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Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Asylum

The right to non-discrimination is a fundamental human right. The legal and institutional framework as well as public discourse influence and reflect discriminatory structures.

Such structures infringe the human right to non-discrimination just like inadequate support of victims of discrimination. Migrants, members of ethnic or religious minorities, refugees and other marginalized groups have to be granted equal and secure access to justice which is an essential element in the enforcement of the individual’s right to non-discrimination. Anti-discrimination is understood as a cross-cutting issue, which should be taken into account when developing policies affecting different areas of life, in order to achieve equality and social inclusion for all.

The right to seek and enjoy asylum is of fundamental importance to persons who were affected by serious human rights violations in their countries of origin, or who fear persecution in the case of return. They require adequate protection in the reception state in order to be in a position to conduct a life in dignity. Even though today, approximately four-fifths of all persons affected by forced migration remain within their regions of origin (i.e. in developing countries), access to asylum in Europe is becoming more and more difficult: To begin with, EU external borders have become evermore “secure”, but there is a lack of adequate measures aiming at the identification of persons in need of protection. Further, despite harmonisation efforts diverging qualification criteria, reception conditions and asylum procedures of varying quality are in place. Apart from that, asylum seekers and refugees often face legal and factual barriers (including racism and discrimination) in the reception countries, making everyday life and participation in the reception society difficult.

Through the analysis of laws and jurisprudence, as well as collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data it is possible to demonstrate human rights violations in the areas of equal treatment, immigration, integration and asylum. Based on this analysis, we draft recommendations for achieving equal treatment, equal opportunities and access to justice for discriminated groups as well as effective access to asylum for refugees.

We seek to raise awareness through publications, manuals, lectures, and workshops. Networking and cooperation with scientists, NGO representatives, policy makers, representatives of social partnership as well as representatives of European and international organizations are significant to our work.

Human Rights and Vulnerability: Conceptualization, Contestation and Resilience

As part of the FRAME-Project Monika Mayrhofer will attend a workshop on 'Human Rights and Vulnerability: Conceptualization, Contestation and Resilience' on 5 April 2017. She will present a paper on the topic: "Dismantling Vulnerability. The implicit racism and sexism of the vulnerability discourse in the human rights context".

Universität Utrecht, Domplein 29, 3512 JE Utrecht, Niederlande

Is there a liability to integrate? - Hannes Tretter live at Ö1

Fundamental rights, language and integration are the important topics discussed by Hannes Tretter on tuesday, 21.03.2017, starting at 2:05 pm at Ö1 - Liveshow "Von Tag zu Tag". The discussion centers around the question, whether there are juridical obligations. Everyone interested can call and ask questions at number: 0800 22 69 79; discussion language is german.

Additionally in the next days a further examination of this topic, a new BIM-Position, will be uploaded on our homepage.

Study visit of the Serbian Commissioner for Protection of Equality in Austria

The Delegation visiting the President of the Provincial Assembly of Styria, Dr. Bettina Vollath, in the Assembly Hall of the Provincial Assembly of Styria

From the 7th to the 10th of February 2017, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a delegation of five representatives of the Serbian Commissioner for Protection of Equality (CPE) led by Commissioner Brankica Janković in Vienna and Graz. This study visit took place in the framework of the ongoing Twinning project “Support to advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination” in Serbia.  

International Day of Persons with Disabilites

Persons with Disabilities – Experiences with Violence and Discrimination

On 3rd December 2016, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we set a focus on experiences of violence and discrimination against persons with disabilities, who fled and seek protection in Europe.

So far only few studies exist, such as the one of FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency), of Handicap International and Help Age International and the University of Sydney, that are dealing with the specific situation of persons with disabilities on the move.

Legal Protection against Discrimination in South East Europe

The countries in South East Europe (SEE) have very comprehensive laws on anti-discrimination, most of which meet the international, CoE and EU standards. However, just like in most of the EU member states awareness for these laws is rather low and the institutional and structural framework conditions are not conducive to effective implementation of the legal provisions. The aim of the project is to improve the capacities of relevant stakeholders such as equality bodies, ombud institutions, state authorities, courts as well as legal practitioners to act against discrimination in SEE.

Strengthening Capacities of Serbian Police and Judges on Anti-Discrimination

Training for police officers in Belgrade

From May 10th to 13th, 2016, two trainings aimed at strengthening capacities for implementation of anti-discrimination principles were organized for representatives of the Serbian Ministry of Interior in Belgrade, Serbia. The two modules titled "Intercultural Communication and Antidiscrimination" and "Leadership and Antidiscrimination" were designed for fifteen police officers each from various police directorates of the Ministry of the Interior.

Lecture on hate speech at the University of Belgrade

Mr. Hannes Tretter, Co-Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights

On 1 March 2016, the Austrian project leader of the BIM's current EU Twinning project in Serbia, Univ. Prof. Dr. Hannes Tretter held a lecture on hate speech at the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade. Mr. Tretter is the Co-Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna and a distinguished expert in the fields of fundamental and human rights, public law, European and international law. The lecture was organized in cooperation with the Law Faculty of the University of Belgrade and its esteemed Prof. Ivana Kristić.

Successful completion of the Twinning project to strengthen the Ombudsman office and its regional offices in Macedonia

On 2 February 2016, the closing ceremony of the Twinning Light project to strengthen the Office of the Ombudsman and its regional offices took place at the EU Infocentre in Skopje. The event was organized by the Office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia in cooperation with the Austrian Ombudsman Board and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.Among the speakers were Ixhet Memeti (Ombudsman and Project Leader, Macedonia), Dr. Gertrude Brinek (Ombudswoman and Project Leader, Austria), Aivo Orav (Head of Delegation of the EU to the FYR of Macedonia), Renate Kobler (Austrian Ambassador to Macedonia) and Dr. Peter Kastner (Senior Expert of the Austrian Ombudsman Board).