Statutes of the Estonian Women`s Shelters' Union



1.1 The association Estonian Women's Shelters' Union, below "UNION", is a union of non-profit organisations that serves public interests and joins Estonian organisations that provide a shelter service for victims of violence against women.

1.2. Official name of the association is in Estonian: Eesti Naiste Varjupaikade Liit (in English: Estonian Women`s Shelters' Union).
1.3 All activities of the UNION are in accordance with the principles of the law of non-profit organisations and other legislation of Estonian Republic as well as the principles of these statutes.
1.4 UNION is located in Tallinn, Estonian Republic.
1.5 The fiscal year of the UNION is a calendar year.



2.1 Main goals of the UNION are: combating various forms of violence against women (physical, sexual, psychological, economical, mental and other kinds of violence, including trafficking in women and prostitution) through prevention work and helping of victims as well as developing ideas of equality in the society in general.

In our understanding, violence against women includes all kinds of gendered violence that cause or can cause physical, sexual or psychological damage to and suffering of women (including threatening with such measures, using force or depriving of freedom in the sphere of public as well as private life).

2.2 For achieving its goals, the UNION:

2.2.1 organises cooperation and mutual support of institutions that offer a shelter service for victims of violence against women in Estonia;

2.2.2 develops international cooperation with similar organisations of other countries; cooperates with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Estonia as well as abroad;

2.2.3 develops and carries out projects and programs for preventing violence, helping victims and rising public awareness;   

2.2.4 organises trainings, seminars, conferences for its member organisations and other persons;

2.2.5 organises public enterprises and publishes materials about its activities;

2.2.6 offers suggestions for developing, changing and improving legislation, strategies and action plans that are related to the goals of the UNION;

2.2.7 develops economic activities in order to achieve its goals;

2.2.8 pays bursaries according to the order established by the board. 


    3.1 Every legal person governed by private law and offering a shelter service for victims of violence against women can become member of the UNION provided that it is interested in carrying out activities that are in accordance with the goals of the UNION and has reached in a letter of application with a written letter of recommendation from at least one member of the UNION.

     3.2 The letter of application is examined on the next board meeting following the delivery of the letter. The decision of giving member status will be made according to the consensus of the board of the UNION.

3.6 Members of the UNION have right to participate in the activities of the UNION, vote for and be voted for becoming a member of the board as well as of controlling authorities, obtain information, make suggestions and ask for information about the activities of the board and controlling authorities, and withdraw from the UNION.
3.7 Members of the UNION are obliged to pay the entrance fee and the membership fee, follow the statutes and the decisions of the board as well as of the general assembly that are in accordance with these statutes, with the
legislation of Estonian Republic and with generally accepted good practice.

3.3 The amount of entrance fee and membership fee is determined by the general assembly.
The order for the payment of entrance fee and membership fee is established by the board.
3.5 Members of the UNION can withdraw from the UNION on ground of a due letter of application that they deliver to the board.
3.6 A member of the UNION can be withdrawn in case that his or her activities are at variance with the statutes of the UNION or damage its reputation, also in case that the member doesn't follow the decisions of the board or the general assembly, doesn't pay the membership fee according to the established order, or in other compelling cases.
3.7 The withdrawal of a member is decided by the board. After the decision of withdrawal, a member can write a complaint to the general assembly of the UNION whose decision is final.
3.8 If the withdrawal takes place during the fiscal year, the membership fee has to be paid for the whole fiscal year.



4.2 The highest organ of the UNION is the general assembly that has the right to decide and answer all questions that are related to the activities of the UNION.
4.3 Areas of exclusive competence of the general assembly are:
4.3.1 validating and changing the statutes;
4.3.2 determining of a long-term strategy;
4.3.3 determining the amount of entrance fee and membership fee;
4.3.4 changing the goal of activities;
4.3.5 validating the budget;
4.3.6 validating the annual report and the balance sheet;
4.3.8 appointing the board;
4.3.9 the decision to join the position and the duties of a board member and the executive director if necessary;
4.3.10 appointing an auditor;
4.3.11 validating the entrance and the withdrawal into and from unions and organisations;
4.3.12 deciding to liquidate, reorganise, join or divide the organisation.
4.4 The general assembly of the UNION meets at least once a year and is called together by the board. The board is obliged to call together the general assembly for an extraordinary meeting in case that it is asked for in written form and by mentioning the reason by 1/10 of the members.
4.5 The general assembly has the right to make decisions when more than the half of the members of the UNION is present.
4.6 Every member has one vote for a decision made by the general assembly, irrespective of the number of members present.
4.7 For changing the statutes of the UNION all members must vote for it. The members who are not present must reach in a written agreement.
4.8 If the general assembly can not validate decisions due to the insufficient number of members present, the board will call together a new meeting of the general assembly within three weeks. This new general assembly can validate decisions, including changes of statutes, irrespective of the number of members present.
4.9 A decision of the UNION is validated if it is voted for by more than the half of members present on the meeting.
4.10 A decision of the general assembly is considered to be valid without calling together the members of the UNION if all members of the UNION vote for the decision in written form or via e-mail.


      5.1 As for the time between the general assembly meetings, the work of the UNION is managed by a board that consists of at least 3 to 10 members.

5.2 The board consists of an equal number of members of all member organisations of the UNION, but no more than 2 persons from each organisation.
5.3 The board of the UNION is chosen for two years. An earlier withdrawal of a board member can be decided by the general assembly.
5.4 The areas of competence of the board include:
5.4.1 determining the forms and methods of action;
5.4.2 making suggestions for the agenda of the general assembly;
5.4.3 establishing the order for paying entrance fees and membership fees, and bookkeeping about the fees;
5.4.4 acceptance of new members and withdrawal of members;
5.4.5 making action plans;
5.4.6 organising the writing of annual report and the balance sheet, and presenting them to the general assembly for validating;
5.4.7 compiling a project for the budget and presenting it to the general assembly for validating;
5.4.8 purchasing fixed assets, taking loans, pledging, renting etc.
5.4.9 appointing and expelling an executive director;
5.4.10 determining the areas of competence and the salary of the executive director;
5.4.11 making other decisions that do not belong to the exclusive competence of the general assembly.
5.5 Decisions of the board of the UNION are generally made according to the consensus of the board. In case of the lack of consensus, the question will be postponed until the next meeting or an e-voting will be organised (in this case 2/3 of votes of all board members are necessary).

5.6 Board meetings take place at least 4 times in a year. A board meeting will be called together by the director of the board or his/her deputy. The board can validate decisions without calling together a board meeting, provided that all board members give their vote in written form or via e-mail.
5.7 The board of the UNION is obliged to inform the members of the UNION about the management of the UNION and deliver a report about its activities for the asking.
5.9 The board members of the UNION have the right to represent the UNION in all legal acts.
5.10 The members of the board are responsible for violating the law or the statutes as well as not fulfilling their obligations, and therefore causing harm to the UNION, on the basis of solidarity.



6.1 The means of the UNION consist of:
6.1.1 entrance fees and membership fees;
6.1.2 donations and sponsorship of physical and legal persons from Estonia and abroad;
6.1.3 sums gathered through economic activities and financial incomes;
6.1.4 governmental support;
6.1.5 other benefits and means;
6.2 The UNION uses its means only for carrying out the goals mentioned in the statutes.


7.1 The decision of liquidation is made by the general assembly.
7.2. The decision of liquidation is valid if more than 2/3 of members present (or represented) on the meeting of the general assembly vote for it.
7.3. The liquidation of the UNION will be carried out by board members of the UNION.
7.4. If after all compensations and payments there are still means left, they will be handed over to other non-profit organisations that are registered in Estonia or foundations, legal person governed by public law, the state or a local municipality that follow similar goals.