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
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 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. 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.
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.
In his latest vlog 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-
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.
-
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.
-
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.