Section 20 of the Child Protection Act establishes restrictions on persons who are not allowed to work with children. This restriction must ensure that people who have been sentenced or subjected to compulsory treatment for human trafficking, crimes against sexual self-determination or crimes concerning prostitution and child pornography cannot enter professions that include contact with children.
For these offenses, the restriction on working with children is lifelong, regardless of whether the sentence is valid or has expired. For crimes of violence and several other crimes, the restriction applies for the duration of the sentence.
In order to ensure the restriction of working with children, the child care institution must:
- verify that the person to be hired has not been punished or subjected to compulsory treatment for the above-mentioned crimes (both in Estonia and in other countries);
- inspect, on the same basis, all employees who were hired before the introduction of this restriction, i.e. before 2007;
- carry out random inspections on all employees to ensure that they have not been punished during their employment.
The child care institution shall submit an application to the Criminal Records Database for the verification of the person’s background, indicating subsections 20 (1)–(2) of the Child Protection Act as the basis for issuing data.
If a person enters the public service, the background inspection shall be additionally based on clauses 15 1)–3) of the Civil Service Act. In this case, the person’s background will be inspected against the restrictions under both the Child Protection Act and the Civil Service Act. Inquiries made to child care institutions are free of charge.
Who is a person working with children?
- A person who comes into direct contact with a child at work or in a professional activity.
- A person in direct contact with a child in voluntary activities, substitute service, provision of employment services or as an intern.
- A person who comes into direct contact with children due to their job description or the nature of their work in other institutions, not merely those meant for children: for example, a hospital social worker, an employee of a youth work agency or youth camp.
The restriction does not apply to people who, among other things, serve children (salesmen, bus drivers, etc.) while performing their duties.
What happens if the person under inspection has lived or worked in another country?
If the candidate has lived or worked in another European Union country, information concerning their criminal record must also be requested through the European Criminal Records Register from the country where they resided. In that case, the following personal data has to be added to the application:
- country or countries where the person has lived or worked;
- country of birth;
- city of birth;
- type of document;
- number of document;
- previous first name(s);
- previous surname(s);
- father’s first name(s).
What can the parent do?
Parents also have the right to inspect the background of a person dealing with their child. If a parent wants to inspect the background of a babysitter or other person working with their child, they can do so via the e-File information system. A parent has to pay a state fee of 4 euros, which can be transferred through the same environment, i.e. the e-File.