According to a recent survey released by LGBT+ advocacy group ILGA-Europe, Estonia ranks highest from the three Baltic states, and fourth from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations, in its treatment of LGBT+ minorities.
The Rainbow Europe Index takes into account a broader Europe-wide view of countries’ LGBT+ equality laws and other policies when coming up with its rankings, expressed as a percentage of requirements and recommendations relating to ensuring the welfare and equal rights of LGBT+ persons.
These would include areas such as non-discrimination, equality in areas such as family law, legal gender recognition, hate crimes laws, freedom of speech and asylum rights.
Estonia lies in 21st place (out of 49) on the list, ahead of Lithuania and Latvia in 39th and 40th places respectively. From amongst the other CEE countries, only Croatia (16th), Slovenia (17th) and Hungary (20th) ranked higher.
According to the index Estonia has implemented just over 39% of requirements, compared with top placed nation (Malta) which has met over 91% of them. This reflects recent developments in that country including the legalization of same-sex marriage last July.
The UK was in 4th place on the list and Finland in 5th place. Russia currently lies in 45th place with just under 11% of the requirements met, with Armenia and Azerbaijan occupying the bottom two spots.