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

Products
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.