Improve protection of asylum-seekers, Austria urged

Austria has been urged to improve the protection of asylum-seekers.

“Access of asylum-seekers to the labour market should be extended, including by granting young asylum-seekers permission to take up an apprenticeship and thus benefit from vocational training,” Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks said. “The quality of free legal aid and representation could also be strengthened and made available during the entire asylum procedure and thereafter, including during deportation procedures.”

Publishing a report based on the findings of his visit to Austria from 4th to 6th June 2012, Mr. Muižnieks noted that the basic needs of asylum-seekers are satisfied.

He, however, encouraged the authorities to ensure adequate living conditions throughout the entire country.

He also called for increased attention to the needs of unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking children.

“The best interests of the child should be the primary consideration in all decisions. The Austrian authorities should ensure that all unaccompanied minors are systematically and without undue delay appointed a guardian throughout their entire stay in Austria,” Mr. Muižnieks.

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