In Europe, human rights defenders are boosting their efforts in bringing cases before national and European courts to ensure our freedoms remain intact. Whether defending our right to protest and speak out against injustice, or portray LGBT families in children’s books, civil society organisations (CSOs) bring our human rights to life by stepping in when they come under threat.
To support their incredible work, Liberties is excited to announce the publication of our handbook, “Relying on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights for Human Rights Litigation”, an introductory guide on how to tap the potential of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (‘the Charter’) and EU law to litigate human rights violations in the EU.
Created for civil society organisations (CSOs) and human rights defenders, the handbook compliments our Charter litigation training programme rolled out to our members since last year as part of Liberties’ broader capacity building project STRIVE, supported by the European Union.
The handbook includes:
- An introduction to the basic features of the Charter and a hands-on approach on how it can be used for human rights litigation.
- An exploration of the concrete relevance of the Charter to advance human rights, zooming in on privacy and data protection, discrimination and intolerance and civic space.
- Advice and tips on Charter litigation-related advocacy, framing and campaigning.
The inspiration to develop both the training and the guide reflects Liberties’ ambition to further promote the Charter and EU law as a strategic tool to protect and advance a wide range of human rights across the EU. Only coming into force in 2009, the Charter is one of the most progressive human rights instruments in existence, encompassing a wide range of civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights in a catalogue of 50 fundamental rights and principles.
The Charter stands out because it explicitly references a number of rights that are very rarely included in the texts of national constitutions or human rights instruments, such as the rights of children, the elderly and persons with a disability, the right to protection of personal data and the privacy of communications, the right to asylum, or the freedom and pluralism of the media. Its binding force upon all member States of the European Union also makes it a unique instrument to help achieve concrete progress and pave the way to sanctions when states do not live up to their obligations.
“Better knowledge on when and how to rely on the Charter for human rights litigation will help CSOs and human rights defenders bring stronger cases before national and European courts to advance human rights on the ground”, said Linda Ravo, Advocacy Advisor at Liberties.