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.


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.
FRA in close cooperation with the European Commission and the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), developed 28 human rights indicators to assess the political participation of persons with disabilities in the EU.
This paper discusses the difficulties faced by people with disabilities who become victims of hate crime, and the different legal frameworks in place to protect such victims in the EU’s Member States. It ends by listing a number of suggestions for improving the situation at both the legislative and policy levels.
The rights of victims of crime to access justice and to be protected against repeat victimisation may remain illusory in practice if the victim fails to receive professional advice and support. This research by the European Union Agency
for Fundamental Rights (FRA) examines support service provision for such victims across the 28 EU Member States, in line with the 2012 EU Victims’ Directive. It focuses not on abstract fundamental rights standards but on the final
practical results.
Trans persons, or those whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned them at birth, face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence across the European Union (EU) today. This reality triggers fears that persuade many to hide or disguise their true selves. This report examines issues of equal treatment and discrimination on two grounds, namely sexual orientation and gender identity. It analyses data on the experiences of 6,579 trans respondents from the EU Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survey, the largest body of empirical evidence of its kind to date.
Children and young people are increasingly involved in research and decision making on different aspects of rights which relate to them. EU Member States have different rules, regulations and guidelines regarding the participation of children in research, in particular concerning ethics approval and informed consent.
Karoline Edtstadler, State Secretary at the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, and Ariel Muzicant, Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress, will speak at an event in Vienna on 30 April which addresses antisemitism in Austria.
Too many people with an ethnic or migrant background are still being held back in the job market. This is despite laws against racial discrimination and for equal opportunities in employment that have been in place for decades, the heads of three European human rights institutions said in a joint statement on today’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Across the EU, many Member States are improving their equality data to help policymakers combat discrimination and challenge prejudices. To inspire others, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has just published an online compendium of nearly 40 practices from 15 countries on the collection and use of equality data.
The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council held a conference on the fight against antisemitism: a common approach to better protect Jewish communities in Europe – from policy to action.
With antisemitism once again on the rise, International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January is a moment to reaffirm our commitment to human rights and remember the millions who were killed during the Second World War.
Throughout 2019, the agency will continue to work steadfastly for everyone to promote and protect human rights, in a year that marks 10 years of the European Union’s very own bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The agency’s Director spoke at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 6 December 2018 on antisemitism.
The agency attended the 12th EU-Israel seminar on 17 December on combating racism, xenophobia and antisemitism.
The year 2018 saw many significant anniversaries in the world of human rights. It was the year that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 and the European Convention on Human Rights 65.
On 13 December in Madrid, the agency took part in the fifth Congress of Human Rights of Spanish Lawyers, devoted to preventing and combating hate crime.
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.
A delegation from the Swedish Parliament’s EU Committee secretariat visits the Agency on 3 September.
The Agency will join a round table discussion on combating antisemitism on 12 September in The Hague.
On 12 and 13 July 2018, the FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will participate in the informal Justice and Home Affairs Council in Innsbruck at the invitation of the Austrian presidency.
The AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights together with Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, have convened an expert consultation on monitoring and combatting antisemitism.
As a result of the Agency’s outreach to funders and foundations, the Ariadne network invited the Agency to participate in a workshop on countering racial and religious discrimination.
The FRA Director will join discussions on freedom of religion, antisemitism and Islamophobia during a joint meeting of the Council’s Working Parties on Human Rights (COHOM) and on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP).
On 14 June, the Agency will attend the Council’s Working Party on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Brussels.
On 13 and 14 June the High Level group on combatting racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance will meet in Brussels.
The Agency will contribute to the seventh meeting of the Education and Training 2020 Working Group on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education.
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.