FRA: Inequalities, harassment and prejudices are on the rise across Europe


FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019, published on 6 June 2019, addresses the issues of rising inequalities, harassment and prejudices across Europe. The fundamental rights of many individuals within the EU is at risk despite considerable progress to combat it. This year, the Fundamental Rights Report highlights the success and failures of human rights protection within the past year in Europe.

Some key milestones to protect one’s human right were the UN’s Disability Convention (CRPD) 2018 with the participation of all EU Member States, and the EU’s provisional agreement on the proposed European Accessibility Act. These millstones focused on promoting and protecting the human rights of citizens across Europe. Through a global perspective, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides guidelines to create a more equal, just and peaceful world. The report also identified the following issues:

  • Discrimination against children with disabilities at private schools, is a concern which was identified by the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The study found that children with disabilities were 31% more likely to move to a public school from a private school.
  • Roma are still experiencing discrimination in access to education. Anti-Gypsyism continues to be a key barrier in the inclusion of Roma across the EU. In Czechia, Hungary and Slovakia, there have been ongoing initiatives in preventing the segregation of Roma children in separate schools and classes to promote more inclusive education systems.
  • Access to education for many migrant children is still a key issue. In Greece, the Council of State rejected the application for the access of children from refugee camps into public education schools.

The report has highlighted some possible solutions to the issues of inequalities, harassment and discrimination in education are:

  • Ensuring that education institutions are a safe place, free from homophobic and transphobic verbal and physical harassments which is increasing within school settings;
  • Introducing measures to prevent the harassment of LBGTI students in schools;
  • Providing reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities who otherwise struggle to find one for educational purposes;
  • Upgrading the educational curricula, encouraging community building and training to staff members in education to be better aware of sensitive issues and to create more inclusive content in schools.

ETUCE strongly believes that education is a fundamental human right as stipulated in Article 26 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and should be accessible to everyone regardless of their abilities and educational needs, socio-economic and citizenship status. The ETUCE Resolution on ‘Setting the priorities to develop the ETUCE Action Plan for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion’, stresses the importance of offering high quality and inclusive education in the learning and teaching environment free from bullying and discrimination.