10 December 2021

Video blog by Michael O'Flaherty: international human rights day

In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty points to the urgent need to work towards a fairer society and asks us all, as we go forward, to work less for people in the struggle for equality, but much more with them.


10 December is International Human Rights Day, and this year the theme is the eradication of inequality.

It’s a great topic.

Never before has such a light been shone at how unfair our societies are.

But that said, I don’t like how it’s framed – it’s too abstract.

I’d rather that on 10 December, we talk about people.

I’d like to talk about the Roma child that I’ve encountered who has been sent home to distance-learn without internet, without a computer, in really problematic conditions.

I think of those older migrants that I’ve met who are locked up, just because they crossed a border without the right paperwork.

I think of people with disabilities who’ve been completely overlooked as authorities take actions in response to the COVID crisis.

These are the people we must struggle for as we head towards a more fair society.

Now, I pledge one thing to you today, and that is that my agency – the EU Fundamental Rights Agency – will continue to give top priority to gathering the evidence; getting the data to inform all of us as we rise to the challenges.

And I’d ask of all of us – you and me – that as we go forward, that we work less for people in the struggle for equality, but much more with them, so that we can build the future together. Thank you.