FRA Newsletter - November 2009

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FRA Newsletter - November 2009

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FRA report on the situation of Roma EU citizens moving to and settling in other EU Member States

On 9 November 2009, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released a new report on "The situation of Roma EU citizens moving to and settling in other EU Member States". This report provides evidence that Roma are strongly discriminated against and experience social exclusion when exercising their EU citizens' right of freedom of movement. The FRA report highlights shortcomings but also points out good practices across the EU. It gives concrete recommendations on how the situation could be improved.

The Agency launched its Report at a Joint International Conference of the FRA, Council of Europe and the OSCE on Roma migration and freedom of movement, which took place in Vienna on 09-10 November. The conference discussed challenges identified in the report and in a report on Roma migration launched earlier this year by the Commissioner for Human Rights and the High Commissioner on National Minorities, and explored practical ways of how to act on the recommendations identified in the reports.

FRA report on the housing conditions of Roma and Travellers in the EU

On 20 October, the Agency presented a report giving evidence that Roma and Travellers are strongly disadvantaged in private and social housing throughout the European Union. They face discrimination in access to housing, poor housing conditions, segregation, and forced evictions. The FRA report highlights shortcomings, but also good practices across the EU.
The Agency launched its Report at a Round Table on Roma and Housing in Brussels, which brought together a variety of actors. They came up with concrete suggestions as to how to act on its recommendations.

FRA and Swedish Presidency join forces to combat trafficking in human beings

The FRA has joined forces with the Swedish Presidency of the EU in the organisation of the Ministerial high-level conference ‘Towards EU Global Action against Trafficking in Human Beings’. The conference took place in Brussels on 19-20 October 2009 and was organised by the Ministry of Justice of Sweden in cooperation with IOM Vienna, with financial support from the European Commission. The Chairperson of the FRA Management Board, Anastasia Crickley, opened the conference, and the FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum, was the rapporteur of the Panel discussing the issue of child trafficking. The FRA presented the recommendations of the FRA study on Child Trafficking published recently.

New application to participate in the Fundamental Rights Platform

The FRA has launched a new drive for participation in the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) and invited European Union-based non-governmental organisations and other civil society actors in the field of fundamental rights at national, European or international level to apply directly through the FRA website.

FRA holds Round Table on Human Rights Education

As part of the effort to determine how human rights education can be best linked to key FRA target groups, a Human Rights Education Round Table was held at the FRA on 29-30 September 2009. The meeting, organised with the assistance of the Change Institute (CI), proved useful in identifying areas where the FRA may contribute added value to existing work in order to better respond to identified needs. The Round Table was an essential part of the overall human rights education study being carried out by the Change Institute. The final report of the study is expected before the end of 2009.

2. Key upcoming FRA Publications

  • Project: EU-MIDIS: European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey
  • - Main report
    - Data in Focus Report: Multiple Discrimination
  • S’cool Agenda 2010

3. Key FRA Events

EU Equality Summit, 16-17 November, Stockholm

The Swedish Presidency of the EU has asked the FRA to make a substantive contribution to the deliberations of the EU Equality Summit, which took place on 16-17 November in Stockholm. The FRA released data emerging from EU-MIDIS on multiple discrimination, thus feeding into one of the key themes at this year’s event.

Diversity Days in Berlin, Barcelona, and Vienna

The FRA’s youth awareness raising project Diversity Day is to spread to other cities in the European Union. This year, the FRA - together with city partners in Berlin, Barcelona and Vienna - expects to bring more than 4,500 young people together to learn about fundamental rights, exchange views and celebrate diversity. The series of events will start on 18 November in Berlin, where the FRA will award students’ projects that promote diversity, equality, integration, and anti-discrimination activities at schools. This event will be followed by Diversity Day in Barcelona on 30 November. Hundreds of students from secondary schools and vocational training centres will come together under the slogans of “Respect unlimited” and “Barcelona for Human Rights”. Diversity Day will also again take place in the FRA’s host city: On 3 December, the Vienna City Hall will open up to thousands of young people from Vienna and cities in the neighbouring Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Diversity Day will allow them to experience diversity in its many different facets through a variety of exciting workshops, an info market run by 45 NGOs, and a stage programme.

Other FRA events in 2009

  • FRA and Committee of the Regions annual dialogue on multilevel protection and promotion of fundamental rights, 13 November, Brussels
  • EU Equality Summit (with FRA participation), 16-17 November, Stockholm
  • Diversity Day event, 18 November, Berlin
  • Seminar on human rights education and lessons from the Holocaust, 23-24 November, Vienna
  • Workshop with schools of journalism on diversity training for media (jointly hosted by the FRA and the Council of Europe), 26-27 November, Vienna
  • Diversity Day event, 30 November, Barcelona
  • Diversity Day event, 3 December, Vienna
  • “Making Rights a Reality for All” – 2nd Fundamental Rights Conference (co-hosted with Swedish Presidency of the EU), 10-11 December, Stockholm
  • 8th Management Board meeting, 14-15 December, Vienna