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Protection of national minority rights inconsistent in Austria, say Council of Europe experts

Council of Europe Strasbourg 5 May 2017
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Protection of national minority rights inconsistent in Austria, say Council of Europe experts

An opinion published today by the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) says that little has changed since 2012.

Although bilingualism has become more accepted and equal access to education for minority language education is improving, this applies only to parts of the country. Austria’s advanced system for teaching and learning minority languages in Carinthia and in Burgenland, for example, including bilingual teaching, has not been matched for national minorities in other regions or in Vienna.  Access to rights of persons belonging to the Burgenland-Croat minority, the Slovene minority, the Hungarian minority, the Czech minority, the Slovak minority and the minority of the Roma still “varies significantly” depending on the region due to the unfinished reform of the National Minorities Act.

The experts also report persistent discrimination against the country’s Roma, in both education and employment and call on the authorities to step up their efforts to promote equal opportunities in access to education and to the labour market.

The text of the opinion was published together with the Government’s comments.


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