One month to go: There’s still time to have your say
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, they will share their experience and knowledge.
Politicians will mingle with business leaders, artists, sports people, the media and workers from the frontline of human rights.
They will hear stories from the most marginalised and abused as they try to tackle topics ranging from ageism to antisemitism; from the refugee crisis to how robots and AI impact rights; and from education in schools to diversity in sport.
They will hear from human rights defenders how rights in law and becoming rights in practice, with hands-on best practice examples for others to follow and share.
It will be a beacon for the EU’s founding principles of fairness, justice and equality.
But while the three-day Forum will be the focus of their efforts, the real action will take place in neighbourhoods across Europe. The places where you live.
We want to hear the voices and opinions of the millions across Europe. Tell us what human rights mean to you and what you need to fully enjoy your rights. We need to keep it real so policy makers, business and professionals and others can make a difference for you.
You can follow the event through live updates on this website and join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #RightsForum18. Your comments will help shape the discussions.
Human rights are universal, but there are many views about what we hope the Forum will achieve. Here is a sample of hopes and aspirations of some attendees.
Disability rights campaigner Zara Todd, from Edinburgh, wants the Forum, “to encourage out of the box thinking, create interesting and innovative connections and to engage new and under-represented voices in human rights discussions.”
Dutch director and editor Els van Driel hopes it will force, “the EU to respect the human rights treaties in migration deals and policies, such as the right to asylum in Europe.”
Alexander Hoefmans, of the Belgium Ministry of Justice, says: “The 2018 Forum comes at a critical time ahead of European elections that will shape the policies of our continent for the coming years. Fundamental rights are an integral part of all policies.
To follow and contribute to the Forum online, search for #RightsForum18, or to participate in any of the six tracks, look for: #RebuildingTrust, #SharedNeighbourhoods, #RightsCulture, #MyRightsAreYourRights, #RightsTech or #HumanRightsMatter.