Children Safeguarding in Estonian Sport

Child abuse is something that needs to be addressed in all seriousness. According to a survey conducted in Estonia in 2015, almost 40% of young people have experienced mental and 20% physical violence at least once in a yearly period. 30% of Estonian young people have experienced sexual harassment and every tenth young person has experienced sexual violence/abuse.

In 2020 there was conducted a survey about attitudes and experiences of sexual abuse among children and young people between ages 16-26. Results showed that 45% among the respondents have experienced at least some kind of sexual assault online in the past year.

  • 41% of 16-26 year olds have experienced some form of sexual harassment at least once in their lifetime.
  • 28% of 16-26 year olds have experienced some form of sexual violence/abuse at least once in their lifetime.

In Estonia there has not yet conducted any research concerning the children’s abuse in sports environment.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, the Estonian Olympic Committee and the Sports Training and Information Foundation, Estonian Center for Integrity in Sports organized an international training seminar on 26 November 2019 “For the Better Sports: The Role and Responsibility of Coaches and Sports Organizations. The seminar with more than 150 participants was opened by the Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas.

In co-operation with the Ministry of Justice and the Social Insurance Board, in autumn 2020, there was prepared for sports organizations and the sports community on the topic of sports abuse Practical guidelines for detecting abuse in a sports organization”, including a Russian translation.

Taking into consideration the needs and interests of the target groups (sports organizations, schools, etc.), in addition to the topic of anti-doping, 2- and 4-hour (academic lesson) training curricula for abuse were developed and approved by the Sports Training and Information Foundation.

In 2020, the issues of abuse in sport were addressed in the training of 5 sports federations (teachers Brit Tammiste, Aave Hannus, Natalia Inno, Henn Vallimäe).

European Union, Council of Europe and EPAS (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport) launched a pan-European campaign on abuse „Start To Talk“ Estonian-language website distributed among sports organizations. The Start to Talk project is ongoing and the activities related to the project are monitored annually for each country separately, including Estonia.

In cooperation with the Social Insurance Board, the Estonian Sports Training and Information Foundation monitors the compliance of approx. 5,000 coaches with § 20 of the Estonian Child Protection Act, according to which a ban on acting with children is imposed for certain crimes or misdemeanors. The problem is the exchange of information when reaching court decisions to employers and trainers’ register administrators.


Coaches’ code of ethics, Updated November 19, 2019.

Chapter III (1) The coach must respect human rights – all trainees have equal rights and must not be discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation / identity, color, language, religion, political or other views, national or social affiliation, nationality, birth or sexual orientation. due to other social status.

Chapter VIII Violations of the Code of Ethics are considered a breach of the coach ‘s professional requirements.

In the spring of 2021, among the partners are in the process of developing Code of conduct for the prevention and handling the cases of abuse and harassment for coaches and support personnel.