François Zimeray
Eva-Maria Asari
Maksim Gorjunov
Thella Johnson
Martin Bak Jørgensen
Ivan Makarov
Tuomas Martikainen
Georgii Pocheptsov
Raul Rebane
Dominique Reynié
Thilo Sarrazin
Tõnis Stamberg
Jelizaveta Surnacheva
Tiit Tammaru
Maria Baronova
Juri Butusov
Dmitry Dedov
Ina Druviete
Sergei Badamshin
Pavel Gontsharov
Daniel loniţă
Marina Kaljurand
Andrii Lysenko
Zhanna Nemtsova
Julia Laffranque
Maxim Tucker
Riina Kaljurand
Refat Chubarov
Katja Koort
Josep Soler-Carbonell
Indrek Treufeldt
András Sajó
Kristina Kallas
Tiit Matsulevits
Mart Rannut
Aimar Ventsel
Knutsson Knutsson
Anna Verschik
Simon Davies
Laura Reed
Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt
Katrin Laas-Mikko
Katrin Nyman-Metcalf
Christopher McCrudden
Marriet Schuurman
Urmas Reinsalu
Mary O’Hagan
Andres Parmas
Lauri Mälksoo
Dalee Sambo Dorough
Pavel Sulyandziga
Valentina Sovkina
Dmitrii Harakka-Zaitcev
Oliver Loode
Galina Timchenko
Maria Makeeva
Dmitri Muratov
Jüri Maloverjan
Karin Reivart
Erik Salumäe
Philippe Jourdan
Mart Laanemäe
Annabelle Chapman
Vagn Joensen
Cuno Jakob Tarfusser
Tiina Intelmann
Vuk Jeremić
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Pavel Gontsharov
Kalev H. Leetaru
Richard Barrett
Vivian Loonela
Quirine Eijkman
Mustafa Qadri
Riina Kionka
Tanya Lokshina
Artyom Troitsky
Mall Hellam
Ahmed Samih Farag
Jüri Seilenthal
Vytis Jurkonis
Jeffrey England
Anna Sevortian
Hanno Pevkur
Karin Reivart
Stephen J. Rapp
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Gentian Zyberi
Jeffrey D. Levine
Riina Kionka
Dunja Mijatovic
Thomas Zerdick
Malavika Jayaram
David Mothander
Frank Johansson
Douglas Davidson
Anja Mihr
Hannes Hanso
Tunne Kelam
Konstantin Zamjatin
Evhen Tsybulenko
Piotr Hlebowicz
Enn Tarto
Veiko Veiko Spolitis