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Calls to action to help make human rights a reality for all

Over 700 human rights champions combined to deliver concrete calls to action that could help bring about change and counter the many threats facing human rights in Europe today.

These calls have been captured in the Chair’s Statement 2018 published today.

It seeks to capture the spirit of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum 2018 which took place in Vienna from 25 to 27 September.

The Chair’s Statement outlines some calls to action that were voiced by the many and varied participants that attended the event. These included politicians, business leaders, creatives, sports people, the media and frontline human rights workers.

In presenting the Statement, FRA Director, and Forum Chair, Michael O’Flaherty cautioned that while human rights have been described as the greatest achievement of modernity: “it appears we are at risk of losing it right now.  

“What's more, I heard more than one person in the last two and a half days say: ‘It will get worse before it gets better.’

“It doesn't matter how we describe the experience, we all agree that we are in trouble.

“Within the broader frame of democracy under threat, there was a complete agreement that the human rights system, the human rights infrastructure, the human rights achievement is no less threatened.

“But that said, the strong view that I have picked up from every plenary and from every working group I attended is that it will get better.”

Guiding this is the Chair’s Statement.

Rather than attempting to be a comprehensive set of agreed conclusions, it is a compilation of headline action points for FRA, EU Institutions, EU Member States, and others, to work with to help make a difference.

Leading by example, FRA has committed to a number of actions. These include:

  • Using its convening power to strengthen the dialogue with human rights institutions and bodies, and civil society to exchange national experiences and promising practices.
  • Working locally to reach out and engage with local authorities, civil society, individuals and communities that are traditionally excluded so they can enjoy their rights.
  • Advising the EU and national governments on how to implement rights more effectively and visibly through its robust, comparable data on the lived rights situation across the EU.
  • Being smarter with our own public messages, drawing on our 10 keys to effective communications to reach a wider audience and trigger common values.
  • Forging even closer ties with institutional partners like the Council of Europe and the UN to confront the threats to human rights.
  • Investigating how digital technologies are shaping public discourse and affecting rights.
  • Helping Member States comply with rights when using EU funds.
  • Diversifying its own workforce and working partnerships.

FRA will use the Chair’s Statement at every opportunity to engage with stakeholders throughout the EU. It will draw on the suggestions collected to get stakeholders on board in protecting and promoting human rights for all.

More details about what emerged from the various Open Sessions and FRA Working Groups can also be found on the Forum website.