On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in June 1993, the Vienna+25 conference gathered experts from civil society and academia, national, regional and sub-regional human rights institutions as well as representatives from the local level in the Human Rights City of Vienna on 22 and 23 May 2018 to discuss current human rights challenges and elaborate recommendations how to tackle these challenges.
In this contribution to the Verfassungsblog, Adel-Naim Reyhani addresses the question of how asylum law discourse should deal with the creative efforts of states to prevent the entry of asylum seekers. He explains why the tension between human rights and the aim of nation-states to shape asylum policy can only be resolved with a clear view of the shortcomings of the international order.
Persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups of suspects in criminal proceedings. If they come into conflict with the law, they face a particularly high risk of not experiencing a fair trial. In many cases, their vulnerability due to their illness or disability is not identified in due time or not considered. Their procedural rights, particularly their right to information, their right to access a lawyer, and their right to medical assistance, in particular during deprivation of liberty, are often not adequately ensured.
The Handbook “Dignity at Trial”, which was elaborated during a two year pilot research project (2016-2018) assessing the implementation of the EC Recommendation on safeguards for vulnerable persons suspected or accused in criminal proceedings (2013/C 378/02) draws on broader involvement of professional stakeholders and persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities who have undergone criminal proceedings.
In his six years as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak (BIM) was tasked with reviewing thousands of complaints of torture and detention, investigating facts and circumstances surrounding the global practice of torture, and drawing up recommendations aimed at combating torture. Now, in Torture.
Rare minerals are key ingredients of industrial production. Their extraction is finite, but the demand for them rises constantly. The provision of rare minerals are high on the political agenda of the European Union and Austria. However, the extraction of such minerals is often connected with massive negative social and environmental consequences. The report "More Human Rights in the Rare Minerals Supply Chain" analyses several mechanisms of human rights protection in minerals extraction.
Our guest researcher Ceren Uysal contributed the article "State of Emergency in Turkey: Every number that goes into the records is a human life!" to the Human Rights Report 2017 by the Austrian League of Human Rights, in which she highlighted human rights implications of the state of emergency in force in Turkey since 21 July 2016.
The Human Rights Report 2017 is available for download below. For further information on the Austrian League of Human Rights, please visit their website (in German).
Julia Planitzer and Nora Katona have published their paper on “Criminal Liability of Cooperations for Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation” in the November issue of Global Policy.
The paper holds that legal instruments at the European level, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, clearly define that States have an obligation to establish corporate liability for trafficking in human beings (THB). However, upon closer look at national legislation in Europe, one recognises that the norms within this framework are not being enforced to their fullest extent.
The Austrian League for Human Rights is the oldest human rights organization in Austria. It is guided by the principles of humanity and works for social justice and international understanding. BIM has a long common history with the league and we are happy to contribute with our expertise to the work of the league.
In their article, Ernst Berger and Caroline Paar offer an overview of the Austrian legal framework regarding monitoring visits to psychiatric hospitals or residential homes/groups for children and juveniles supervised by youth welfare services.
Under OPCAT, six commissions has been assigned with the mandate to visit places of detention as a preventive mechanism against torture and other forms of ill-treatment – to that effect, this includes the facilities mentioned above. The Authors discuss key issues of the monitoring process as well as the commission´s findings and recommendations.