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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.

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".

Joint Reader Targeting Academics Teaching on Equality and Protection against Discrimination

A Joint Reader was developed based on the curriculum and lectures held at a Winter School on "Legal Protection against Discrimination in South-East Europe" within the framework of the project "Regional Cooperation between Law Faculties to Improve Protection against Discrimination – Course Development".

One-stop-shop online-resources for practical information on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU)

A website ( was developed within the project “Judging the Charter”, which provides practical information on the Charter, case law referring to the Charter and training exercises promoting knowledge about and the applicability of CFREU.

Cities, Territories and the Struggles for Human Rights: a 2030 perspective

Einladun Konferenz

On 26th of November 2018, Monika Mayrhofer presented a paper on "Monitoring human rights – the role of cities" at the international conference "Cities, Territories and the Struggles for Human Rights: a 2030 perspective", which took place in Padova/Italy. The Conference was organised by the Human Rights Centre of the University of Padova in cooperation with the University of London, University of Gothenburg, University of Graz, University of Cape Town and University of Antwerp.

Statements on Austria's votum against joining the Global Compact for Migration

The Austrian withdrawal from the UN Migration Compact has triggered a wide public debate. In this context, Manfred Nowak and Adel-Naim Reyhani from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights answered questions on the meaning and purpose of this document as well as its legal classification.

The experts do not see a basis for the argument that national autonomy regarding migration policies would be restricted by the Compact.

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.