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
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?
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.
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.
Two days of stimulating discussions, over 145 different sessions, 6 locations – that was the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 in a nutshell. With over 3,000 people joining the Forum in Vienna and online, it was the biggest human rights event in Europe this year.
Today at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) together with representatives of several European cities unveils a new Framework for Human Rights Cities in the EU.
FRA held a webinar with its civil society network, the Fundamental Rights Platform to present its ‘Protecting civic space in the EU’ report.
On 28 September, FRA issued an update of its data on the accreditation status and mandates of National Human Rights Institutions.
FRA’s Management Board elected Rick Lawson as its new Vice-Chair on 24 September. He will take office on 11 October.
Staff from intergovernmental organisations and EU institutions responsible for cooperation with civil society and for supporting human rights defenders met online on 23 September.
FRA’s Director was in France to discuss topical human rights issues and to explore continued cooperation, in particular during the upcoming French Presidency of the EU.
Civil society organisations across the EU provide services, engage in communities, raise awareness, advocate on behalf of others and hold authorities to account. But they face threats, attacks, funding cuts and disproportionate restrictions. These are just some of the challenges human rights civil society organisations face in some parts of the EU, and the Coronavirus pandemic has worsened their working conditions, highlights a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). FRA calls on policymakers to foster a more conducive working environment for civil society, helping to realise all human rights for all.
FRA held a webinar on 16 September with over 50 civil society organisations from its Fundamental Rights Platform.
FRA spoke at an anniversary event of La Strada International about civic space challenges in the EU for human rights civil society organisations.
FRA joined an online meeting of Swedish cities, regions, and other local-level stakeholders on human rights.
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.
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.
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’.
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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.
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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.