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

Products
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?
1
October
2018
This note draws attention to the recent trend of criminalising search and rescue operations (SAR) in the Mediterranean Sea carried out by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other private entities. This includes seizing rescue vessels, as well as arrests for crew members, in some EU Member States. Most of such incidents concerned NGOs operating in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
1
October
2018
With this Opinion, FRA aims to contribute to the European Parliament's own-initiative report on the “Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the EU institutional framework”, being prepared in the Parliament’s Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO). The request aims at understanding the interaction between the Charter’s implementation at national and EU level, and whether there are “instruments, mechanisms and practices” available at EU level to assist Member States to better implement the Charter.
26
September
2018
These 10 keys sum up the core points
communicators and practitioners in various fields
raised in FRA’s expert meetings, practitioners’
seminars and focus groups in 2017 and 2018.
This video blog by FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty is released periodically and will address burning fundamental rights themes.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty focuses on ways to push back against challenges to our human rights system.
6
June
2018
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FRA will speak at the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (Deutscher Jugendhilfetag), Europe’s biggest child and youth welfare summit, on 18 May.
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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.
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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.