Press Release

Coalition of hope commits to human rights for all

Calls to action to counter the pressing human rights threats facing Europe were captured during Vienna’s Fundamental Rights Forum 2018. They emerged from the talents, ideas, and expertise shared by over 700 leading experts from around the world during the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ event.

“We must never give up on the responsibility we hold to promote and protect human rights. We owe it to past, present, and future generations,” says FRA Director and Forum Chair Michael O’Flaherty. “The energy and commitment at the Fundamental Rights Forum has shown the willingness and potential to find solutions to our common challenges. Now, we must stand and deliver, demonstrating how human rights matter to each and every one of us.”

Society in Europe today is increasingly fractured and polarised. Human rights are being challenged by austerity, digital disruption, globalisation, a migration crisis and rising populism across Europe.

To address these challenges, FRA brought together unique and varied groups - involving everyone from creatives to lawyers - to stimulate frank dialogue between decision makers, interest groups and individuals of diverse views, mandates and specialisms.

It led to actions that can help make human rights a more widely shared reality for everyone in the EU. It encouraged solidarity and active partnership, and for everyone to each play their part.

At the end of the three-day event, FRA committed to:

  • Protecting the human rights architecture and standing alongside civil society.
  • Acting as a strong bridge between governments, institutions and society by bringing together diverse voices and then reflect their human rights concerns to EU governments, especially in light of the upcoming European elections.
  • Listening and engaging directly with society and reaching out with our surveys, research and findings.
  • Being smarter with our own public messages, drawing on our 10 keys to effective communications to reach a wider audience and trigger common values.
  • Going local and encouraging others to find human rights solutions in cities, towns and villages as FRA has done with Roma.
  • Continuing, as EU’s independent centre of fundamental rights excellence, its support to the EU on delivering the ‘Europe of Values’ of which we can be proud.

Many of these ideas will be captured in the Chair’s Statement, which will be published on 24 October. FRA pledges to use every opportunity to present and discuss these findings with stakeholders throughout the EU.

FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum 2018 met in Vienna from 25-27 September. It builds on the Forum 2016.

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