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 Agency cooperates with the EEA and Norway Grants as a strategic partner in the protection, promotion and fulfillment of fundamental rights.
The cooperation aims to support the design and implementation of EEA and Norway Grants funded programmes and projects in selected EU Member States. It also aims to raise awareness on fundamental rights, combating social exclusion and discrimination, and supporting related civil society initiatives.
29
July
2020
As we enter the second half of 2020, the constraints on our daily lives
brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic have become a firm reality.
New local lockdowns and the reintroduction of restrictive measures
prompted by fresh outbreaks of the virus are a stark reminder that
COVID-19 continues to shape our lives – and our enjoyment of fundamental
rights – in profound ways. There is compelling evidence of how the
pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges in our societies. This FRA
Bulletin outlines some of the measures EU Member States adopted to
safely reopen their societies and economies while continuing to mitigate
the spread of COVID-19. It highlights the impact these measures may have
on civil, political and socioeconomic rights.
28
July
2020
This paper presents key findings from FRA’s second
consultation of its Fundamental Rights Platform,
focusing on the experiences of civil society
organisations (CSOs) working on human rights.
FRA started an annual consultation with organisations
participating in its platform in 2018.
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.
24
June
2020
Summary version now available
07 December 2020
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey collected data from 35,000 people
about their experiences, perceptions and opinions on a range of
issues that are variously encompassed by human rights. This report
presents a small selection of the survey results. It focuses on findings
with respect to respondents’ opinions about human – or fundamental
– rights; their views and perceptions on the functioning of democratic
societies – as a pillar on which human rights can flourish; and on their
thoughts on and engagement with public services that have a duty
to enforce human rights law and to protect people’s rights.
19
June
2020
In 2019, the International Organization for Migration estimated that 1,866 people have died or gone missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution or to pursue a better life. This is an average of five people per day. In recent years, a significant proportion of migrants in distress at sea have been rescued by civil society vessels deployed with a humanitarian mandate to reduce fatalities and bring rescued migrants to safety. Since 2018, however, authorities in some EU Member States started viewing civil society-deployed rescue vessels with hostility. As a reaction, national authorities initiated about 40 administrative and criminal proceedings against crew members or vessels, including seizing the latter. In some cases, rescue vessels were blocked in harbours due to flag issues or the inability to meet technical requirements.
Michael O'Flaherty introduces FRA's survey of 35,000 people on attitudes to human and fundamental rights.
11
June
2020
This focus takes a closer look at the application of
the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European
Union, which has been legally binding for 10 years.
At EU level, it has gained visibility and sparked a
new fundamental rights culture. At national level,
awareness and use of the Charter are limited. Courts
increasingly use the Charter, showing the impact of
this modern instrument. But its use by governments
and parliaments remains low. For instance, there
is little indication of anyone regularly scrutinising
national legislation that transposes EU law for
compatibility with the Charter.
11
June
2020
Now available in Macedonian and Serbian
13 November 2020
The year 2019 brought both progress and
setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection.
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2020 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.
In so doing, it provides a compact but informative
overview of the main fundamental rights challenges
confronting the EU and its Member States.
11
June
2020
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2020 reviews major developments in the field in 2019, 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 how to unlock the full potential of the EU Charter of 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.
February
2020
In today’s media landscape the way in which journalists
and editors receive, process and publish news
is constantly changing. Journalists face immense
time pressure, as news frequently breaks online To facilitate training on the coverage of migration
news, this Trainer’s Manual is a tool to be used together
with the e-Media Toolkit.
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.
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapter about Solidarity.
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.
Improve law and policies by always checking the applicability of the Charter!
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapters starting with Dignity.
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapter about Solidarity.
Improve law and policies by always checking the applicability of the Charter!
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue and its chapters starting with Dignity.
Check out the EU's modern human rights catalogue! The Charter celebrates this year its 10th anniversary since it became legally binding!
This video, shot at the recent Human Rights Communicators' Network Workshop, highlights many comments from the inspirational discussions on how elements of FRA's 10 keys to effectively communicate human rights can influence our day-to-day work.
Talk by Sarah Wishart of Rights Info at the Human Rights Communicators' Workshop held at FRA on 3-4 October 2019.
Talk by Szczepan Orlowski of Animorph at the Human Rights Communicators' Workshop held at FRA on 3-4 October 2019.
Talk by Flavia Kleiner of Operation Libero to the Human Rights Communicators' Workshop held at FRA on 3-4 October 2019.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty gave the opening talk at the Human Rights Communicators' Workshop held at the Agency on 3-4 October 2019.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty focuses on the migration situation in the Mediterranean Sea and makes three proposals.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: Ten years after the UN’s Disability Convention entered into force, 2018 saw it continue
to drive advances in disability rights across the EU.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: The Charter of Fundamental Rights is the EU’s bill of human rights.
These rights and principles have to be respected and promoted by EU
institutions and Member States whenever they act within EU law.
Approaching the Charter’s 10th anniversary, Member States do not
yet make full use of the potential it offers.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: Implementing fundamental and human rights helps create a sustainable future.
Here the EU plays a key role.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty focuses on press freedom and the importance of an independent media for the society.
This video blog by FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty is released periodically and will address burning fundamental rights themes.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty focuses on ways to push back against challenges to our human rights system.
In this third edition of his video blog FRA Director, Michael O'Flaherty, focuses on bolstering our human rights communications to underline why human rights matter to us all.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty speaks about the role of civil society and the FRA’s mechanism for cooperation with civil society, the Fundamental Rights Platform. “A healthy civil society is vital for the protection and promotion of fundamental rights. (…) Without civil society, we are not able to achieve our goals, we are not able to deliver our results. (…) We can cooperate to ensure that our Europe of values remains and gets ever stronger.”
This video message by Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament, was recorded on the occasion of FRA's 10th anniversary.
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.
Civil society organisations across the EU provide services, engage in communities, raise awareness, advocate on behalf of others and hold authorities to account. But they face threats, attacks, funding cuts and disproportionate restrictions. These are just some of the challenges human rights civil society organisations face in some parts of the EU, and the Coronavirus pandemic has worsened their working conditions, highlights a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). FRA calls on policymakers to foster a more conducive working environment for civil society, helping to realise all human rights for all.
FRA held a webinar on 16 September with over 50 civil society organisations from its Fundamental Rights Platform.
FRA spoke at an anniversary event of La Strada International about civic space challenges in the EU for human rights civil society organisations.
FRA joined an online meeting of Swedish cities, regions, and other local-level stakeholders on human rights.
The FRA Director was in Brussels from 1 to 3 September to present the Fundamental Rights Report 2021 to the European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
The year 2020 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection.
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’s Fundamental Rights Survey explored what people understand, know and experience with respect to their fundamental rights in practice.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty addressed the European Economic and Social Committee’s Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship Section on 21 June. He presented different FRA tools that can support EESC members in their work.
FRA gave online training to 40 representatives of small-sized, grassroots and local human rights NGOs on communication strategies and campaigning.
The yearly joint FRA-European Judicial Training Network training on the EU Fundamental Rights Charter in national proceedings took place from 7 to 8 June.
The annual European Judicial Training Network study visit of judges and prosecutors to FRA this year went virtual.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty and the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić held wide-ranging talks on 10 June in Vienna.
FRA held an online webinar on 5 May with its National Liaison Officers on its upcoming Framework of Commitments for Human Rights cities.
FRA exchanged views on civil society space with the European Parliament’s LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG).
The summary of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey report on What do fundamental rights mean for people in the EU? is now available in all EU languages, except German, plus Macedonian and Serbian. The German version will follow soon.
The Fundamental Rights Report’s focus chapter on unlocking the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter’s full potential is now also available online in Polish, Portuguese and Slovenian.
FRA will present its Fundamental Rights Forum to the Council of the EU on 27 September.
FRA will hold a webinar with its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), to present and discuss the findings and related opinions from its new report on ‘Protecting civic space in the EU’.
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FRA Director will visit the Council of Europe on 21-22 September in Strasbourg.
FRA’s Scientific Committee will discuss the Agency’s reports on 17 September.
FRA will hold a webinar with civil society organisations from its Fundamental Rights Platform on 16 September.
On 2 September, FRA’s Director will present key findings from its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the EU Parliament.
The Young Bled Strategic Forum will host the third Fundamental Rights Dialogue. It takes place in Bled, Slovenia, on 31 August.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty and the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić agreed and exchanged letters on further developing cooperation for the European Union Fundamental Rights Information System (EFRIS). EFRIS brings together data about the acceptance of human rights treaties as well as assessment by monitoring mechanisms.
FRA’s Director Michael O’Flaherty will meet Matteo Mecacci, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in Vienna on 5 July. They will discuss how to further strengthen cooperation between FRA and ODIHR and exchange views on respective current and future priorities.
On 30 June, FRA will present key findings from its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 during a workshop organized by the European Policy Institute in North Macedonia, the agency’s research contractor in the country. North Macedonia’s Minister of Justice, its observers to FRA’s Management Board and National Liaison Officer will join the event.
FRA will speak on 22 June during an online workshop on human rights-based public services.
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The FRA Director will visit the Netherlands from 23 to 25 June. He will meet the head of the European Commission Representation in The Hague, Didier Herbert, representatives of civil society organisations and FRA’s Dutch Management Board member, Rick Lawson on 23 June.
FRA invites Slovenian civil society organisations active in its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), for an online exchange on 18 June.
On 10 June, FRA will launch its Fundamental Rights Report 2021. The report reviews the main developments of human rights protection in the EU in 2020. This year’s focus section outlines the importance of a rights-based approach in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.
On 4 June, the EU Delegation to Albania brings together key stakeholders from Albania for a webinar.
FRA’s Director will speak during the opening session of the World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute.
FRA will host a national round-table discussion on 25 May on the role of the EU Fundamental Rights Charter in the EU. The European Commission Representation in Poland is FRA’s partner for the event.
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Over two days, human rights communicators will gather for their annual network meeting to share know-how and expertise. This year, the focus will be on tackling disinformation.
FRA will speak at the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (Deutscher Jugendhilfetag), Europe’s biggest child and youth welfare summit, on 18 May.
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FRA will take part in the Council of Europe’s discussions on the central role National Human Rights Institutions play in promoting and protecting human rights in Europe.