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
    19
    December
    2023
    All EU funds must be spent in a way that respect fundamental rights. The EU spends billions of euros on creating jobs, economic growth, sustainable development and improving people’s lives. To prevent funds from being spent in ways that directly violate people’s fundamental rights, the EU strengthened the conditions how funds can be spent in 2021. This report looks at how the newly introduced conditions related to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be upheld in practice. It analyses the potential role of national human rights institutions, ombudsperson institutions and equality bodies. These safeguards can advance compliance with fundamental rights.
  • Periodic updates / Series
    6
    February
    2024
    The 2024 update on NHRIs accreditation status and mandates also covers their engagement in the monitoring of fundamental rights compliance in the use of EU funds at national level. Moreover, the update also shows how NHRIs make use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in their work when advising government or in education, training and awareness raising activities. Since its 2020 report 'Strong and effective national human rights institutions – challenges, promising practices and opportunities', the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has been regularly tracking the accreditation status and mandates of NHRIs.
  • Periodic updates / Series
    18
    October
    2023
    Civil society organisations struggle to maintain an environment safe from threats and attacks. FRA’s sixth annual update on civic space explores the challenges for organisations across the EU. While there has been significant development since FRA began monitoring the situation in 2018, civil society organisations remain under immense pressure. Abusive lawsuits and attacks against those involved in migrant search and rescue at sea are just some of the challenges identified. This report presents ways forward to protect civil society and human rights.
  • 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.
Products
29
June
2022
Since September 2021, two National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) had a change in their accreditation status, one applied for accreditation and five have had a change in tasks covered by their mandates. This new 2022 update provides an overview of developments in the accreditation status and mandates of NHRIs from September 2021 to May 2022. It is a follow up of FRA’s 2020 report on ‘Strong and effective national human rights institutions – challenges, promising practices and opportunities’ and the September 2021 update. It covers the 27 EU Member States and three candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia).
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. He argues that it is only if we all work together, with human rights as our roadmap, that we can make our way towards a peaceful future.
8
June
2022
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field in 2021, 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.
8
June
2022
This focus looks at the impact of the pandemic on social rights. It examines the measures in national recovery and resilience plans that address the social vulnerabilities among a variety of population groups in the EU, including women, children and young people in situations of vulnerability, people with disabilities, older people, Roma and people in precarious working conditions.
8
June
2022
All language versions now available
14 September 2022
The year 2021 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 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.
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.
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.
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.
A delegation from Moldova visited FRA on 16 January. It was an opportunity to present the Agency to the delegation and showcase how it works with examples.
FRA’s provides guidance on organising and running training on the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter. The trainer’s manual is based on a series of cases studies.
EU funds must respect fundamental rights and are a key driver for equality and inclusion. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) calls on the EU and its Member States to involve national human rights institutions, ombuds institutions and equality bodies in the programming, implementing and monitoring of EU funds. This will prevent EU money from being spent in ways that undermine or directly violate our rights.
On 10-11 December, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) took part in the Human Rights Conference organised by the city of Vienna. Highlighting the Agency’s long-standing partnership with the city of Vienna, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty delivered opening remarks on the role of cities in protecting and promoting human rights.
FRA presented its work and institutional cooperation on civic space at an internal forum of the European Commission’s NEAR Directorate-General. It also spoke about its work on entry, stay and support in the EU for human rights defenders.
Between 20 and 21 November, FRA joined senior representatives of the nine EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies in Malta. The Agencies’ representatives took stock of the implementation of the five thematic priorities of the EU Asylum Agency’s 2023 Presidency of the network.
On 9 November, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty met with over 20 civil society organisations active in Brussels for a roundtable discussion. The meeting aimed to hear their concerns about the current fundamental rights situation.
FRA took part in an online meeting on 9 November on defending civic space in the Balkans. The Balkan Civil Society Development Network organised the event.
On 12 October, FRA presented an overview of civic space challenges in the EU at the conference ‘Where do we stand with the European civil society strategy?’. FRA gave a preview of the findings from its civic space report.
The FRA Director visited the Council of Europe from 4 to 6 October.
FRA presented an overview of civic space challenges in the EU at the conference ‘Where do we stand with the European civil society strategy?’.
On 18 September, FRA took part in roundtable discussions on establishing a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in Czechia.
On 11 September, the Secretariat of the Council of the EU hosted a training session on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights for Justice and Home Affairs Councillors.
FRA took part in the Digital Human Rights Tracking Tools and Databases Expert Roundtable online. The Geneva Human Rights Platform held the meeting on 14 and 15 September.
FRA joined the OECD’s Civic Space Advisory Group meeting on 8 September.
FRA took part in a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ Network at EU Asylum Agency in Valetta on 5 September.
FRA contributed to the OSCE’s human dimension committee meeting on 12 September.
FRA spoke at a seminar on civil society policy on 12 September.
The newly-appointed Scientific Committee of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency elected John Morijn as its Chair and Kirsten Roberts Lyer as its Vice-Chair for a term of one year.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty presented two new FRA reports to the European Parliament and the Council.
FRA will give an online presentation on its work and activities to a delegation of Turkish authorities on 25 January.
-
The next Fundamental Rights Forum will take place in Vienna on 11 and 12 March 2024. It will unite policymakers, thought leaders, human rights defenders, corporate executives, artists, and other influential figures with a simple goal: to embrace human rights for Europe’s brighter future.
-
The CharterXchange is a forum for legal practitioners and stakeholders to explore current and potential applications of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and its role in driving positive changes for people’s rights. It will convene annually in December.
On 21 November, the representatives of the EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies’ Network will meet in Malta.
On 17 November, FRA will conduct a pilot foresight exercise to identify emerging issues, trends, opportunities, and risks associated with safeguarding fundamental rights related to climate change and environmental protection.
FRA will speak at the opening panel of the European Commission’s conference on ‘A thriving civic space for upholding fundamental rights in the EU: a framework for future action’.
FRA will host an expert meeting for its new project on ensuring the right to environmental protection.
-
On 9 and 10 November, FRA will organise a meeting of its National Liaison Officers in Vienna. The meeting will bring together government representatives from 27 Member States and three Candidates Countries (Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia).
The Vice Chair of FRA's Management Board, Rick Lawson, will speak on behalf of the FRA Director at the 10-years Anniversary event of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions.
The Annual General Meeting of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Platform will take place online on 2 October.
FRA Director will visit the Council of Europe on 5 October in Strasbourg.
FRA Director will be a keynote speaker at the 2023 OSCE Warsaw Human Dimension Conference Council on 2 October in Warsaw.
FRA's Executive Board and Management Board will convene on 29 September.
The meeting will take place online on Monday 2 October 2023 from 11:00-15:30 CEST.
-
FRA will present the Slovene translation of FRA's Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration in Ljubljana on 11 and 12 September.
The Council of Europe Programme for human rights education for legal professionals (HELP) will host a hybrid conference on 6 July.
On 3 July, FRA will run a webinar for the Fundamental Rights Platform to present and discuss the key highlights, opinions and findings from FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2023.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will present FRA’s upcoming report on protecting human rights defenders at risk to the European Parliament’s Human Rights subcommittee (DROI) on 28 June.
-
The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU will convene experts from Member States, EU institutions and other stakeholders for the Stockholm Symposium on Democracy and the Rule of Law.
On 21 June, FRA will welcome a delegation from the Serbian judiciary.