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Human rights and EU

On December 10 will celebrate the International Day of Human Rights, which marks this year the 66th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations Assembly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In this context, it should be recalled that the European Union, as it seeks to uphold the rights of citizens in all areas of civic life, political or social.

The EU mission

Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. Values that are the foundation of the European Union that wants to promote and defend the rights of citizens from injustice or violation of their rights.
The Union’s policy on human rights includes, therefore, the civil, political, economic, social and cultural. It also aims to promote the rights of women and children, as well as of minorities and displaced persons.
Thus, human rights are an essential component of the relations of the EU and Stavros Lambrinidis, Special Representative of the European Union (EUSR) for Human Rights aims to enhance the effectiveness and the visibility of the European policy of human rights.

EU policy initiatives

In that sense the initiatives undertaken by the EU in the field of human rights are numerous. The European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights are a few examples.

* The European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights, originally called the Convention for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is a treaty signed by the member states of the Council of Europe in November 1950 and entered into force in September 1953. This agreement, which refers to the Universal Declaration of human Rights aims to protect human rights and freedoms of individuals by allowing judicial review of compliance with these rights.

* The charter
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, adopted in 2000 and became legally binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, brings together in a single text all the rights of people with European citizens enjoy. Thus, all the European institutions must respect the rights enshrined in the charter. The latter is sub divided into six titles, namely, dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizenship and justice and encourages, for example, the fight against all forms of discrimination, protection of rights children and minorities.


With the aim to defend and promote human rights, the Commission set up several European funds available to NGOs, associations, local authorities or schools.

Summary: Grants for new initiatives, pilot projects on the education of youth rights
– Identify responses to violations of human dignity
– Giving young people the means to develop activities
– Develop educational tools and methodological resources for use by education practitioners for Human Rights
– Promote and support pilot projects and training activities
– Encourage practices and innovative partnerships

* JUSTICE PROGRAM (2014-2020)
Summary: Grants for projects to pursue the establishment of a European area of justice in particular by promoting judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters
– Facilitate and support judicial cooperation
– To support and promote judicial training
– Facilitate effective access to justice for all

* EIDHR – EUROPEAN INSTRUMENT FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS Summary: Grants for projects to develop and consolidate democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
– Strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental rights in the countries at risk
– Strengthening the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democratic reform
– Supporting actions on issues of human rights and democracy
– Supporting and strengthening regional and international plan for the protection and promotion of human rights, justice, the rule of law and democracy

Summary: Grants for projects aimed at creating a space where equality and human rights are promoted, protected and effectively implemented
– To promote the effective implementation of the principle of non-discrimination
– To promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities
– Promoting equality between women
– Prevent and combat all forms of violence
– Promote and strengthen the rights deriving from the citizenship of the Union

Moreover, many prizes such as the Sakharov Prize for freedom of mind which rewards individuals or organizations who defended human rights or the Samir KASSIR Prize for freedom of press that rewards journalists working for the defense of the rule of law in the Arab and Mediterranean countries. The Commission therefore undertook many initiatives in favor of human rights and efforts must remain.


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