Equality, non-discrimination and racism

Equality is a core value of the EU. You have the right to fair treatment regardless of who you are, what you believe, or how you chose to live.

We carry out research and share expertise to help fight discrimination, inequality and racism in all its forms.


While awareness of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons is on the rise across the European Union, hurdles to their full enjoyment of their fundamental rights remain. This report updates FRA’s 2010 report on homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Children with disabilities face significant barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights. They are often excluded from society, sometimes living in facilities far from their families. They are also denied access to basic services, such as health care and education, and endure stigma and discrimination, as well as sexual, physical and psychological violence. FRA scrutinised the important but underreported issue of violence against children with disabilities, carrying out desk research and conducting interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders. This report presents the results of that research.
Children are full-fledged holders of rights. They are beneficiaries of all human and fundamental rights and subjects of special regulations, given their specific characteristics. This handbook aims to illustrate how European law and case law accommodate the specific interests and needs of children.
Children should always be supported by a professional support person when they are involved in judicial proceedings, such as being at court. This could be, for example, a social worker or a legal counsellor.
Children should always be supported by a professional support person when they are involved in judicial proceedings, such as being at court. This could be, for example, a social worker or a legal counsellor.
During judicial proceedings, such as being at court, children should always be told what is going on. The information should be presented in a child-friendly and understandable way.
This report explores the key features of guardianship systems put in place to cater for the needs of all children in need of protection, including child victims and those at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in human beings or of other forms of exploitation. The research covers four specific areas, namely the type of guardianship systems in place, the profile of appointed guardians, the appointment procedures, and the tasks of the guardians.
Antisemitism can be expressed in the form of verbal and physical attacks, threats, harassment, property damage, graffiti or other forms of text, including on the internet. This report relates to manifestations of antisemitism as they are recorded by official and unofficial sources in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States.
Regardless of ethnic origin, religion or belief, everyone living in the Union has a fundamental right to be treated equally, to be respected and to be protected from violence. This contribution paper to the Annual Colloquium
on Fundamental Rights provides evidence of the fact that such respect is lacking, and suggests ways in which governments can ensure they fulfil their duty to safeguard this right for everyone living in the EU.
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.
An estimated 3,280 persons died at sea in 2014 while attempting to reach a haven in Europe, and the number of those rescued or apprehended at sea quadrupled compared with 2013. The number of displaced persons worldwide reached Second World War levels in 2014. Many move on from where they first arrive, with Germany and Sweden together receiving almost half of the asylum applications submitted in the EU.
Europe and the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2014. Despite considerable progress in those 25 years, some old challenges remain and new ones have arisen. The latest data show that 27.6 % of children in Europe – more than 26 million – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Many families with children have difficulties paying for their rent or mortgage, heating, school materials and even food. The legal protection of child victims of violence or sexual abuse and children without parental care was significantly reinforced and relevant policies were developed.
New strategic guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice by the European Council placed increasing mutual trust, strengthening the protection of victims and reinforcing the rights of accused persons and suspects high on the EU policy agenda. Many EU Member States adopted new laws or reformed existing laws and policies in this area, while efforts continued at UN, Council of Europe and EU level to strengthen the rule of law, judicial independence and the efficiency of justice systems, as cornerstones of a democratic society.
EU Member States continued their efforts to improve Roma integration by implementing their national Roma integration strategies following the Council Recommendation of December 2013 on effective Roma integration measures. FRA supports these efforts by regularly collecting data and working with the Member States to develop monitoring methods that allow for efficient reporting on the situation of Roma in the Member States over time.
Barriers persist in implementing effectively European Union (EU) legislation that prohibits and penalises manifestations of racism, xenophobia and ethnic discrimination. The sixth year of the economic crisis and turbulent developments in the Middle East and North Africa are raising concerns and considerations for migration and integration policies in the EU.
This paper examines the legal situation of intersex people from a fundamental rights perspective. It draws on evidence from the Agency’s updated legal analysis on homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, which now includes a section on intersex issues.
A new Focus paper by the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines how Member States across the EU have reformed their laws and policies to meet their obligations under the CRPD. By bringing together examples of such reforms, it also highlights how the adoption of international commitments can drive wide-ranging processes of change at the national level.
Each year thousands of children take part in criminal and civil judicial proceedings, affected by parental divorce
or as victims or witnesses to crime. Such proceedings can be stressful for anyone. The European Union Agency
for Fundamental Rights (FRA) investigated whether children’s rights are respected in these proceedings.
Children need to be heard and be involved in all issues that concern them. This includes the justice system.
The agency delivered a keynote speech to a conference on discrimination of Muslims.
The Agency has just published a paper that looks at how European Court of Human Rights case law relating to hate crime has evolved.
Antisemitic hate speech, harassment and fear of being recognised as Jewish; these are some of the realities of being Jewish in the EU today. It appears to be getting worse, finds a major repeat survey of Jews from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the largest ever of its kind worldwide.
A new online tool to help free Muslims from hatred has just been released by FRA. The anti-Muslim hatred database is an easy-to-use overview of information on hate crime, hate speech and discrimination against Muslims across the EU.
Black people in the EU face unacceptable difficulties in simply finding somewhere to live or getting a decent job because of their skin colour, according to findings from a major repeat survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Racist harassment also remains all too common.
The persistent problem of limited data hinders effective responses to tackle Europe’s longstanding antisemitism issues, finds the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest annual overview of antisemitism data from across the EU. Without such data, government and civil society efforts to combat antisemitism will remain general and untargeted.
The Agency took part in the UN’s High-Level Political Forum 2018 on Sustainable Development in New York from 12 to 17 July. "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies" organised by the United Nations.
On 12 and 13 July FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty, together with the Head of Freedoms and Justice Department, Joanna Goodey, attended the Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Innsbruck.
Over 500 local and regional leaders and experts from 40 different countries attended the Council of European Municipalities and Regions’ conference on inclusion, diversity and equality in Bilbao on 13 June.
The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Lamberto Zannier, together with the Director of his Office, Henrik Villadsen met the Agency’s Director Michael O´Flaherty at FRA on 6 June.
Nearly 60% of Europeans consider being old a disadvantage when looking for work. Societies often view older people as burdens. Too often we overlook the basic human rights of our older people. This year, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its 2018 Fundamental Rights Report explores how a rights-based approach towards respect for older people is starting to happen.
The Agency presented research findings on discrimination and integration during a conference on 18 May about migrant integration at the regional and local level.
Jewish people in 13 EU Member States can now participate in the Agency's second antisemitism survey. Building on the results from the first survey, it aims to further help the EU and its Member States formulate informed policy and legal responses to combat antisemitism.
Participants at the European Coalition of Cities against Racism’s General Conference swapped knowledge about initiatives developed by cities, civil society, sport associations, cultural and grassroots organisations on fighting racism, discrimination and stereotypes, and promoting diversity and inclusion for all.
The Equality Data Subgroup agreed on an outline for non-binding guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data.
Promoting equality and combating racism are essential to fortify social cohesion and democratic security, the heads of three European human rights institutions said in a joint statement on today’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Building on the widely popular practical handbook on European non-discrimination law, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights have just published an update.
Protecting human rights is not an obstacle to combating terrorism was one of the FRA Director’s central messages to the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Terrorism. Instead, adopting a human rights-respectful approach can foster a safe society and boost security, as he outlined during his exchange of views with committee members during their meeting on 8 January in Brussels.
This year the Agency will see the return of its landmark Fundamental Rights Forum. Following the success of the 2016 event, it will again bring together a diverse group of people from many walks of life but this time will explore what belonging means to different groups. In doing so, the Forum will seek to find ways how best to instil a culture of fundamental rights across the EU by demonstrating that human rights are for everyone and must be respected by everyone.
In 2017, the Agency marked its 10-year anniversary at a time when fundamental rights continue to be challenged. It was an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved while acknowledging much still remains to be done to reposition respect for fundamental rights as a core value across Europe.
The Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) will hold its annual seminar for Member States’ Equality Bodies on 24 May.
The Agency will take part in a meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Rome on 29 May.
The European Parliament is hosting a week of activities to honour people of African descent, between 14 and 17 May.
On 30 April, the Agency will take part in a conference at King’s College, London on countering radicalisation and safeguarding human rights.
On 22 and 23 May in Sofia, the Agency will give presentations to the Bulgarian EU Presidency seminar on ‘Holocaust, antisemitism the rise of hate crime and hate speech’
The Subgroup on Equality Data will gather on 26-27 April in Brussels for its first formal meeting to start work on preparing a set of non-binding guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data in EU Member States
The Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment is hosting a workshop for the national roll out of the Agency’s second minorities and discrimination survey (EU-MIDIS II) on 18 April in Vienna
On 28 February and 1 March, FRA will join the meeting in Brussels of the High Level Group (HLG) on Non-Discrimination, Equality and Diversity and provide members of the HLG with a debriefing from the meeting of the Subgroup on Equality Data held on 25 January in Brussels, which was facilitated by FRA.
The Agency will present survey findings on discrimination in education during the OECD’s policy forum on the integration of migrants and refugees in education.
The FRA Director will speak to the Council of the EU’s Working Party on Terrorism (International Aspects) in Brussels on 18 January, at the invitation of the Bulgarian Presidency.
The Agency will join the plenary of the International Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities Survey Data Network in Madrid from 18 to 19 December.
The Agency Director will give a keynote speech at a public event on the human rights situation of Muslims in the EU on 26 October in New York.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the OSCE’s Cordoba Conference and Declaration concerning intolerance, discrimination and hatred against Muslims on 18 October 2017, FRA will present its latest findings on Muslim discrimination and intolerance.
The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance has invited the Agency to take part in an expert meeting on 22 and 23 June.
The Agency will be part of a panel debate in Brussels on 6 February on how existing accountability and monitoring mechanisms can better address anti-Gypsysim .
The Agency will speak about its hate crime work during a special committee hearing of the Italian Chamber of Deputies on 9 March.
Stakeholders discuss the development of the Agency’s second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the selected EU Member States during a meeting at the Agency on 7 March.
Local and regional authorities which are members of the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) will meet in Vienna on 1 March to discuss an upcoming compendium of good practices to fight intolerance and hate crime.
The Council of Europe’s programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) will begin its ‘HELP in the 28’ course ‘Fight against Racism, Xenophobia, Homophobia and Transphobia’ on 6 February in Rome.
The EU’s High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance will hold its second meeting in Brussels on 7 December.