"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

UPR: Austria, 23rd session, 2015

Despite the presumptions that come with its status as a developed Western European state, Austria has been criticized over its weak implementation of measures to reduce sexual and gender based violence against women and increase the protection of minorities and their rights. One of these is the implementation of a national action plan, the quantifiable effects of which have been difficult to measure. Austria has also created legislative protections for ethnic minorities like the Slovenians in the country’s South, but has similarly been criticized for lack of implementation – even in the face of federal court decisions. Meanwhile, the status of the Roma people in Austria is concerning in regards to acceptance, access to language, and the preservation of culture. A variety minorities, ethnic and religious, report hate crimes and xenophobic attacks.

Drawing on ICAAD’s research, this submission highlights issues of structural discrimination that impact Austria’s women and minorities. The research examines Austria’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, and follows up on the implementation of recommendations accepted during the last Universal Periodic Review; covering: women in the labor market, violence against women and domestic violence generally, racism and xenophobia, the status of the country’s Slovenian minority, and the rights of Roma people in Austria.

Download the full report here.


On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
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