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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.