amnesty international raises concerns over human rights in austria
Prominent non-governmental organisation Amnesty International released its annual human rights report on Tuesday, taking a snapshot of human rights in a number of countries.
The organisation listed scores of Austria’s human rights failures in its report, including racial profiling, inadequate social benefits, failure to reach climate targets, poor housing, inadequate protection of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, and growing pressure on media freedom.
“The direction we take now will determine the next decades,” said Annemarie Schlack, executive director of Amnesty International Austria, highlighting the point that if the country continues to deny its people their human rights, this also undermines the cohesion of the society.
The damning report brought a number of issues under the limelight, particularly the illegal pushbacks at the border and the temporary housing of asylum seekers in tents due to insufficient cooperation between the federal government and states.
Austria was criticised for dealing with unaccompanied youngsters seeking asylum, as it surfaced last September that more than 5,000 such minors had vanished into thin air within seven months. “It is as if an entire small town has disappeared,” Schlack said, urging the Austrian government to provide vulnerable young people sufficient protection and support.
Amnesty International also highlighted Austria’s failures to probe allegations of excessive use of force by the police and the lack of assistance services for homeless people. Additionally, the annual report also underscored the deterioration of press freedom in the country, adding police at several protests prevented journalists from observing and reporting demonstrations.