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
    July
    2023
    Across the world, human rights defenders protect and uphold human rights in some of the most challenging situations. In some countries they face worrying levels of threats and attacks, intimidation and harassment. This report outlines how human rights defenders can enter and stay in the EU when they need protection. It suggests how EU institutions and Member States could use the flexibility in existing legal provisions and provide shelter for defenders who seek protection.
  • 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.
  • 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
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.
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 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.
FRA took part in a network meeting of EU Agencies Heads of Communication and Information.
FRA took part in a network meeting of EU Agencies Heads of Communication and Information.
FRA attended a conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on ‘Civil society organisations defending and strengthening European democracy’.
On 30 and 31 March, FRA participated at the International Public Information Directors Roundtable in Stockholm.
FRA held a hybrid meeting with NHRIs and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) from 21 to 22 March. FRA also invited its National Liaison Officers and EU Charter Focal Points.
FRA developed practical guidance for cities to help them improve their efforts to respect human rights.
FRA held its regular meeting with the National Liaison Officers (NLOs) online on 23 March.
FRA participated in the first meeting in 2023 of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ Network in Valetta on 17 March.
The Executive Director of the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), Montserrat Marin López, and the Executive Director of the EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA), Nina Gregori, presented the highlights and priorities of the outgoing and incoming presidencies of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ Network (JHAAN) at the European Parliament today.
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ updated Charter app promises a one-stop-shop for fundamental rights for mobile devices.
The EFRIS advisory group brings together the main partners in the EU Fundamental Rights Information System (EFRIS) project.
Many cities throughout the European Union hosted people fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. To gauge how cities addressed Europe largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) approached selected cities in the EU.
FRA’s Director took part in the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on 26 and 27 January in Stockholm.
The recently-elected Special Rapporteur on environmental defenders, Michel Forst, met FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty on 19 January in Vienna.
On Human Rights Day, 10 December, the FRA Director delivered the annual distinguished guest lecture at Leiden University.
On 16 December, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty spoke at the launch of the OECD’s first global report on the protection and promotion of civic space.
On 7 December, FRA contributed to annual Human Rights celebration organised by the municipality of Vienna and the Vienna Human Rights Office.
FRA provided training on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to law drafters in Finland. It was part of a training course on fundamental and human rights when drafting laws.
FRA contributed to a two-day multi-stakeholder dialogue conference on civic space.
On 22 and 23 November, the FRA Director met with Swedish government officials in Stockholm in the run-up to the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
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Once again, FRA is cooperating with this year’s 'this human world', Vienna’s international human rights film festival. FRA supports the screening of three films on human rights.

On 21 November, FRA will hold a virtual lecture for students of the European University of Cyprus.
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FRA’s Director will visit the Council of Europe from 15 to 16 November in Strasbourg.
On 8 November, FRA will host a delegation from the Fundamental Rights Sector Coordination (FRSC) Project in Turkey’s European Affairs Directorate.
The annual meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform will take place online on 10 November.
On 21 October, FRA will add concluding remarks during a launch event on how cities operationalise the Leave no one behind principle in their local policies.
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FRA will hold its regular meeting with the National Liaison Officers in Vienna.
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From 6 to 7 October, FRA will host an expert event on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Vienna.
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FRA’s Director will visit the Council of Europe on 10-11 October in Strasbourg.
FRA will speak at the European Economic and Social Committee’s (EESC) annual conference on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
On 28 September, FRA will welcome a delegation of law students from ELSA Jena in Germany.
On 29 September, FRA will welcome a delegation of students from the Volda University in Norway.
On 6 September, FRA management will meet a Council of Europe delegation.
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FRA will host a high-level meeting of fundamental rights leaders and experts in Rust, Austria from 7 to 8 September.
On 1 September, a delegation of students will visit FRA from the Stichting Libertas International.
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FRA will contribute to a retreat on building a European civic space at the European Forum Alpbach from 31 August to 2 September.
On 31 August, FRA’s Director will be one of the panellists at this year’s European Forum Alpbach.
On 2 September, FRA will participate in a national round-table discussion on how to ensure fundamental rights compliance when using EU funds.
On 14 July, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will present the Fundamental Rights Report 2022 to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
FRA will exchange views with Human Dimension experts from the EU Delegation and EU Member States Permanent Representations to the OSCE.