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
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.
30
November
2020
This report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health as Europe faces the ‘second wave’ of the Coronavirus pandemic. It highlights how these may affect fundamental rights, especially social 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".
3
September
2020
Summary version now available
21 January 2021
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are a vital part of the
country-level human rights protection system. This report, published
10 years after FRA’s first in-depth study on NHRIs, looks at such
bodies in the EU, as well as the Republic of North Macedonia, the
Republic of Serbia, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland. It explores relevant developments, challenges to
their effectiveness and ways to maximise their impact.
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. 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.
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.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty speaks about the importance and power of hope accompanying the work of FRA in 2020. Particularly after a troubled start of the year.
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapter about Freedoms.
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapter about Equality.
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.
A group of human rights defenders from across the EU visited FRA on 11 November.
Between 8 and 9 November, the FRA Director visited Malta.
FRA spoke at two online conferences on civil society last week, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
On 20 October, FRA met French civil society organisations who are part of its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform.
FRA spoke during a panel on civil society and philanthropy for the next decade on 19 October, highlighting challenges to civil society space in Europe.
FRA presented on 23 October the key findings of its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 during a seminar on multilateral diplomacy in international organisations.
On 13 October, FRA brought together the National Liaison Officers network.
FRA’s Director was in Italy for a series of meetings on 19-20 October to discuss setting up Italy’s National Human Rights Institution.
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 reviews major developments in fundamental rights protection, identifying achievements and areas of concern.
FRA launched its new Charter e-learning courses. These courses provide judges and other legal practitioners with practical guidance on when and how the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights applies at the national level. It includes the Charter e-guidance.
Two days of stimulating discussions, over 145 different sessions, 6 locations – that was the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 in a nutshell. With over 3,000 people joining the Forum in Vienna and online, it was the biggest human rights event in Europe this year.
Today at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) together with representatives of several European cities unveils a new Framework for Human Rights Cities in the EU.
FRA held a webinar with its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform to present its ‘Protecting civic space in the EU’ report.
On 28 September, FRA issued an update of its data on the accreditation status and mandates of National Human Rights Institutions.
FRA’s Management Board elected Rick Lawson as its new Vice-Chair on 24 September. He will take office on 11 October.
Staff from intergovernmental organisations and EU institutions responsible for cooperation with civil society and for supporting human rights defenders met online on 23 September.
FRA’s Director was in France to discuss topical human rights issues and to explore continued cooperation, in particular during the upcoming French Presidency of the EU.
The Agency’s Scientific Committee will meet on 3 December via videoconference.
FRA will join a webinar on the rise of Human Rights Cities in the EU on 3 December.
On 30 November, the EEA and Norway Grants, and FRA will have their annual meeting in Oslo.
FRA will join an online discussion on 26 November on methodologies for annual reports.
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As part of its work on civic space, FRA consults annually civil society organisations from across the EU about their experiences.
The FRA Director will attend the annual meeting of Heads of EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies in Warsaw on 22 November.
On 16 November, FRA and the European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional & External Affairs (CIVEX) will hold their Annual Dialogue on fundamental rights.
FRA’s Director will visit the United Nations in Geneva on 18 November.
FRA will present its Human Rights Cities framework to the Finnish Association of Municipalities on 11 November.
FRA was invited to provide training on the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter at a staff training event organised by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, together with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland.
FRA will speak in a session on fundamental rights and civic space during a conference on civil society on 5 November.
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FRA’s Director will visit Ireland from 3-5 November.
Against the background of the upcoming French EU Presidency, FRA will exchange views with French civil society organisations that are part of its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) on 20 October.
FRA will present on 23 October the key findings of its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 during a workshop of the advanced training course on building diverse and inclusive workplaces in Europe.
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FRA, in cooperation with Equinet and ENNHRI, will host a virtual seminar for legal experts of Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from across Europe.
FRA’s Director will virtually join celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the European Social Charter.
On 13 October, FRA will hold a meeting with its National Liaison Officers.
An official delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will visit FRA on 11 October.
FRA will speak at a webinar on how are urban initiatives and actions supporting green, just and productive cities in the EU?
FRA will present its Fundamental Rights Forum to the Council of the EU on 27 September.