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Asylum, Anti-Discrimination and Diversity

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.

FRANET - Data Collection and Research Services on Human Rights Issues (F-SE-17-T11), Lot 30 - EU and International level

The objective is to provide the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) with research related services on fundamental rights issues falling within FRA’s mandate and current work programmes. The scope of the work of Lot 30 covers services related to social, legal and policy analysis at EU and international level. The EU and international perspective is understood to encompass the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union perspective.

Expelled from Humanity: Reflections on M.N. and Others v. Belgium (Verfassungsblog, 6 Mai 2020, Adel-Naim Reyhani)

Adel-Naim Reyhani © Wien Museum

The European Court of Human Rights decided this week (in M.E. and Others vs. Belgium) that European states are not bound by the European Convention on Human Rights in visa procedures at their embassies.

"The decision (...) will undoubtedly further propel the debate on the scope of extraterritorial state jurisdiction. More importantly, however, it reveals the necessity of addressing the systemic exclusion of refugees from the international legal order", BIM researcher Adel-Naim Reyhani writes in his article on

Counter-bot: Artificial Intelligence combating racist hate speech online

The aim of the project is to create a scientifically sound basis for the implementation of a counter-bot that automatically generates effective counter-speech against racist hate speech online. The inductively identified indications of characteristic structures of hate speech online will be analyzed linguistically and statistically to provide a useful starting point for the future implementation of a counter-bot.

BREAKING THE BARRIERS: rights based participatory judicial training on procedural rights

The introduction of strict procedural safeguards for suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings is a key guarantor of their right to a fair trial and an essential part of the EU criminal justice agenda. The project Breaking the Barriers enables 120 judges and prosecutors to participate in transnational training courses on procedural rights for suspects and accused persons and aims at breaking language barriers.

Projekt Breaking the Barriers

1st Slovenian-Austrian Lawyers’ Day: Managing Migration and the Rule of Law

1. Slowenisch-Österreichische Juristentag: Managing Migration and the Rule of Law

The 1st Slovenian-Austrian Lawyers' Day was held at University (Juridicum) on 19 and 20 September 2019. Individual lectures on the topic "Managing Migration and the Rule of Law" reflected current challenges in the context of migration. In addition, the 1st Slovenian-Austrian Lawyers' Day served as a networking opportunity for Slovenian and Austrian law researchers and professionals.

Project: The concept of vulnerability in the context of human rights

Vulnerability has become a buzzword in public, academic and political debates. It has been used in a diversity of thematic fields such as development cooperation, climate change, humanitarian aid, asylum and migration, equality and non-discrimination or in the context of the health system. The concept of vulnerability has not only been utilised in policy fields and legal instruments closely related with human rights issues, it has also been deployed in an explicit human rights context such as human rights policy documents, reports and jurisprudence.

Human Rights in Numbers: Collecting statistical data on the status of (in)equality and discrimination

zeitschrift für menschenrechte: Human Rights in Numbers

The recent issue of the journal for human rights focuses on Human Rights in Numbers (Menschenrechte in Zahlen) and addresses the empirical assessment of the human rights situation using data, indicators and numbers. Monika Mayrhofer has written an article on the collection of equality data in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity, characteristics and expression.

Protecting migrant workers from labor exploitation in the EU

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a report on „Protecting migrant workers from exploitation in the EU: workers’ perspectives“. The BIM together with the Human European Consultancy has contributed to the development of the report, which is based on 162 individual interviews and 16 focus group discussions with people who have experienced labor exploitation in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

E-book on the rights of asylum seekers within the EU and the effective enforcement of CFREU

© Editoriale Scientifica

Research on the (potential) role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) for the European legal regime was conducted in Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy and Poland. The research was seen as key in preparing and developing the training materials as well as the "Training Manual: The Role of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Asylum Cases" within the project "Judging the Charter".