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The FRP allows these stakeholders a unique opportunity to engage and strengthen dialogue with the FRA and other NGOs on issues of shared concern, the theme of this year's event being victims' rights and under-reporting, and also multiple discrimination.
In his opening address, FRA Director Morten Kjaerum listed a variety of breakthroughs during the past year, including the guidelines on child-friendly justice that the Commission adopted in late 2010; the new revised Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims; and the proposed "victims package" which seeks to grant victims a uniform level of rights across the EU, and covers access to justice, protection, support and recompense, as well as greater awareness among EU citizens of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
However, he also stated that although much progress has been made in the field of fundamental rights within the EU, "deplorable shortcomings" continue to exist, particularly regarding anti-Roma sentiment and violence; discrimination on grounds of sexuality, ethnicity and gender; and racist crime.
"It is against this backdrop that we all do our work on fundamental rights. But it is also against the backdrop of the economic crisis, and indeed it is in such times that we need an even stronger civil society, as well as strong and independent fundamental rights institutions, to counter cutbacks and the possible erosion of fundamental rights," he noted.
More information is available on the FRP website: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/frp2012