News Item

Making human rights protection more resilient in times of crises

FRA Director speaking at conference on Institutional Protection of Fundamental Rights in times of Crises, 20 - 21 April 2023
©Josefine Stenersen
Fundamental rights have weathered multiple storms recently as various crises impact Europe and the wider world. Participants at a high-level conference drew lessons from crises, past and present, and charted a way forward to make human rights structures more resilient.

Participants identified ways in which institutional actors could be better prepared for crises and protect fundamental rights, especially for people at risk. The proposals are aimed at all levels of government, independent human rights bodies and civil society organisations.

Suggestions included empowering rightsholders, building partnerships, improving engagement with and trust in institutions and authorities, as well as the use of effective communication and smart regulation. Smart regulation includes human rights impact assessments, human rights due diligence and reporting, as well as access to effective remedies for rightsholders.

The outcome report, compiled by the Swedish Presidency, explains in greater detail the main proposals made by participants:

  1. strengthening and enforcing legal frameworks to maintain human rights standards;

  2. maintaining an enabling environment for human rights actors;

  3. engage rightsholders in developing crisis responses;

  4. promoting cooperation and building partnerships;

  5. supporting States in complying with fundamental rights in times of crisis.

The high-level conference on institutional protection of fundamental rights in times of crises took place in Lund, Sweden, on 20 and 21 April 2023.

The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in cooperation with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), organised the event.