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The European e-Justice portal states that: "In the European Union, the protection of fundamental rights is guaranteed both at national level by Member States' constitutional systems and at EU level by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union... [The Charter] applies to Member States only when they are implementing EU law."
If a situation does not relate to EU law, fundamental rights in Member States are protected by national rules which are enforced by national courts or non-judicial mechanisms. For further information about which institutions to contact in the case of fundamental rights violations, see the e-Justice portal section on fundamental rights.
At the national level, equality bodies, national human rights institutions, or other entities with a human rights remit promote and protect fundamental rights, including equality. At the EU, Council of Europe and the UN, there are also a number of avenues available when fundamental or human rights have been violated, see the focus section of the FRA Annual Report.
National Equality Bodies
National Equality Bodies promote equal treatment and are designated in all EU Member States according to EU legislation in order to:
- provide independent assistance to the victims of discrimination,
- conduct surveys and studies,
- and publish independent reports and recommendations;
European network of equality bodies - EQUINET
National Human Rights Institutions
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are administrative bodies set up to protect or monitor human rights. To find more information on the NHRIs present in Europe Union Member States, see the directory of NHRIs in Europe.