Monday, 18 April 2011

European Union Fundamental Rights Agency: Hot Topics at 4th Fundamental Rights Platform Meeting

The 4th annual meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) on April 14-15 in Vienna brought together around 180 civil society representatives from across the EU and over 30 FRA experts.

Key themes of the meeting included:
- Access to Justice: How civil society organisations can help victims to claim their rights;
- Participation: The role of civil society organisations in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);
- Co-operation between the FRA and FRP.

Ilze Brand-Kehris, Chair of the FRA Management Board, emphasized the
importance of dialogue between the FRA and the platform participants (instead of "parallel monologues") and introduced a long-term strategy of developing indicators for fundamental rights compliance.

At a "Talking Table" on Human Rights Education, Aydan Iyigüngör, FRA Human Rights Education Coordinator, suggested to promote the integration of explicit references to human rights education and training into European Commisssion funding programmes - in cooperation with the FRP participants and other HRE stakeholders.

Apart from plenary discussions, participants were offered 30 min slots to present ideas, projects or issues that are important to them, and to discuss these with the other participants and the FRA staff. This led in many cases to very controversial sessions on conflicting fundamental rights. FRP participants recommended to pay closer attention to conflicting rights in the future work of the FRA.

Several DARE member organisations among the participants of the Fundamental Rights Platform took this opportunity to catch up on recent developments in Democracy and Human Rights Education and share the results of the most recent DARE project "Democracy and Human Rights Education in Adult Learning".

DARE member Humanity in Action presented recently developed Human Rights Dilemma Simulations as an innovative tool to link human rights education with history learning and civic education. The simulations are available for download at

DARE members Chrysis Michaelidis (left, European Social Forum Cyprus),
Anne Stalfort (Humanity in Action Germany),
and Gabriella Patriziano (Volontariato Internazionale per Sviluppo)
present the DARE GRUNDTVIG project report "Democracy and Human Rights Education in Adult Learning".