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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.

Study visit from Albanian human rights protection and anti-discrimination bodies to Vienna

Group Photo at the Austrian Ombudsman Board

From the 27th of February to the 1st of March of 2018, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a 16-person delegation from Albania. The study visit took place within the context of the EU- Council of Europe Joint Program “Enhancing the effectiveness of the Albanian system of human rights protection and anti-discrimination”. Delegates from the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the People’s Advocate and the Council of Europe’s Project Team in Tirana participated in the activity.

FRANET: Severe labour exploitation – migrant workers’ perspectives (SELEX II)

The aim of SELEX II is to disclose evidence – in eight EU Member States – about the specific experiences, views and needs of migrant workers who have experienced (severe) labour exploitation. The project builds on the perspectives, experiences and needs of migrant workers experiencing labor exploitation, which is the added value of this project.

Regional Cooperation between Law Faculties to Improve Protection against Discrimination – Course Development

The aim of the project is to develop a model course on legal protection against discrimination in South-East Europe, which will be tested during a Winter School and further developed so that it can be integrated into the curriculum of law faculties in the Western Balkans either as a regular or elective course within the respective master programs.

Closing event of the EU Twinning project on anti-discrimination in Serbia

Speakers at the final event

On the occasion of the completion of the Twinning project „Support to the advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination“, the project closing event took place on 07 June 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. Representatives of UN agencies and the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Serbian stakeholders including representatives of line ministries, National Councils of National Minorities, the Judicial Academy and Civil Society Organizations involved in the protection of human and minority rights attended this event.

We don’t discriminate! - Anti-discrimination Code of Conduct for Employers presented in Serbia

Conference participants

On 6 June 2017, an event titled “WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE! Conference on the occasion of the presentation of the Guidebook for Developing an Anti-discrimination Code of Conduct for Employers“ took place in Serbia. This conference was organized within the framework of the Twinning project “Support to the advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination“, and it is one of the elements that support the Serbian Commissioner for Protection of Equality (CPE) in increasing the effectiveness of her recommendations targeting employers who have been found to engage in discriminatory practices.

Successful completion of the training of trainers program by the staff of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality (CPE) in Serbia

Participants and trainers after the certification ceremony

On June 12th 2017, all 19 CPE staff members participating in the training of trainers program strengthening their competences and skills in handling cases as well as doing awareness raising and outreach work received their certificates.

Austrian Climate Day

Logo (c) Climate Change Centre Austria

On 24 May 2016, Monika Mayrhofer will present the results of the research project ClimAccount, which was funded by the Austrian Climate and Research Fund, at the Austrian Climate Day (22-24 May in Vienna). The titel of the presentation is "Human Rights Accountability of the EU and Austria for Climate Change Policies in Third Countries and their possible Effects on Migration"

Further details on this event you can find here.

University of Vienna, Festival Room, A- 1010 Wien, Universitätsring 1

10th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS)

(c) CARFMS17

On 16 May 2017, Monika Mayrhofer will present a paper on "Protesting Against the Displacement of the Ngöbe in Panama" at the 10th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) on "Forgotten Corridors. Global Displacement & the Politics of Engagement, 15-18 May 2017" in Victoria/Canada.

Further details on project and conference you can find here.