FRA: Fundamental Rights Protection Bodies Need More Support

By European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights fra, PRNE
Thursday, May 6, 2010

VIENNA, May 7, 2010 - Four new reports issued today by the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights (FRA) give evidence that data protection authorities,
equality bodies and national human rights institutions across the European
Union are in need of additional support.

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The reports reveal that these key players in fundamental rights
protection and promotion in the EU often lack resources, are not sufficiently
independent or have weak mandates. In addition, some of the most vulnerable
groups in society are unaware of their existence; only 16% of ethnic minority
and immigrant respondents to the FRA's EU-MIDIS survey
( were able to think
of any organisation offering support to people who have been discriminated
against. 82% of EU-MIDIS respondents who were discriminated against in the
12 months prior to the survey did not report their experience anywhere.

It is important to acknowledge that much progress has been made in this
area; the bodies established to protect and promote fundamental rights in the
EU have enormous potential. But they need to be equipped with the resources,
authority and independence to function effectively. People across the EU are
very concerned about their right to data protection, for example, but if data
protection authorities do not have the power to take action against those who
infringe that right, we run the risk that the right becomes meaningless.

Morten Kjaerum, FRA Director

    The FRA has released:

    - a survey on rights awareness that in part relates to
      equality bodies (based on EU-MIDIS data),
    - a report on data protection authorities,
    - a report on national human rights institutions and
    - a report on the impact of the Racial Equality Directive

    Notes to editors

    The FRA has three key functions:

     - to collect information and data on fundamental rights;
     - to provide evidence-based advice to the EU and its Member States;
     - to promote dialogue with civil society in order to raise public
       awareness of fundamental rights.

    Previous FRA reports are available at
    For further information, please contact the FRA media team:
    E-mail: ,
    Tel.: +43-1-58-030-671.


For further information, please contact the FRA media team: E-mail: media at , Tel.: +43-1-58-030-671, Mob.: +43-664-8858-1511 (Blanca Tapia).

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