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
    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.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    18
    January
    2018
    Civil society organisations in the European Union play a crucial role in promoting fundamental rights, but it has become harder for them to do so – due to both legal and practical restrictions. This report looks at the different types and patterns of challenges faced by civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU.
  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    23
    October
    2018
    As a very modern human rights catalogue containing many rights not found in established bills of rights, the Charter indeed looks good on paper. Those familiar with the main principles of EU law can usually quickly recite that the Charter is always binding on the EU, and binding on Member States only when they are "implementing EU law". But what does this often-quoted language from Article 51 of the Charter actually mean?
Products
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).
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.
10
June
2021
The year 2020 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 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.
10
June
2021
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 reviews major developments in the field in 2020, 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. This year’s focus chapter explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fundamental rights. The remaining chapters cover: the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma equality and inclusion; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; access to justice; and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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.
16
December
2020
All language versions now available
20 July 2021
The EU is founded on the values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. Yet these values, and discussions on fundamental rights at the EU and Member State level, can seem remote in people’s daily lives. With this in mind, FRA explored what people understand, know and experience with respect to their fundamental rights in practice. The resulting data provide comprehensive and comparable evidence on these aspects.
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.
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.
Greece needs solid, sustained support and solidarity as it faces great migration challenges, says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty after 2 days of meetings in Athens with authorities.
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.
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) welcomes the amendment of its founding Regulation, adopted by the Council of the EU today following a proposal by the European Commission and the consent by the European Parliament. The revised Regulation strengthens the Agency's mandate and introduces a number of technical amendments. These will allow FRA to even better promote and help protect the fundamental rights of all people across the EU.
FRA hosted a visit from the Turkish Bar Association on 24 March.
FRA was part of the European Economic and Social Committee’s annual civil society days.
FRA seeks contractors to provide fundamental rights research and analysis in all EU Member States, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. The deadline for call for tenders has been extended to 19 April.
On 24 February, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty spoke at the UN-EU high-level policy dialogue on protecting the safety of journalists, media freedom and pluralism in the European Union.
FRA Director was on mission in Brussels from 9 to 11 February 2022 to speak at the conference “Safeguarding fundamental rights in the digital age” organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, DG Justice and Consumer Protection.
On 8 December, FRA presented Charterpedia, the agency’s database on information related to the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter to the staff at the European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU).
FRA held an online information session together with the European Commission for its Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) about funding for projects related to the EU Fundamental Rights Charter and strategic litigation.
On 7 December, the FRA Director addressed the EU NGO Forum. This year it focused on a human rights-based recovery from the pandemic.
FRA attended the annual meeting of cooperation focal points of regional human rights mechanisms on 2 December. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights organised the event. The meeting focused on how to coordinate the work of regional offices responsible for promoting and protecting human rights as well as cooperation with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is with great sadness that FRA notes the passing of the noted Czech human rights champion and former FRA Management Board member, Petr Uhl.
FRA presented findings from its report on the fundamental rights impact of the EU’s counter-terrorism Directive to EU and national experts during the Council Terrorism Working Party on 10 November and at the European Commission on 22 November.
FRA’s Director visited the United Nations in Geneva on 18 November.
Today, the nine European Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies came together to wrap up the activities of the network in 2021 and present its key achievements. The event also gathered high-level representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, European External Action Service, the General Secretariat of the Council, as well as the current Slovenian Presidency of the Council and the upcoming French one.
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.
On 7 May, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) organises the fourth Fundamental Rights Dialogue – a live debate that gives young people an opportunity to voice their fundamental rights concerns and discussed ways to solve them. The event will take place in Paris and will be live-streamed.
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FRA will join the Council of Europe conference ‘Speaking Human Rights Online’ in Brussels.
On 12 April, FRA will meet a group of 30 students from the French National Institute for local Studies (INET).
On 6 April, FRA will run a webinar on the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and how civil society organisations can make use of it.
What is the future for business and human rights?
FRA’s Executive Board will meet on 11 March via videoconference.
On 28 February, FRA Scientific Committee will meet for its 56th meeting (online).
On 24 February, FRA’s Director will speak during the opening panel of the UN-EU high-level policy dialogue ‘Protecting the safety of journalists, media freedom and pluralism in the European Union: challenges and opportunities’.
On 8 February, FRA will contribute to a high-level panel discussion during the closing of the Winter Academy.
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FRA will speak at the 2022 Winter Academy on ‘human rights go local: what works’.
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FRA will take part in two European Commission workshops that aim to help prepare a legislative proposal on binding standards for Equality Bodies.
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FRA’s Executive Board and Management Board will meet via videoconference on 16 and 17 December.
FRA will join a webinar on 10 December organised by the municipality of Helsinki. The event will look at the human rights-based approach in local government and the Human Rights City initiative. FRA will introduce its framework for Human Rights Cities, how it is linked to EU policy developments and how it can support cities to reinforce human and fundamental rights.