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
    July
    2022
    Civil society is a key component of Europe’s fundamental rights architecture. From supporting people affected by the pandemic to helping those fleeing the war in Ukraine, civil society plays a crucial role in upholding people’s rights. In so doing, it contributes to a healthy rule of law culture. FRA’s civic space report provides an overview of the many ways in which civil society contributes to the checks and balances that underpin the rule of law.
  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    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?
  • 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.
Products
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.
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! The Charter celebrates this year its 10th anniversary since it became legally binding!
12
November
2019
The Charter is most effective, and has a real impact on people’s lives, when parliaments, governments and courts at local, regional and national levels all actively apply it. The national sphere is particularly relevant. A strong fundamental rights architecture and committed national governments and parliaments are key to letting the Charter unfold its potential at this level. Civil society organisations (CSOs) and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) are also crucial given their contributions to the protection and promotion of Charter rights.
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.
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.
In 2017 and beyond, the Fundamental Rights Agency will focus on today’s most urgent human rights quandaries, from migration and asylum, through xenophobia and discrimination, to the very contemporary challenges of privacy, surveillance and hate speech in the digital age.
On 24 February, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty spoke at the UN-EU high-level policy dialogue on protecting the safety of journalists, media freedom and pluralism in the European Union.
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.
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.
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.