Anti-Racism Map: Mapping Anti-Racism Plans in Austria
In ENAR’s evaluation of the National Action Plan against Racism, Austria scored 5/20. The country has no identifiable action plan, with the government actively promoting anti-Muslim discourse and policies. Anti-racism advocates within civil society face alarming levels of institutional harassment and attacks.
|1. NAPAR Adoption
|2. Intersectional Approach
|3. Equality Data Collection
|4. Institutional Participatory Mechanisms
|5. Resource Allocation
|6. Civil Society Coalition
Explanations and Sources
Below are the explanations and sources that support these assessments.
1. NAPAR Adoption
Austria has no identifiable action plan despite the existence of individual measures against racism:
- Political Program 2020-2024 mentioning NAPAR
- Parliamentarian Request for Information by the Opposition on the NAPAR 2020
- National Strategy Against Antisemitism
- National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma
2. Intersectional Approach
The government actively promote policies and views that create hierarchy between different type of racism and targets certain racial groups at the expense of other racial groups.
There is no official document in the context of the development or implementation of a NAPAR that defines structural racism in Austria. However, there is a statement from the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs tackling the fight against Racism and Discrimination.
In the last years, the Freedom Party of Austria and the Austrian People’s Party have been promoting policies and political speech that fuel anti-Muslim racism and hate against refugees. Especially the People’s Party has been accepting a political climate that enabled:
- a temporary headscarf ban for girls in primary schools;
- the so-called Islam Map;
- the establishment of the state-funded Documentation Center of Political Islam;
- a state-funded raid called Operation Luxor targeting the Muslim civil society in Austria;
- the implementation of a new Anti-Terrorism Bill, that is not in line with basic human rights standards;
- racist narratives by politicians, specifically against Muslims.
In addition, racial profiling of Black and Muslim people as well as of the refugee population in Austria has been rising.
3. Equality Data Collection
Austria currently has plans of disaggregated and harmonised data collection.
For more information, see the first Hate Crime Report by the Austrian Ministry of Interior.
4. Institutional Participatory Mechanisms
The country has no participatory mechanisms in place, and there is institutional harassment and attacks against certain NGOs.
On an institutional level, the temporary headscarf ban in primary schools, as well as a recently published side letter to the political program of the coalition agreeing on a headscarf ban for teachers in Austria exemplify harassment and attacks against the Muslim population in Austria.
In addition, since 2021 legal assistance for asylum seekers in Austria has been moved from different NGOs that were sponsored by the government, to a Federal Agency (BBU GmbH) that falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. This raises concerns about the structural independence of legal assistance for asylum seekers in Austria.
2021 and 2022 also signified an increase in funding of two powerful instruments of the Austrian Freedom and the People’s Party in supporting racist and discriminating policies, the Austrian Integration Fund and the Documentation Center for Political Islam. As mentioned above, in 2020 the state-funded raid Operation Luxor targeted Muslim civil society in Austria and was followed by the implementation of a new Anti-Terrorism Bill, that is not in line with basic human rights standards.
5. Recource Allocation
In Austria, there has been no budget (or the budget has not been made public) or team (or only one person) allocated to NAPAR implementation. This assessment is based on the interviews conducted in the context of this research.
6. Civil Society Coalition Advocating for NAPAR
There is no coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) advocating for NAPAR implementation, only individual organisations’ advocacy work. For example, the Black Voices petition for a referendum on anti-Racism in Austria which also advocates for the implementation of a NAPAR.
The assessment is based on independent research carried out for the European Network Against Racism by Rumeysa Dür-Kwieder and Iris Neuberg from Dokustelle Austria in March 2023. As part of the research, interviews were conducted with the National Equality Body (GAW), ZARA, Competence Center for Diversity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination, Dr. in Mireille Ngosso (City Parliament, Social Democrats).