Press conference on the official country review of Austria by the UN CRPD Committee
On 22 and 23 August 2023, the second and third official country review of Austria by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) took place. Together with representatives of other monitoring bodies and civil society, the Austrian Ombudsman Board (AOB) held a press conference and gave an insight into the review process.
The Austrian Ombudsman Board (AOB), together with representatives of the Disability Ombudsman, the Independent Monitoring Committee for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Austrian Initiative for Independent Living (SLIOE), held a press conference on the official country review of Austria by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and gave an insight into the review process.
Since the UN CRPD entered into force on 26 October 2008, the federal government, the Laender (the provinces of Austria) and the municipalities have been equally obliged to implement the Convention in Austria. In addition to the administration, both the federal and the provincial legislators as well as the judiciary are required to take measures or make decisions in accordance with the Convention. The state must also report regularly to the UN CRPD Committee on the status of implementation.
On 22 and 23 August 2023, the second and third country review of Austria by the UN CRPD Committee took place, for which the state received a questionnaire (List of Issues) to be answered in advance. The state responded with contributions from all federal ministries and Laender (state party report). In addition, civil society (coordinated by the Austrian Disability Council), the Independent Monitoring Committee for the Implementation of the UN CRPD, the AOB and the Disability Ombudsman submitted their reports to the UN CRPD Committee. In the course of the review itself, the Austrian delegation had to answer questions from the Committee and the above-mentioned monitoring bodies had the opportunity to make a statement. The Committee critically examined the following issues: Responsibility of the Laender for the implementation of the UN CRPD, education, de-institutionalisation and accessibility.
At the end of the review process, the UN CRPD Committee issues its Concluding Observations, which state whether a state party has fulfilled its obligations and in which areas there are shortcomings. The Concluding Observations for Austria have been published on the UN website.
The Chairperson of the AOB, Bernhard Achitz, made the following comments on two key issues:
"The risk of becoming a victim of violence is high for persons with disabilities. Many institutions still do not have violence prevention policies, crisis plans and mandatory de-escalation training for their staff. The introduction of such policies must therefore be made mandatory and the compliance must be monitored".
"The work of persons with disabilities in day workshops is not recognised as work. They are not paid and do not enjoy full social insurance protection. Therefore, they remain dependent and poor.“
Press conference of 11 September 2023 on the
UN CRPD Committee’s Concluding Observations for Austria
(only available in German)
Bernadette Feuerstein – Austrian Initiative for Independent Living (SLIOE), Martin Ladstätter – Austrian Disability Council, Disability Ombudsman Christine Steger, Chairperson of the AOB Bernhard Achitz, Daniela Rammel und Tobias Buchner from the Independent Monitoring Committee for the Implementation of the UN CRPD commented on the country review of Austria at a press conference.
- Representatives of Austrian civil society discussed with the UN CRPD Committee the most serious shortcomings in the implementation of the UN CRPD from their perspective.