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 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.
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.
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.
The FRA Director was in Brussels from 1 to 3 September to present the Fundamental Rights Report 2021 to the European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
The year 2020 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection.
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’s Fundamental Rights Survey explored what people understand, know and experience with respect to their fundamental rights in practice.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty addressed the European Economic and Social Committee’s Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship Section on 21 June. He presented different FRA tools that can support EESC members in their work.
FRA gave online training to 40 representatives of small-sized, grassroots and local human rights NGOs on communication strategies and campaigning.
The yearly joint FRA-European Judicial Training Network training on the EU Fundamental Rights Charter in national proceedings took place from 7 to 8 June.
The annual European Judicial Training Network study visit of judges and prosecutors to FRA this year went virtual.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty and the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić held wide-ranging talks on 10 June in Vienna.
FRA held an online webinar on 5 May with its National Liaison Officers on its upcoming Framework of Commitments for Human Rights cities.
FRA exchanged views on civil society space with the European Parliament’s LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG).
The summary of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey report on What do fundamental rights mean for people in the EU? is now available in all EU languages, except German, plus Macedonian and Serbian. The German version will follow soon.
The Fundamental Rights Report’s focus chapter on unlocking the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter’s full potential is now also available online in Polish, Portuguese and Slovenian.
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.
FRA will hold a webinar with its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), to present and discuss the findings and related opinions from its new report on ‘Protecting civic space in the EU’.
-
FRA Director will visit the Council of Europe on 21-22 September in Strasbourg.
FRA’s Scientific Committee will discuss the Agency’s reports on 17 September.
FRA will hold a webinar with civil society organisations from its Fundamental Rights Platform on 16 September.
On 2 September, FRA’s Director will present key findings from its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the EU Parliament.
The Young Bled Strategic Forum will host the third Fundamental Rights Dialogue. It takes place in Bled, Slovenia, on 31 August.
FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty and the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić agreed and exchanged letters on further developing cooperation for the European Union Fundamental Rights Information System (EFRIS). EFRIS brings together data about the acceptance of human rights treaties as well as assessment by monitoring mechanisms.
FRA’s Director Michael O’Flaherty will meet Matteo Mecacci, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in Vienna on 5 July. They will discuss how to further strengthen cooperation between FRA and ODIHR and exchange views on respective current and future priorities.
On 30 June, FRA will present key findings from its Fundamental Rights Report 2021 during a workshop organized by the European Policy Institute in North Macedonia, the agency’s research contractor in the country. North Macedonia’s Minister of Justice, its observers to FRA’s Management Board and National Liaison Officer will join the event.
FRA will speak on 22 June during an online workshop on human rights-based public services.
-
The FRA Director will visit the Netherlands from 23 to 25 June. He will meet the head of the European Commission Representation in The Hague, Didier Herbert, representatives of civil society organisations and FRA’s Dutch Management Board member, Rick Lawson on 23 June.
FRA invites Slovenian civil society organisations active in its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), for an online exchange on 18 June.
On 10 June, FRA will launch its Fundamental Rights Report 2021. The report reviews the main developments of human rights protection in the EU in 2020. This year’s focus section outlines the importance of a rights-based approach in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.
On 4 June, the EU Delegation to Albania brings together key stakeholders from Albania for a webinar.
FRA’s Director will speak during the opening session of the World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute.
FRA will host a national round-table discussion on 25 May on the role of the EU Fundamental Rights Charter in the EU. The European Commission Representation in Poland is FRA’s partner for the event.
-
Over two days, human rights communicators will gather for their annual network meeting to share know-how and expertise. This year, the focus will be on tackling disinformation.
FRA will speak at the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (Deutscher Jugendhilfetag), Europe’s biggest child and youth welfare summit, on 18 May.
-
FRA will take part in the Council of Europe’s discussions on the central role National Human Rights Institutions play in promoting and protecting human rights in Europe.
On 21 April, the Association of Polish cities will host a virtual event for mayors and vice-mayors.