OK, so I finally stopped procrastenating and wrote this post. Its a short one but there isnt much to say on it without quoting the entire document! The next post on Lisbon will be a surpirse one (in other words, I dont know what it will be about!!!)
The Treaty of Lisbon does two things that will strengthen Human Rights with the EU.
1. It will allow the EU to accede to European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
2. Will make the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding.
The convention is already a long held standard in European Human Rights. Ireland was one of the original signatories of the Convention and it entered force in Ireland on 3/9/1953. The EU accession will make the EU institutions abide by the convention and will allow citizens to take the institutions to the European Court of Human Rights.
On the Charter, this currently is only a proclamation, and has no legal backing. The Lisbon Treaty on the other hand will ensure that it is legally binding.
The EU therefore acquires for itself a catalogue of civil, political, economic and social rights, which will be legally binding not only on the Union and its institutions, but also on the Member States as regards the implementation of Union law. The Charter lists all the fundamental rights under six major headings: Dignity, Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Citizenship and Justice. It also proclaims additional rights not contained in the European Human Rights Convention, such as data protection, bioethics and the right to good administration. It reaffirms important steps to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation and colour. It also mentions social rights applied within companies, e.g. workers’ rights to be informed, to negotiate and take collective action – in other words, the right to strike
Full text of the Charter (PDF) Its only 16 pages long and is quite an informative read