FRA Newsletter - June 2009

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Newsletter June 2009

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FRA launches EU-MIDIS Data in Focus Report 2: Muslims

The second in the series of EU-MIDIS ‘Data in Focus’ reports was launched in Madrid on 28 May, prior to an international conference on ‘Debating Islamophobia’. This follows the launch of ‘EU-MIDIS at a glance’, which provides an overview of the survey, and the first EU-MIDIS 'Data in Focus' report on the Roma. The report on Muslims presents selected results from fourteen Member States where Muslims were surveyed. One of the research’s key findings is that the majority of Muslims surveyed do not consider their religion to be the main reason for their discrimination. The results also showed that wearing traditional or religious clothing did not increase the likelihood of discrimination. These findings challenge popular assumptions about the identity of Muslim groups and their experiences of discrimination.

The findings of the “Data in Focus Report 2: Muslims” form part of the first ever EU-wide survey on immigrant and ethnic minority groups’ experiences of discrimination and racist crime (“EU-MIDIS”). The Agency will release further ‘Data in Focus’ reports on specific minority groups and key issues examined in the survey. A final report from the survey will be released in December 2009, and it is planned to release the dataset from the survey in the first half of 2010.

2nd Fundamental Rights Platform Meeting elects Advisory Panel

The second meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) took place in Vienna on 5-6 May. Nearly a hundred civil society organisations from throughout the EU contributed to the discussion. The meeting was opened by the Chair of the Management Board and the FRA Director, and a plenary debate was held on three issues: a) the draft FRA Annual Work Programme 2010; b) the impact of the economic crisis on human rights; and c) under-reporting by victims of human rights violations, lack of awareness on where to report, and what can civil society organisations and FRA do about this.

Participants were then divided into working groups to develop their suggestions and recommendations on the FRA 2011 Annual Work Programme and under-reporting by victims of human rights violations. The second day was devoted to the appointment of an Advisory Panel/Contact Group (nine members) and discussion on the next steps of the co-operation between the Platform and the Agency.

FRA meets with European Network of Equality Bodies

The Agency organised a first meeting with the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) in Vienna on 12-13 May to discuss areas of mutual interest and possibilities for co-operation. The meeting identified forms of co-operation, priority areas, and potential for future joint activities. LGBT rights (in particular the rights of transgender people), multiple discrimination, disability, Roma, and the independence of equality bodies were mentioned as priority areas for the Agency to engage with the Equality Bodies. The Agency was encouraged to place greater emphasis on awareness raising, information dissemination and training activities. During the meeting, equality bodies also provided input to the FRA 2011 work programme.

FRA launches its new logo

FRA Logo

In May, the Agency launched its new logo. It demonstrates that human issues are at the heart of the Agency’s work, depicting two non-gender specific persons to symbolise this. In keeping with the FRA’s status as a European Union Agency, the logo also incorporates both the stars and colours of the EU flag. The new FRA logo represents an important component in the Agency’s outreach strategy.

2. Key upcoming FRA Publications

FRA Annual Report

The FRA will launch its Annual Report 2009 in Vienna on 24 June 2009. This Annual Report covers information, events and developments in the area of Fundamental Rights in the EU for the year 2008. The Annual Report is the second to be produced on the basis of the legal base and mandate of the FRA, whose founding regulation came into effect in March 2007.

Child trafficking in the European Union

The FRA will launch its Report “Child Trafficking in the European Union - Challenges, perspectives and good practices” in Brussels on 7 July 2009. The study concludes that criminal law addressing child trafficking in EU Member States is largely ineffective. Another important conclusion is that the protection of victims of child trafficking needs to be prioritised in line with the fundamental rights principle of best interests of the child. The European Commission has proposed a new framework decision to fight trafficking in human beings. This study aims to inform the legislative process which is ongoing.

Other upcoming FRA publications (2009)

  • EU-MIDIS (European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey)
    • Data in Focus Report 3: Law Enforcement
    • Data in Focus Report 4: Rights Awareness
  • Comparative study regarding discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity in the area of employment
  • Separated Asylum Seeking Children
  • Ethnic Profiling Handbook
  • Racism & Social Marginalisation
  • Pilot Media Project
  • Data Protection Institutions and Measures
  • S’cool Agenda 2010

3. Key upcoming FRA Events

  • Meeting with National Human Rights Institutions, 29-30 June, Vienna
  • 5th Scientific Committee Meeting, 1-2 July, Vienna
  • FRA Meeting with Local Communities Network, 2-3 July, Vienna•Expert preparatory seminar for final conference ‘Joint Action of the FRA, the Council of Europe and the OSCE on Roma freedom of movement / Engaging with Romani women’, 9-10 July, Strasbourg
  • FRA National Liaison Officers Meeting, 24-25 September, Vienna
  • FRA Fundamental Rights Conference, 10-11 December, Stockholm