Friday, 17 December 2010

PUBLICATION: Raising Human Rights Awareness Among City Administration Employees: Human Rights Report of the City of Graz (Austria)


The 2009 Human Rights Report OF THE City of Graz/Austria is the third report presented by the Human Rights Advisory Council of the City of Graz (Menschenrechtsbeirat der Stadt Graz) on the city’s human rights situation. The preparation of this report has been entrusted to a working group composed of seven members of the above Advisory Council and of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC GRAZ), which acts as the Council’s coordination office. The report sets out with, and is based on, the declaration on human rights adopted by the City of Graz in 2001, by which the city commits itself, inter alia, to pursuing a human rights policy based on relevant information and deficits identified in the implementation of human rights.

Compared to other communities, the city of Graz fulfils its commitment to the deliberate, judicious protection of human rights. As evidenced by non-discriminatory clauses in Graz’ rules and regulations on public subsidies, or in the general terms and conditions of municipal procurement contracts, for example, human rights standards are enforced and observed based on the Graz declaration of human rights. Moreover, it is worth noting that the city tends to provide further protection and shows a certain willingness to implement subsidiary measures where federal or state (provincial) law have established restrictive standards. In this regard, the city of Graz ten-point programme against racism might serve as a case in point. Special effort is also made in relation to social security, education and youth. A considerable number of best-practice cases in the human rights areas covered by the report shows that most citizens of Graz form part of a committed, human-rights-oriented civil society, including its organizations and institutions. This notwithstanding, both the city and society are called upon to broaden and deepen their human rights awareness.

For the full-text report (in German) or an abstract (in English) please see http://www.etc-graz.at/typo3/index.php?id=16

Barbara Schmiedl, Europäisches Trainings- und Forschungszentrum für Menschenrechte und Demokratie