Systems

Support for human rights systems and defenders

Many organisations work to defend your rights. We help their efforts with independent evidence, advice and expertise.

We support their frontline work. And we shine a light on potential risks and priority areas. Together we make your rights a reality.

Highlights

  • Report / Paper / Summary
    19
    July
    2022
    Civil society is a key component of Europe’s fundamental rights architecture. From supporting people affected by the pandemic to helping those fleeing the war in Ukraine, civil society plays a crucial role in upholding people’s rights. In so doing, it contributes to a healthy rule of law culture. FRA’s civic space report provides an overview of the many ways in which civil society contributes to the checks and balances that underpin the rule of law.
  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    14
    April
    2022
    Speaking up for human rights has never been more important! But how can we best do it? How do we bring people together and cut through the noise?
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    11
    October
    2021
    This report proposes a framework for becoming, and functioning as, a ‘human rights city’ in the EU. It includes ‘foundations’, ‘structures’ and ‘tools’ for mayors, local administrations and grassroots organisations to reinforce fundamental rights locally. It is based on existing good practice and expert input by representatives of human rights cities in the EU, academic experts, international organisations and city networks.
  • Page
    The European Union Fundamental Rights Information System EFRIS is a Human Rights Gateway, bringing together data and information from existing human rights databases, and enables viewing and analysis of relevant assessments of fundamental rights in the EU.
Products
16
September
2022
Europe stands at a delicate moment in its history, facing a convergence of major tests. Each of them taken on their own is significant. Together, they pose profound questions about the political, economic, and societal future of the continent. This is a moment for strong commitment to put human rights at the heart of our vision for Europe’s future. It is also time to demonstrate our determination to work together to this end. Against this backdrop, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) brought together around sixty human rights leaders and experts from across the continent to discuss elements of a human rights vision for the future and to identify opportunities for action. A full conference report will be available soon, including the specific ideas and proposals which arose from the meeting. Meanwhile, this is a summary of the conclusions.
19
August
2022
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) is the EU’s bill of rights. It always binds the EU institutions and the Member States when they act within the scope of EU law. However, it is far from easy to assess whether a concrete case falls within the scope of EU law. This is why it is necessary to provide training and training material to legal professionals so that they can understand the field of application of the Charter as laid out in its Article 51. This trainer’s manual aims at providing guidance on both the organisation and the implementation of such trainings based on a series of case studies,
which will be extended in the future.
19
August
2022
Civil society organisations face diverse challenges across the European Union. FRA’s report on Protecting civic space in the EU presents the agency’s findings on these challenges. It was issued in September of 2021. This summary presents the Key findings and FRA opinions outlined in the report.
19
July
2022
Civil society is a key component of Europe’s fundamental rights architecture. From supporting people affected by the pandemic to helping those fleeing the war in Ukraine, civil society plays a crucial role in upholding people’s rights. In so doing, it contributes to a healthy rule of law culture. FRA’s civic space report provides an overview of the many ways in which civil society contributes to the checks and balances that underpin the rule of law.
29
June
2022
Since September 2021, two National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) had a change in their accreditation status, one applied for accreditation and five have had a change in tasks covered by their mandates. This new 2022 update provides an overview of developments in the accreditation status and mandates of NHRIs from September 2021 to May 2022. It is a follow up of FRA’s 2020 report on ‘Strong and effective national human rights institutions – challenges, promising practices and opportunities’ and the September 2021 update. It covers the 27 EU Member States and three candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia).
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. He argues that it is only if we all work together, with human rights as our roadmap, that we can make our way towards a peaceful future.
8
June
2022
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field in 2021, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
8
June
2022
This focus looks at the impact of the pandemic on social rights. It examines the measures in national recovery and resilience plans that address the social vulnerabilities among a variety of population groups in the EU, including women, children and young people in situations of vulnerability, people with disabilities, older people, Roma and people in precarious working conditions.
8
June
2022
All language versions now available
14 September 2022
The year 2021 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
27
April
2022
This guide can help cities wishing to improve their efforts to respect human rights. It aims to encourage local authorities to adopt higher human rights standards. The idea is to encourage and foster mutual learning on human and fundamental rights. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a group of human rights cities and various practitioners in the EU worked together to produce this guide. The guide draws on the promising practices and experiences of cities, regions, experts, international organisations and networks that can be found in the FRA report Human rights cities in the EU: A framework for reinforcing rights locally.
14
April
2022
Speaking up for human rights has never been more important! But how can we best do it? How do we bring people together and cut through the noise?
In the internet age, information travels faster and further than ever before. But so does disinformation, feeding off rumours, prejudices and stereotypes. How can we tackle it? Watch FRA’s practical guide on how to go about tackling disinformation using +INPUT – be positive, identify, narrate, pioneer, unite and track.
The Fundamental Rights Forum is the space for dialogue on human rights challenges facing the EU today.
The Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty, welcomes the launch of the Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea), the merger of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne), on 7 December 2021.
The Fundamental Rights Forum is the space for dialogue on human rights challenges facing the EU today.
Highlights from the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 – Michael O’Flaherty on the Forum as a roadmap for a vision of hope.
Speaking up for human rights has never been more important!

But how can we bring people together and cut through the noise?
International and regional human rights organisations across Europe have joined forces with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, united behind the '10 keys to effectively communicating human rights'.
11
October
2021
This report proposes a framework for becoming, and functioning as, a ‘human rights city’ in the EU. It includes ‘foundations’, ‘structures’ and ‘tools’ for mayors, local administrations and grassroots organisations to reinforce fundamental rights locally. It is based on existing good practice and expert input by representatives of human rights cities in the EU, academic experts, international organisations and city networks.
A clip on human rights cities upon launch of ‘Framework of commitments for human rights cities’
28
September
2021
Since September 2020, three National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) had a change in their accreditation status, two new institutions were created and nine have had a change in tasks covered by their mandates. Following up on the September 2020 report “Strong and effective national human rights institutions – challenges, promising practices and opportunities”, this update provides an overview of developments in the accreditation status and mandates of NHRIS in the past 12 months. The update covers the 27 EU Member States as well as three additional states within FRA’s mandate (Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia).
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. He argues that it is only if we all work together, with human rights as our roadmap, that we can make our way towards a peaceful future.
In the internet age, information travels faster and further than ever before. But so does disinformation, feeding off rumours, prejudices and stereotypes. How can we tackle it? Watch FRA’s practical guide on how to go about tackling disinformation using +INPUT – be positive, identify, narrate, pioneer, unite and track.
The Fundamental Rights Forum is the space for dialogue on human rights challenges facing the EU today.
The Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty, welcomes the launch of the Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea), the merger of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) and the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (Dafne), on 7 December 2021.
The Fundamental Rights Forum is the space for dialogue on human rights challenges facing the EU today.
Highlights from the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 – Michael O’Flaherty on the Forum as a roadmap for a vision of hope.
Speaking up for human rights has never been more important!

But how can we bring people together and cut through the noise?
International and regional human rights organisations across Europe have joined forces with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, united behind the '10 keys to effectively communicating human rights'.
A clip on human rights cities upon launch of ‘Framework of commitments for human rights cities’
On the occasion of the launch of FRA’s report ‘Protecting civic space in the EU’ this clip sheds light on the challenges civil society faces across the European Union.
On 23 February 2021, FRA’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, listened to fundamental rights concerns and discussed ways to solve them. The second Fundamental Rights Dialogue invited young people to participate in shaping our societies, placing human rights centre stage.
On 23 February 2021, FRA’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, listened to fundamental rights concerns and discussed ways to solve them. The second Fundamental Rights Dialogue invited young people to participate in shaping our societies, placing human rights centre stage.
On 13 November, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) hosted its first Fundamental Rights Dialogue - a virtual event that gave young people an opportunity to voice their fundamental rights concerns and discussed ways to solve them with FRA's Director Michael O'Flaherty.
Key statements from the FRA/Euractiv online event Reinforcing the EU Charter: rights of people in the EU in the next decade, 7 December 2020.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic leaves a lasting mark on society worldwide. It affected everyone but some people more than others. As we look ahead, on Human Rights Day, on 10 December, we need to make the new normal a better normal. In his video message, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty underlines the need to stand up for human rights to make 2021 a better year. This means ensuring we respect and take into account everybody's human rights.
This video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded for the 2020 General conference of the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR): “CommunicAction – A common front to protect human rights at the local level”.
This video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded for the Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform: ''Connectivity between regional and global human rights mechanisms".
This video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded for the e-conference "70 years of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: challenges and prospects".
This video was produced for the launch of the Fundamental Rights Survey in June 2020 and gives an overview of the main results.
Michael O'Flaherty introduces the July edition of FRA's bulletin on the impact for fundamental rights of Covid-19. In this vlog he talks about the important role that people play who are engaged with the promotion and the protection of human rights in these times.
The July edition of the COVID-19 bulletin will be available from 30 July.
In his latest vlog Michael O'Flaherty introduces FRA's survey of 35,000 people on attitudes to human and fundamental rights.
The social rights platform of the Council of Europe, FRA and European networks of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and Equality Bodies (Equinet) met on 19 and 20 September.
FRA spoke during the 10th Strategic Meeting of Mechanisms and Programmes for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
On 16 September, FRA’s Management Board elected Jim Clarken as a new Chairperson. He will take office on 20 September 2022.
On 5-6 September, FRA contributed to the OSCE-ODIHR international conference in Warsaw on building resilient NHRIs.
On 7-8 September, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) brought together sixty human rights leaders and experts to discuss three major challenges: the climate crisis, the rise of disinformation, and the war in Ukraine. These are complex challenges that require multi-faceted responses. The aim was to consider what contribution human rights could make and to inspire bold action.
FRA’s Director exchanged views with deputies from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 6 July in Strasbourg.
Civil society is a key component of Europe's fundamental rights architecture. From supporting people affected by the pandemic to helping those fleeing the war in Ukraine, civil society plays a crucial role in upholding people’s rights. In so doing, it contributes to a healthy rule of law culture. But despite positive developments, civil society continues to face numerous challenges ranging from harassment to restrictive laws, finds the latest civic space report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It underlines the need for Europe to ensure a more conducive working environment for civil society.
On 5 July, the Presidency of the the European Economic and Social Committee’s ad hoc group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FRRL) visited FRA.
FRA contributed to a conference organised by the project ‘Reclaim Our Civil Space’.
On 29 June, FRA updated its overview on the accreditation status and mandates of National Human Rights Institutions.
On 17 June, FRA, in cooperation with the European Law Students Association (ELSA), held a webinar on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The pandemic triggered unprecedented EU financial support to counter the social impact of Covid-19. Many people in the EU, especially vulnerable people, faced reduced access to healthcare, childcare, education and the internet. This has led to excess mortality, poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 outlines the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact on social rights. It also suggests how to address increasing inequalities and threats to societal cohesion.
On 19 May, FRA co-hosted an online seminar on the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter for Committee of the Regions staff.
On 3 May, FRA gave the European perspective during a panel discussion on the work of a human rights city during Lund’s sustainability week.
The FRA Director exchanged views with the Council of the EU’s Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizen’s Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP) on 13 May 2022.
The annual European Judicial Training Network's (EJTN) and FRA carried out joint training on the applicability and effect of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in national proceedings.
A new guide from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) offers support to local authorities in incorporating human rights into the lives of people they serve.
Civil society organisations active in the area of fundamental rights and other rights defenders are key for the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
FRA joined OECD discussions on its draft report on ‘The Protection and Promotion of Civic Space: the Global Context and the Way Forward’.
A group of around 30 administrators from the French National Institute for local Studies (INET) met FRA on 12 April.
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From 6 to 7 October, FRA will host an expert event on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Vienna.
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FRA’s Director will visit the Council of Europe on 10-11 October in Strasbourg.
FRA will speak at the European Economic and Social Committee’s (EESC) annual conference on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
On 28 September, FRA will welcome a delegation of law students from ELSA Jena in Germany.
On 29 September, FRA will welcome a delegation of students from the Volda University in Norway.
On 6 September, FRA management will meet a Council of Europe delegation.
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FRA will host a high-level meeting of fundamental rights leaders and experts in Rust, Austria from 7 to 8 September.
On 1 September, a delegation of students will visit FRA from the Stichting Libertas International.
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FRA will contribute to a retreat on building a European civic space at the European Forum Alpbach from 31 August to 2 September.
On 31 August, FRA’s Director will be one of the panellists at this year’s European Forum Alpbach.
On 2 September, FRA will participate in a national round-table discussion on how to ensure fundamental rights compliance when using EU funds.
On 14 July, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will present the Fundamental Rights Report 2022 to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
FRA will exchange views with Human Dimension experts from the EU Delegation and EU Member States Permanent Representations to the OSCE.
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FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will meet State Secretaries and staff of the German Justice and Interior Ministries on 31 May.
On 16 May, FRA will welcome a delegation of fellows from the Western Balkans Fellowship Programme.
FRA and the CIVEX Commission of the European Committee of the Regions will host on online training event on 19 May.
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The agency’s Executive Board and Management Board will convene on 19 and 20 May in Vienna.
FRA will provide training on the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter for staff of several Croatian ministries.
On 16 May, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will meet the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media Teresa Ribeiro.
FRA will speak on 6 May at the first of a series of webinars organised by the Association of Polish Municipalities.