Thematic workshops with the FRA

This session aims to offer participants an up-close look at the agency’s work and invite civil society organisations to contribute to specific FRA projects. In total, twelve workshops will discuss on-going FRA projects and invite to provide feedback on future activities.

FRP meeting 2011

Sessions overview

Session I: 11:30–12:10



Session II: 12:20–13:00

 

Session I: 11.30–12.10

 

Introduction to the Fundamental Rights Platform

This workshop will give a brief introduction to the Fundamental Rights Platform and its main activities – annual consultations, cooperation with civil society on project-by-project basis, knowledge exchange forums - and much more. We will then invite participants to explore together, how civil society organisations can use the Fundamental Rights Platform to better achieve their goals; and how we can all together improve dialogue and cooperation between the FRA and FRP participants.

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Multiple discrimination: mainstreaming intersectionality into the work of civil society organisations

This workshop will focus on how to best mainstream work on intersectionality and multiple discrimination into the portfolios of civil society organisations, focusing on the grounds protected in employment by EU antidiscrimination law: gender, race/ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion. Participants will be invited to discuss how they work across grounds of discrimination and to address groups at risk of multiple discrimination.

The following questions will guide the workshop’s discussions: What does mainstreaming intersectionality into civil society organisations’ work mean? How can mainstreaming best be achieved and through which actions? What are the challenges of mainstreaming intersectionality into your organisation? What are the best practices so far? What works and what does not? The outcome of these discussions will serve as the basis for drafting guidelines on how best to mainstream intersectionality into the work of civil society organisations. The guidelines will also include a selection of promising practices.

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Is justice just for children?

This workshop will discuss what difficulties EU Member States face in ensuring that children participate in justice proceedings and can play a role in those court decisions that affect their lives, such as, for instance, cases of parental divorce and custody disputes or those in which children have been the victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence.

We will also discuss promising practices to ensure children’s involvement takes place in an environment with the appropriate protection mechanisms in place and in the spirit of the best interest of the child. We are interested in learning from the participants what issues children are facing in relation to justice proceedings and what practices are prevalent when involving children. These discussions will provide valuable input for our on-going work on child-friendly justice.

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FRA work on disability: making accessibility a reality

FRA will open the workshop by presenting its current work in the area of disability, and by introducing forthcoming projects on children with disabilities and disability indicators. The main focus will then turn to the question of accessibility, and of how FRA can ensure that all areas of its work are as accessible for persons with disabilities as possible.

The aim of the discussions will be to prepare a draft checklist of accessibility considerations which can be applied to FRA research, communication and awareness-raising activities. To facilitate fruitful discussions, participants will break into smaller working groups to discuss concrete measures in areas including physical accessibility, communication, employment and research methodologies. Towards the end of the workshop, the groups will again come together to share and discuss their suggestions.

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Access to justice

The discussion focus will be on the following access to justice issues:

  1. Crucial role of civil society in achieving justice – challenges, promising practices and innovations: accessing courts; accessing justice through non-judicial mechanisms, such as national human rights institutions and equality bodies; and promoting civil society organisations’ use of FRA findings in their everyday work to improve access to justice and raise fundamental rights awareness;
  2. The access of victims of discrimination to justice – with respect to discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and religion, what does the right to an effective remedy mean, what are the appropriate remedies and how can they be effective? What are the advantages and disadvantages of institutional responses such as anti-discrimination tribunals and the criminal justice system?

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The FRA Annual Report: 200 weighty pages throw light on the fundamental rights situation within the European Union

This workshop is an interactive exercise providing an exchange of views between the FRA and FRP participants on the FRA Annual Report, often referred to as the agency’s flagship report. The host, responsible for the coordination of the Annual Report, will briefly present the purpose and the evolution of the report as well as the steps and stakeholders involved in the drafting process. The presentation will also cover the limitations and potential of the report. Discussion will follow to understand what are the expectations of the FRP participations of the FRA Annual Report and how the consultation exercise with the FRP participants can be improved in the future.

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Session II: 12.20–13.00

 

Consultation process on the FRA’s Annual Work Programme

Every year the agency consults a wide range of stakeholders to assess how the agency's future work can address their particular interests and needs. This workshop will give an overview of the main procedures and steps undertaken in preparation of the Annual Work Programme and will invite civil society organisations to discuss how this process could be improved.

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FRA research methodologies and quality control mechanisms

How does the FRA collect data and form opinions? What are the mechanisms that ensure sound and timely advice to EU institutions and the Member States? When and how can civil society provide its input? To answer these and other questions, the workshop will focus on scientific methods and approaches used by the agency to collect and analyse data, and formulate policy advice. Participants will be introduced to the role and function of the FRA's Scientific Committee, FRA's project review and Opinions Committees and other internal as well as external quality control mechanisms. Brief introductory presentations will be followed by a discussion on the following questions:

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The role of civil society in Roma inclusion

Civil society improves outreach to Roma communities and disseminates the knowledge required to inform public debate and enhance accountability throughout the Roma inclusion process. The FRA Roma team is inviting civil society organisations to a dialogue about: Roma inclusion challenges and opportunities following the adoption of the landmark European Commission Communication on the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 on 5 April 2011; the roles of FRA and civil society priorities; and how to put the EU Framework to work for the Roma.

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The work of the FRA in the areas of asylum, migration and borders

There are many policy initiatives as well as fundamental rights gaps in the areas of asylum, migration and borders. The FRA has prioritised its work in the field over the past three years, focusing on the situation at borders, the rights of migrants in an irregular situation and immigration detention. These priorities will be presented and discussed with participants with a view to collecting suggestions for future FRA actions on such priorities. In addition, the discussion should serve to enhance synergies with other initiatives on these particular topics.

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Violence against women

The workshop will discuss the FRA survey on gender-based violence against women and plans for using the results – by the FRA and in cooperation with civil society.

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How to communicate fundamental rights?

Under its founding regulation, Article 4 (h), the FRA is to: “develop a communication strategy and promote dialogue with civil society, in order to raise public awareness of fundamental rights and actively disseminate information about its work.”

This workshop aims at exploring, together with participants, how this mandate could be further implemented and enhanced.

The two FRA communication team leaders will briefly present their work on communication strategy and awareness-raising, in order to then brainstorm new ideas with participants. The FRA will use the results of this workshop to feed into the update of its Communication Strategy.

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Meeting Organisation

Schedule