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Human Rights

Human rights are universal and indivisible. Promoting and protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, both within its borders and worldwide, is a fundamental principle of the EU.

Human rights were enshrined in the founding treaties of the EU and were reinforced by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Lisbon Treaty, committing the EU to the protection of fundamental rights for all citizens.

Outside its borders, the EU promotes human rights internationally, along with adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. The EU holds regular dialogues on human rights with more than 30 countries. The issues covered in each dialogue are decided on a case-by-case basis, but regularly include supporting nascent democracies, combating torture, eliminating all forms of discrimination such as that based on gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, furthering children’s and women’s rights, abolishing the death penalty, promoting civil liberties like the freedom of expression and religion, fighting human trafficking, and enhancing the role of civil society. These dialogues involve representatives from government ministries, police and prison authorities, ombudsmen, national parliaments and other officials.

Unfortunately, respect for human rights cannot be taken for granted. That is why the EU is one of the world's largest donors to programmes supporting human rights. It also backs those who promote integral freedoms and democracy, defending the defenders. Today, the EU is one of the most important and effective voices in international discussion on fundamental rights.


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Human Rights: Source