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
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.
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.
19
June
2019
In 2018, some 2,299 people are estimated to have died or gone missing at sea while crossing the sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution or to pursue a better life. This is on average more than six people per day. Before mid-2017, a significant share 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. In 2018, however, authorities in some Member States viewed civil society-deployed rescue vessels with hostility. As a reaction, they seized rescue vessels, arrested crew members, and initiated legal procedures against them (more than a dozen altogether). In some cases, rescue vessels were blocked in harbours due to flag issues.
12
June
2019
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has applied across the European
Union (EU) since 25 May 2018. One year on, this paper looks at how the new
regulation has affected the daily work of civil society organisations (CSOs).
6
June
2019
This year’s focus explores the interrelationship between the human and fundamental rights framework and the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) of the global Agenda 2030 in the context of Member States’ and the EU’s internal policies.
It takes a closer look at the SDGs related to reducing inequality (SDG 10) and promoting peace, justice and strong
institutions (SDG 16).
6
June
2019
The year 2018 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental
rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019 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 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.
22
March
2019
Member States have an explicit duty to promote the Charter’s application. These country-sheets
support that effort by giving examples of the Charter’s use and highlighting
how it adds value.
26
November
2018
Civil society organisations play a critical role in democracies, and the
importance of their work is widely recognised in international legal and policy
documents. However, they face many obstacles when it comes to their day-to-day
work. Based on the results of an online consultation with FRA's civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), in September 2018, this paper complements the January 2018 report.
26
October
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2018 Fundamental Rights Forum
brought together more than 700 human rights champions at a time of
widening social divisions and increasingly polarised politics across
Europe.
23
October
2018
ES, HU, LT, LV, SK, SL and PT versions now available
18 November 2020
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?
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.
Last week, FRA's Director visited Ljubljana from 15 to 18 March to discuss assistance during the upcoming EU Presidency of Slovenia.
FRA has just released key findings from its consultation with its Fundamental Rights Platform on the impact of COVID-19 measures on the work of human rights civil society.
FRA seeks feedback from users on a range of its products, such as reports, datasets and handbooks.
FRA presented findings from its COVID-19 impact bulletins during a conference on the state of EU citizens’ rights. It drew attention to the impact of the pandemic on the fundamental right to family life for citizens moving about the EU.
Six EU Member States volunteered to review the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in their countries in 2021. These countries are Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
FRA’s Director attended a Frontex Management Board meeting on 10 November which addressed key fundamental rights issues.
The EU’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies are stepping up their mutual cooperation on digitalisation. Earlier today, the Heads of JHA Agencies came together for a virtual annual meeting, chaired by Eurojust, where they had a first exchange on Artificial Intelligence and digital capacity building, training tools and innovative learning. With the COVID-19 pandemic having served as a catalyst for teleworking and videoconferencing, the agencies agreed to explore avenues for closer cooperation in order to shape the digital future of law enforcement, border management and justice that respects fundamental rights.
On 3 November, the FRA Director met Ambassador Nuno Brito virtually, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the EU, to discuss FRA’s support to the upcoming Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The EEA and Norway Grants and FRA discussed online their cooperation at their annual meeting on 20 October.
The EU’s newly established Sustainable Finance Platform held its first meeting from 15 to 16 October. The Platform, based on a new EU regulation, consists of experts on environmental, sustainable finance and human rights.
On 29 September, international organisations exchanged information on business and human rights-related activities.
Staff from intergovernmental organisations and EU institutions responsible for cooperation with civil society and for supporting human rights defenders met online on 28 September to exchange information about ongoing and upcoming activities.
EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies exchanged experiences on 24 September on how they apply the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter.
On 24 September 2020, FRA’s Management Board formally decided to extend the contract of Michael O’Flaherty as Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) for another three years.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty gave a keynote speech in Salzburg on 28 August on fundamental rights during the COVID 19 pandemic.
National human rights institutions (NHRIs) are crucial for the protection and promotion of fundamental rights across the EU but their full potential remains untapped, finds a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It suggests next steps to boost NHRIs’ impact and efficiency, such as providing adequate resources, strong powers and clear mandates in line with the United Nations Paris Principles.
Verbal threats, physical attacks and lack of funding are some of the main challenges for civil society organisations working on human rights in the European Union. Moreover, almost half say that the situation in their country has deteriorated in the last year. These findings come from the second annual consultation, carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) among civil society organisations across the EU.
On 9 July, the CoE-FRA-ENNHRI-EQUINET collaborative platform on social and economic rights discussed the societal challenges triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nine Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies (CEPOL, EASO, EIGE, EMCDDA, eu-LISA, Eurojust, Europol, FRA and Frontex) have been supporting the Member States and EU institutions in meeting the unprecedented challenges resulting from the outbreak of the virus – each agency in its respective area of work, in both the short term and the long term.
On 13 July, Elise Barbé takes office as the new Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Sunniva McDonagh will join her as Vice-Chairperson. FRA’s Management Board elected them during its meeting in June 2020.
On 21 April, the Association of Polish cities will host a virtual event for mayors and vice-mayors.
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On 22 and 23 March, FRA’s National Liaison Officers (NLOs) will come together via video conference to discuss FRA’s cooperation with EU Member States.
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UNECE will hold an online workshop on poverty measurement from 25 to 26 March. FRA will present innovative approaches put into practice by various EU Member States. The workshop aims to provide hands-on training and address the capacity-building needs expressed by countries on adapting their surveys.
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FRA will present findings from its recent artificial intelligence and fundamental rights report during a two-day training webinar.
On 17 March, FRA will present selected findings from its surveys during the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) General Assembly and Annual Conference.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will be one of the inaugural speakers at an event to discuss challenges and the future for civil society organisations during and after COVID-19.
FRA will present findings from its work on the impact of COVID-19 on fundamental rights during the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development. It will be part of discussions on 10 March on how human rights can guide sustainable recovery. FRA will also draw on its work on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in the EU. The event focuses on how to ensure that the principle of leaving no-one behind is entrenched in COVID-19 recovery strategies and plans.
FRA will give a presentation during a meeting on victims’ participation in criminal proceedings and access to justice. FRA will draw on its recently-published results from the Fundamental Rights Survey, as well as other FRA research.
FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty, will address the online high-level international conference on ‘Human Rights Go Local: What Works’ on 9 February. He will join discussions on building bridges with local governments on human rights.
On 23 February, the Fundamental Rights Agency’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.
The Agency’s Scientific Committee will meet on 5 February.
On 1 February, editorial committee of FRA’s annual Fundamental Rights Report will meet virtually. The committee members will elect a chairperson.
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FRA will contribute to the first edition of the online ‘Human rights go local: what works’ event Winter Academy. It will bring expertise from its work on Roma indicators, equality data and cooperation with human rights cities. The event will look at how to base policy-making at the local level on scientific evidence through tailored human rights research. It aims at building bridges between all governance levels, disciplines and regions. It allows knowledge sharing among human rights researchers, local authorities, representatives of International, European and EU organisations, and policy-makers across regions.
On 28 January, FRA will meet Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. It forms part of his visit to the EU Institutions. It will focus on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. It will also look at whether the funds will be used in line with human rights and address vulnerable groups. The Special Rapporteur will examine the impact of EU policies on the eradication of poverty in the region. He will present the report to the Human Rights Council session in June 2021.
On 1 February, FRA’s Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) will offer civil society organisations the possibility to connect with FRA experts, policy-makers and international organisations. They will discuss solutions to the most pressing human rights concerns experienced by civil society across the EU.
FRA's Director will speak at an event dealing with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) hosted by FRA’s Italian Management Board member. He will draw on the Agency's 2020 report on NHRIs.
On 25 January, the European Commission representation to Albania is hosting an event with key stakeholders to exchange information about FRA's work.
The EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) will hold an online webinar on policing during the pandemic.
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The Agency’s Executive Board and Management Board will meet online on 10 and 11 December 2020.