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Publication date: 17 June 2020

Video blog Michael O'Flaherty: Fundamental Rights Survey (166.57 MB)

It's become common to hear people say that human rights don't matter anymore, that they don't grip people, that they're not at the heart of how we see our societies.

That really matters because human rights is the glue with which we rebuilt our societies after the horrors of the second world war.

So we at the Fundamental Rights Agency went out to find out if that was true.

We asked 35,000 people, their attitudes to human and fundamental rights. The results, which we are launching in events on the 24th and the 25th of this month, are revealing and also very encouraging. 9 out of 10 people say human rights matter for our society. An impressive 70% have heard of either the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights.

But of course there are also problems.

A lot of people, up to 50%, say human rights is about other people, or other countries. And we see that the more marginalized you are, the more poor you are, the more you suffer in our societies, the less is your belief in the importance of human rights.

What we need to do now is obvious.

In the first place we need human rights put back at the heart of policymaking here in the EU and more widely.

We need politicians to talk up for human rights, name human rights as they roll out initiatives in healthcare, in education, in employment.

We need literate media that can tell balanced human rights stories. We need to demonstrate that human rights is about everyone in our society.

So join us on the 24th and the 25th in a live web streamed conference to learn more about this survey and see how we together can use those findings to build a better world.