FRA

WHAT’S NEW

  1. a) FRA saddened by terrorist attack in Manchester
  2. b) Interoperability working group at European Parliament
  3. c) FRA presents its independent living indicators at Inclusion Europe event
  4. d) Bridging the arts and human rights worlds
  5. e) Fundamental Rights Report 2017 due out
  6. f) Panel discussion on Muslims in the media
  7. g) Communicating common values, fundamental rights and freedoms
  8. h) Exploring cooperation with KACIID
  9. i) Child-friendly justice report presented in Estonia
  10. j) Respecting labour standards in EIB operations
  11. k) Improving detention conditions in the EU
  12. l) Strasbourg events focus on NGO law and national human rights action plans
  13. m) Conference gets together for a strong civil society in Europe
  14. n) Capacity-building training on child rights

 

  1. FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES
  2. a) Forging ever closer ties with Finland to help promote fundamental rights
  3. b) FRA Management Board reflects on strengthening cooperation with national human rights institutions and bodies
  4. c) Expert meeting discusses secondary movements of asylum seekers
  5. d) FRA media toolkit at International Press Institute World Congress
  6. e) Looking at fundamental rights and ETIAS
  7. f) Reassessing the EU’s security policy
  8. g) Seeking feedback on FRA’s monthly migration overviews

Please find below the latest information.

  1. WHAT’S NEW

 

  1. FRA saddened by terrorist attack in Manchester

On 22 May tragedy struck Europe once again, leaving young people and their families victims of terrorism. “The Agency is saddened by this tragic attack in Manchester, and extends its sympathy to the families and friends of the victims,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty, on behalf of the Agency and all its staff. “Once more, we see young concert goers the target of terrorism. Once more, we see death and injury at an event that should bring memories of joy and not anguish. These should be times to cherish, and not fear.” Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future. We must ensure that their safety is protected. But for their sake as well as our own, we must always remain true to the principles of human rights that form the core of European society. The attack in Manchester is an attack on us all. Our response must be must be to stand by our belief in human rights.

  1. Interoperability working group at European Parliament

On 29 May, the FRA Director will take part in a presentation of the results of the European Commission’s High-Level Working Group on Interoperability (HLEG) at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The European Commissioner for Security, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator will also speak at this event in Brussels. (Contact: Ann-Charlotte Nygård)

  1. FRA presents its independent living indicators at Inclusion Europe event

The Agency’s work on the right to independent living will be shared during Inclusion Europe’s conference Europe in Action on ‘Love, life and friendship on 29 May in Prague. The event brings together more than 200 self-advocates, families and professionals from across Europe. Prior to the thematic event Inclusion Europe is hosting a roundtable on monitoring the implementation of the right to live independently. The Agency will present its work on human rights based indicators and inform about its fieldwork on drivers and barriers for the transition from institutional to community-based support. (Contact: Nevena Peneva)

  1. Bridging the arts and human rights worlds

The Agency is organising a high level expert meeting on 29-30 May in Vienna, bringing together artists, curators, scholars, and human rights practitioners for an exploration of the intersection between artistic practice and human rights. The meeting aims to debate essential questions about the relationship between art and human rights; explore models of collaboration between arts and human rights actors; identify how FRA can support artistic freedom of expression; explore how arts may affect rights; and see how arts could contribute to the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018 and FRA’s work in promoting rights. (Contact: Aydan Iyigüngör)

  1. Fundamental Rights Report 2017 due out

On 30 May, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency will publish its Fundamental Rights Report 2017. Ten years after FRA’s establishment, this year’s Fundamental Rights Report reflects on the highlights and shortfalls of human rights protection in the EU over the last decade. It also summarises and analyses major human rights developments in the EU over 2016, with proposals for action covering the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter and its use by Member States; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma integration; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; child rights; access to justice including rights of crime victims ; and implementing the UN’s disability convention. (Contact: Michail Beis)

 

  1. Panel discussion on Muslims in the media

On 30 May, the Agency will take part in a panel discussion in Brussels on how challenging narratives, strengthening partnerships and engaging communities can shape the public discussion of Muslims in the media. Panellists will discuss best practices and creative ways to strengthen partnerships among relevant stakeholders. The media toolkit, an Agency’s project for journalists made with journalists, will show how it intends to analyse the coverage of Muslims in the media following the principles of ethical journalism such as truth and accuracy, fairness and impartiality, humanity, and accountability. The event is being organised by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in cooperation with the European External Action Service, the European Commission, and the European Parliament’s antiracism and diversity intergroup. (Contact: Blanca Tapia)

 

  1. Child-friendly justice report presented in Estonia

On 30 May the Institute of Baltic Studies and the Estonian Ministry of Justice in Tallinn will host an event to present the Agency’s second child-friendly justice report. The objective of the event is to specifically present the children’s experiences and perspective of how they have been treated in judicial proceedings. Experts and professionals working with children who are involved in handling cases of sexual abuse, domestic violence, neglect and custody conflicts will attend. The Agency will present the comparative findings of the report. Apart from the national specific findings, the event will further cover the most recent legal developments in Estonia and focus specifically on child hearing practices. (Contact: Astrid Podsiadlowski)

 

  1. Exploring cooperation with KACIID

On 30 May, FRA will meet Ambassador Alvaro Albacete, the Deputy Secretary General of the KACIID International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna. The meeting will be an opportunity for both organisations to further explore cooperation on such areas as social cohesion, mutual respect and understanding among different religious and cultural groups. (Contact: Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos)

  1. Communicating common values, fundamental rights and freedoms

The Agency will host a high-level expert meeting from 31 May to 1 June in Vienna on how to better communicate fundamental rights and freedoms in a world that is growing increasingly intolerant. As politics becomes polarised and public discourse more populist, there is a need to do a much better job of communicating rights, of reconnecting with the general population, of demonstrating through evidence and results that human rights is about them and for them. The meeting will bring together a broad range of experts from many different fields. These include journalists from traditional and online media, satirists, human rights educators, NGO communications experts, visual designers, marketeers and advertisers, epistemologists, socio-linguists, neuroscientists, as well as experts in political communication, intercultural education, data analysis and infographics. The meeting will feed into a public report that aims to inform and guide the communications work of human rights practitioners and policy makers at every level and across a broad range of issues. (Contact: Friso Roscam Abbing)

 

  1. Respecting labour standards in EIB operations

The European Investment Bank is hosting an event in Luxembourg on 1 June as part of a series of events to promote international labour standards throughout its operations. The Agency will join a panel of experts from the International Trade Union Confederation, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Experts will showcase the importance of respecting the principles of ILO labour standards and provide examples of breaches or violations that occur in economic sectors in which the EIB operates. During the panel, the Agency will present results from its research on severe labour exploitation of foreign workers. (Contact: Alice Hamilton)

  1. Improving detention conditions in the EU

The Agency will present findings from its work on detention during an event on improving detention conditions in the EU. It will draw on its report on criminal detention and criminal procedures, as well as outline its current work on detention conditions. The event will take place from 1 to 2 June at the Academy of European Law in Trier. The event is co-funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union, and is being run in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services, the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights and the German national Agency for the Prevention of Torture. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

  1. Strasbourg events focus on NGO law and national human rights action plans

On 1 June, the Agency will take part in a meeting of the Council of Europe’s Expert Council on NGO law in Strasbourg. The meeting is being organised by the Council of Europe’s Conference of international NGOs. It will provide an opportunity to discuss collaboration between FRA and the Conference, in particular on the issue of shrinking civic space. On 2 June, the Agency will take part in a workshop on National Action Plans on Human Rights organised by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe. The workshop follows up on a similar event held in 2014 and will allow for a review of the implementation and impact of adopted action plans. (Contact:Robert-Jan Uhl).

  1. Conference gets together for a strong civil society in Europe

FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will give the keynote speech at the ‘Together for a strong civil society in Europe’ conference organised by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 6 June in Oslo. The Conference will focus on the importance of civil society for democracy and human rights, and present past and future programmes funded by the EEA and Norway Grants. Through these funds, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein contribute to strengthening civil society in Europe. The Conference will bring together representatives of NGOs and interested organisations, local governments, and research institutions from Norway and the 15 EU beneficiary states of the Grants. In his speech, the Director will speak of the role of civil society in safeguarding and promoting fundamental rights in Europe and the Agency’s work on mapping the civic space in EU Member States. In addition, the Director will meet with the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry to discuss the implementation of the cooperation arrangement, which the Agency concluded with the EEA and Norway Grants in December 2016. Norway is the main donor of the Grants, which support projects in many areas of concern to FRA, such as in the area of Roma inclusion or national implementation of human rights. (Contact: Andreas Accardo)

  1. Capacity-building training on child rights

The Agency and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Children’s Rights will hold a high level capacity-building training session on child rights at the European Parliament on 7 June. The session will be divided into different workshops covering: Children in the context of migration; Access to justice; and the situation of vulnerable children: in poverty, Roma children, children with disabilities, LGBTI children & children of LGBTI parents. FRA’s experts, together with other experts from UNICEF, PICUM, Missing Children Europe, Eurochild and ILGA Europe, will provide input and tailor-made answers relevant for the work of participants. This training session is intended for MEPs, administrators, as well as advisors and officials from the European Commission. (Contact: Astrid Podsiadlowski).

 

  1. FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES

 

  1. Forging ever closer ties with Finland to help promote fundamental rights

The FRA Director visited Finland from 22 to 23 May as the Agency continues to strengthen its ties with Member States. While there it was an opportunity to support the launch of Finland’s National Action Plan on Human Rights and meet with government ministers and the human rights community. It was also a chance to see at first hand the results of the Agency’s project on local engagement with Roma. (Contact: John Kellock)

  1. FRA Management Board reflects on strengthening cooperation with national human rights institutions and bodies

During the Agency’s latest Management Board meeting, the need to strengthen cooperation between the Agency, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, the European Network of Equality Bodies, as well as their individual members was underlined. The Chairpersons of both networks addressed the Board outlining the current situation members of their respective networks face. A new cooperation arrangement that will be developed with the networks will underpin this drive. This support should help counter the shrinking space for human rights institutions and bodies that is taking place in some Member States. Also during the meeting, the Board elected a new chairperson and Executive Board member, as the mandates of existing members draw to a close. Finland’s Sirpa Rautio will become the new Chairperson on 13 July 2017. Italy’s Filippo di Robilant will become member of the Executive Board. The Agency’s Management Board consists of independent experts appointed by the 28 Member States, an independent person appointed by the Council of Europe and two representatives of the European Commission. The Board also signed off on the Agency’s Fundamental Rights Report 2017 which will be published on 30 May. There were also discussions on the Agency’s work programmes for 2018 and 2019. The meeting took place in Vienna from 18 to 19 May. (Contact: Andreas Accardo / Barbara Jaeschke)

  1. Expert meeting discusses secondary movements of asylum seekers

On 22 May, the Agency brought together experts to discuss the fundamental rights implications of possible sanctions aiming at discouraging unauthorised secondary movements of asylum seekers. Experts from academia, Member States, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the UN’s Refugee Agency and the International Labour Organisation took part in the discussions. Various possible measures to sanction irregular secondary movements, including those withdrawing or reducing socio-economic rights, have been reviewed and assessed in light of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter and other fundamental rights standards. The expert meeting will provide input for the Agency’s project looking into the long-term impact of responses to the 2015 asylum/migration crisis. (Contact: Tamas Molnar)

  1. FRA media toolkit at International Press Institute World Congress

On 20 May, the Agency presented its media toolkit: from a fundamental rights angle at the International Press Institute World Congress on media freedom and quality journalism in the digital age. The Congress was attended by more than 300 editors and journalists debating trends and exchanging best practices on media freedom and quality journalism. At a dedicated side event, the Agency presented the media toolkit’s project as a tool for journalists to achieve quality journalism. Tips and checklists on how to include a fundamental rights angle into news coverage were discussed with the participants. The toolkit will be a web-based, mobile friendly, and educational platform that will facilitate online, peer-to peer and face-to-face learning as well as networking among journalists. (Contact:Blanca Tapia)

  1. Looking at fundamental rights and ETIAS

The Agency presented some of the fundamental rights implications related to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 16 May in Brussels. FRA’s focused on the issues related to the collection of personal data for automated processing and foreseen interoperability solutions. (Contact: Ann-Charlotte Nygård).

  1. Reassessing the EU’s security policy

On 12 May, the Agency took part in a policy meeting organised by the Centre for European Policy Studies and the European Commission, as part of the ongoing reassessment of the EU security policy. The meeting brought together experts from the academia and EU bodies, and focused on the areas of cross-border criminal investigations, information sharing, and international cooperation. (Contact: Michal Nespor).

  1. Seeking feedback on FRA’s monthly migration overviews

The Agency is evaluating its monthly overviews on the migration and asylum situation in selected EU Member States. It has asked around 70 stakeholders in Members States, EU institutions and NGOs for feedback and suggestions for improvement. The first results are expected by 26 May. The feedback will help the Agency adjust the issues, geographical scope and frequency of the reports. (Contact: Martina Huber)

 

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