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Highlights

23 September
“Our Charter of fundamental rights is not optional,” says European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans. “Fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law are the three pillars that are the bedrock of the European Union. “The EU institutions are bound by it and so are the Member States when...

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23 September
“Our Charter of fundamental rights is not optional,” says European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans. “Fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law are the three pillars that are the bedrock of the European Union. “The EU institutions are bound by it and so are the Member States when...
22 September
“Human rights cannot be viewed as an optional extra that can be sacrificed. They are the cornerstone of European identity; if we lose them we will lose Europe.” Said Fundamental Rights Forum Chair, Michael O’Flaherty, in 2016. And it’s as valid today as it was then, as the human rights community...
16 September
A vibrant civil society is a fundamental building block for safeguarding human rights. It plays a crucial role in securing citizens’ fundamental rights and giving voice to those that cannot speak for themselves. Economic and political support for a strong civil society is ever more important at a...
30 August
What kind of society do we want? Do we want a society where judges are selected, and act to please their political masters and to eliminate political opponents? Or do we prefer a society where checks and balances work and where each power of the state respects the independence of the other? Many of...
29 August
One Union but 28 Member States. One Directive on Free Movement in the EU but many interpretations. Free movement is one of the EU’s crowning glories with 17 million EU citizens enjoying their right to live in another EU country. But being an EU citizen from another Member State and being a national...
28 August
Trust is the fundamental glue that holds society together. It provides solid foundations enabling institutions to build a better, stronger, more inclusive world. When people believe that their institutions are honest, transparent and work for the interest of the entire community, that bond of trust...
13 July
Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights are under pressure around the world, including Europe. At this turning point, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents an opportunity to re-energise the drive for a more equal world through the...
15 May
Every morning when I enter the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the ‘countdown’ in the hall reminds me how many days remain until the Fundamental Rights Forum (FRF) 2018 starts. In 4 months from now the second FRF will kick off in Vienna, in the promising venue of an old former factory, Metastadt...
21 September
Moatasem Althafea studies at Vienna’s Economics and Business University. Like other students, he has an active social life. But his story could have been so different. He is also a refugee from Iraq. In 2017, over 3,100 people died or went missing at sea trying to reach Europe. Of those that arrive...
15 September
Populist parties across Europe have been eroding the support that mainstream political parties used to enjoy, as recent elections have shown. What if there was a pro-rights party that could tap into this democratic change? Cue Volt. It’s a Europe-wide party that stands for a new and inclusive way...
07 September
For Eleanor Roosevelt it was “in small places, close to home.” The neighbourhood, the school, the office or factory. Seventy years on after she delivered those words to the United Nations, marking the start of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they hold as true now as they did then. In...
31 August
Our cities are getting more diverse. But how do we create a melting pot where we grow stronger together, rather than a more divided society in danger of overheating? The # ShareNeighbourhoods track of the 2018 Forum will explore ways to encourage all everyone living in the EU to pull together and...
11 June
Social diversity—ethnic, linguistic, religious, ‘racial’—has long existed. Diverse societies have been formed by a range of factors. These include historic patterns of border making, regional and global migrations, the enslavement and forced transportation of people, and the prior presence of...
20 September
If integration is a two-way street most of the traffic seems to be one-way, as Europeans think mainly about the impact on their own community. Spare a thought for how alien Europe’s secular ways can appear to migrants arriving from their more traditional societies. “Many come from religious...
13 September
Have you ever fancied becoming a top movie director? Participants at the 2018 Forum will learn the tips and tricks that screen greats would rather keep secret. We have teamed up with this human world , organisers of the leading international film festival for human rights, to create a movie...
12 September
Pollution kills - over one million children each year die from air and water pollution alone. Climate change, shrinking biodiversity and plastic waste threatens us now. But future generations are also at risk. But what has all that got to do with human rights? There is growing awareness of the...
05 September
Your food, clothes, hotel room and offices all share one thing: they may have involved criminally-exploited workers. Criminal labour exploitation is widespread in many sectors. In agriculture, construction, hotel and catering and manufacturing it is particularly common. It Europe, it affects...
03 September
Tinkling piano music and slow motion shots depicting the brutality of modern warfare are guaranteed to get weepy movie goers reaching for their tissues. Film is a powerful tool for sparking human emotion. And great communicators know that emotion drives action. But Andrea Kuhn, director of the...
20 August
Seventy years ago, the world agreed that “dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace”. So why do we struggle to live up to that vision today? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 set out, for the first...
01 June
Sport: a natural ally to human rights Sport is one of the best ambassadors to promote human rights and inclusion for all. Through sport, people learn values that cross gender, nationalities, age or even physical condition. It is now paramount to build stronger bridges to advocate for sport as a...
10 September
Imagine if nearly everyone in Belgium and the Netherlands lived in poverty. Well, that is the situation facing almost 25 million children across the EU. Although the picture varies from country to country, child poverty is everywhere in Europe in every single Member State. . In some countries the...
06 September
In today’s Europe, being black far too often equates to being discriminated against or harassed in your daily life. Activities, most of us take for granted, like employment, schooling, housing or just going out are a potential source of angst. Across the EU, 39% of black people had been...
24 August
Europe’s diversity is one of its most valuable assets. Not only is it common courtesy to respect and embrace our differences, but it also makes sound financial sense. A recent study by McKinsey of 300 multinationals found that most ethnically diverse companies are also the very best performing...
27 July
“[A]lthough the Universal Declaration on Human Rights proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal, it is evident that the enjoyment of all human rights diminishes with age, owing to the negative notion that older persons are somehow less productive, less valuable to society and a burden...
19 September
Interactive technologies are the new go-to solution in communicating about human rights. They allow stakeholders and donors to immerse themselves in and experience greater empathy with the issues at hand. That’s why their use is expanding so rapidly into areas where the human story counts the most...
14 September
We’re all used to technology reshaping our lives but what happens when so-called intelligent systems lead to mistakes? The common thinking is that IT solutions reduce human error. They make objective informed decisions based on available data. But when flawed data are used then problems arise. “...
22 August
Concern about the impact of technology on the way we live, work and interact is not new. But the pace of technological change is faster than ever before. And the role of big businesses in defining and then policing the ethics associated with their own creations is now coming under increasing...
18 September
In less than a week, THE human rights in the EU conversation will kick off in Vienna at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018. It promises three days of engaging conversations about the EU’s most pressing human rights challenges. It will address “the big questions of how we make this the fair, just and...
17 September
As someone who cares about rights, you're particularly open to hearing new voices and new ideas. But do you believe these new perspectives can change the world? The 2018 Forum’s Ideathon shines a light on emerging creative talent. Our ten creatives in residence: artists, musicians and YouTube stars...
11 September
There’s now just two weeks to go to the Fundamental Rights Forum. And there has never been a more important time to rally human rights defenders. The rise of populism across Europe is confirmed by the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats taking a big share of the vote and causing an earthquake in...
04 September
Now it’s time for your voice to be heard, as the 2018 Forum sparks an EU-wide conversation about the future of human rights. Our partners at Debating Europe are helping facilitate this by involving their 3.5million-strong audience online. They pose the question: “Are human rights under threat in...
27 August
Everyone now has a voice through social media. So human rights champions need to master the art of digital storytelling. Compelling stories from YouTube’s Creators for Change have been viewed more than 60 million times. And their vlogs are really making a difference. They have sparked conversations...
25 August
The Fundamental Rights Forum opens its doors to 500 of the world’s brightest human rights champions in exactly one month’s time. But whether or not you are attending, what will you do to make a difference? Delegates will gather in Vienna’s 100-year-old METAStadt on September 25. For three days,...
23 August
Hard-won human rights are under threat. Populist movements stoke anti-immigration panic and xenophobia, while press freedom, freedom of speech and assembly are stifled. A recent FRA report identified risks from terror laws, budget cuts, smear campaigns and even attacks on activists. Together they...
29 June
I have always loved books and have never quit reading. Books have a power to pull me in, so that I could laugh, cry, get angry, get inspired. Somehow they helped me make some important decisions. Something similar holds true for people. Throughout our life we meet different people, and hear...

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