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What’s in store at the
Fundamental Rights Forum 2021?

tumsasedgars ©, 2019

The Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 will debate the most pressing challenges to our rights today.

Focusing on Europe’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic, the debates will be streamlined into six main themes.

Have a look at what is in store and join us at the Forum as we strive to build stronger, more inclusive societies in Europe.


1. A human rights oriented digital age

How can we embrace the benefits of an increasingly connected world, without damaging our fundamental rights?

New technologies such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition create challenges for many rights, not just privacy and data protection. Moreover, Covid-19 has further sped up digital transformation.

The Forum will explore new ideas and share best practices to create a better digital space: one with transparency and fairness for all at its heart.


2. Social rights are human rights

The revised European Social Charter sets out our social rights such as access to quality public services, education or employment.

These moral, legal and societal rules have all the characteristics of human rights. The environment crisis, growing inequalities and latterly the pandemic have all impacted them.

With that in mind, what policies and actions should be put in place to protect our social rights? The Forum will explore ways for Europe to fulfil people’s needs, promote inclusion and build solidarity.


3. Fighting hate and discrimination

Twenty years on from the Racial Equality Directive, millions of people in Europe continue to experience harassment, violence and discrimination in their daily lives.

Prejudice today can be motivated by many factors – from race to religion, from gender identity to disability. Roma, Jews, LGBTI people, migrants, Black people, people with disabilities and women all face prejudice in one way or another.

Hate and discrimination do not just affect the victims, they affect the society as a whole.

The Forum will look at how we can tackle hate and discrimination while fostering inclusive, cohesive societies. Together we can help promote diversity and core EU values.


4. Strengthening human rights practice

The Charter of Fundamental Rights is the EU’s bill of rights. In the 10 years since it became legally binding, the Charter has prompted important progress. Yet much remains to be done.

Meanwhile rights defenders often carry out their work in the face of threats and intimidation. Over a third of civil society organisations consider the conditions in their country to be ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’.

The Forum will explore ways to support and protect rights practitioners in their work. It will also discuss how to raise awareness of the Charter in practice.


5. People on the move

Respecting migrants’ human rights remains one of the top challenges in the EU today.

We still see deaths at sea and hear about the hardships migrants need to endure. Among those migrants are thousands of children, many of them without any family or friends.

Integration of migrants and refugees is another challenge, as many struggle to get residence permits, access housing, healthcare and education.

The rights of people moving within Europe are also not always respected.

The Forum will weigh the need for actions to ensure respect for everyone’s fundamental rights. What should these actions look like? We want to know your views.


6. Defending the rule of law and securing access to justice

Rule of law is the cornerstone of protecting our fundamental rights and European values.

Yet there are many challenges emerging across Europe – from threats to civil society to the universal independence of courts. This also has an impact on people’s access to justice.

The Forum will discuss and develop strategies to rebuild trust in legal institutions, to protect the most vulnerable in society and to hold the powerful to account.

Have you got an idea for a session that fits one of these themes?
We want to hear from you today.
Submit your proposal and join the great fundamental rights debate.

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