Independent bodies

External expert organisations that are a recognised authority on fundamental rights can be approached for advice and expertise on fundamental rights issues, definitions, terminology, legal frameworks and more.

All EU Member States have national organisations or institutes that are recognised as authorities on fundamental rights. These might be university departments or research centres that specialise in fundamental rights or public bodies with a relevant competence, such as national human rights institutions, equality bodies or Ombudsperson Institutions.

For example:

  • The British Institute of Human Rights is regularly consulted by councils and local authorities in relation to training, project design and implementation.
  • The human rights department of the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg is regularly consulted by Swedish authorities. Academic entities across Europe can perform similar tasks.
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National human rights institutions provide expertise on fundamental rights. For more information see: International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions

National equality bodies are independent organisations established on the basis of EU anti-discrimination law. They have a mandate to provide assistance to victims of discrimination, conduct surveys concerning discrimination, and publish independent reports and make recommendations on any issue relating to discrimination in their country. For more information see: European Network of Equality Bodies

In many countries around the world there are Ombudsperson Institutions who deal with complaints from the public regarding decisions, actions or omissions of public administrations. They can be an important source of information on fundamental rights issues within public administrations.
For more information see the Ombudsperson Institutions Website