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The EU's emphasis on action to prevent torture is reflected in its substantial funding of projects by civil society actors around the world. The prevention of torture and the rehabilitation of torture victims is a major priority for funding under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).


The European Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Human rights and democracy are inextricably connected. Only in a democracy can individuals fully realize their human rights; only when human rights are respected can democracy flourish.

Death Penalty

In 2009, at least 5679 executions were carried out in 18 nations, and more than 50 countries still retain the capital punishment for a variety of crimes. The EU considers the death penalty as a cruel, inhuman and irreversible punishment, which fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

Economic and Social Rights

The European Union attaches great importance to the interdependence of all human rights. The indivisibility of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights are fundamental tenets of international human rights law, and was already illustrated by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) which contains both dimensions.

International Justice

The consolidation of the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as preservation of peace and the strengthening of international security - in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and as provided for in Article 11 of the Treaty of the EU - are of fundamental importance to, and a priority for the Union.

LGBTI, women, children, minorities

The EIDHR supports anti-discrimination movements' actions namely the ones involving LGBT, Women, Children and Minorities rights. In this section you will find details information on the differents themes as well as on indigenous people rights.

Electoral Observation

Elections are an essential component of a functioning democracy. Actions supporting genuine elections can make a major contribution to peace and development. They take the form of electoral assistance projects and EU election observation missions.