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Advance questions and statement to Austria

Advance questions:

  1. At the 2011 UPR for Austria, Norway and other countries recommended that Austria amend the Equal Treatment Act to harmonize existing legislation, especially when it comes to providing equal protection on all grounds of discrimination. We note that no political consensus followed by legal changes have been made to this effect so fare. How does Austria plan to move forward on this matter?

Statement:

Norway welcomes the follow-up by Austria of its last UPR.

Austria has made important efforts in handling the challenges linked to the huge influx of refugees and migrants. This includes measures related to Austria’s “open-doors regime” like separate detention facilities for asylum seekers awaiting deportation, and granting asylum seekers the right to free legal counselling. While concrete measures have been taken to prevent xenophobia and discrimination, we recommend establishing a comprehensive system for recording and monitoring developments in this area, including hate crimes.

Norway notes with concern that all child victims of trafficking are non-Austrian. This is also the case for the majority of minors held in custody and detention. We recommend introduction of new concrete measures to protect these vulnerable groups.

Norway also wishes to stress the need for more efforts to achieve gender parity. While we welcome steps taken so far, we recommend strengthened measures to promote gender equality, particularly with regard to the gender pay-gap and women’s representation in leadership positions and regional politics.