The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Austria

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#Austria #equality #eu #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Austria
Republic of Austria

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalVienna
Land Area 82 409km21
LocationEurope
Population8.4m (2011)2
Life Expectancy81.58yrs (2017)3
GNI$43 609 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesAT, AUT, 405
Internet Domain.at6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+438

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Austria leads the world, setting excellent examples. Austria comes in the top 20 in its Global Peace Index rating9, commentary from Human Rights Watch10, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms11, supporting press freedom12, its nominal commitment to Human Rights13, opposing gender inequality14 and in eliminating modern slavery15. And finally, it does better than average in fighting corruption16, LGBT equality17 and in fighting anti-semitic opinions18.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #Austria #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

The EU has acted on behalf of its member states on many occasions to support, foster, fund and encourage human rights protections in every region of the world, with agreement of its member states through the European Parliament. According to Human Rights Watch's comprehensive review for the year 2017, in addition to vocal and public pronouncements on poor human rights records of many countries, the EU has also acted through economic sanctions, political pressure and used other means to incentivize the adoption of human rights protections, even if these measures harm EU trading19. It is to Austria's credit that it supports the EU in these actions.

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)18
Pos.Lower is better
%18
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
38Belgium27
39Germany27
40Slovenia27
41Austria28
42Latvia28
43Montenegro29
44Spain29
45Venezuela30
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)16
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score16
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
18USA74.0
19Ireland72.6
20Uruguay72.6
21Austria72.2
22Barbados71.5
23Chile70.4
24France70.0
25Bahamas69.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
4Canada1.32
5Japan1.33
6Austria1.33
7Ireland1.33
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.40
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)10
Pos.Higher is better
Score10
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
20Malta5
21Italy5
22Slovenia5
23Austria5
24Slovakia5
25Latvia5
26Lithuania5
27USA4
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)13
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties13
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
15Denmark22
16Croatia22
17Belgium22
18Austria22
19Brazil21
20Montenegro21
21Guatemala21
22Mali21
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
9Finland9
10Netherlands10
11Luxembourg11
12Austria11
13Norway13
14Germany13
15Sweden15
16Malta16
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
9Iceland849
10Sweden923
11Estonia926
12Austria940
13Jamaica988
14Switzerland994
15Ireland1006
16Czechia1017
World Avg3249
q=178.

In 2018, Austria's Interior Ministry, controlled by the far-right Freedom Party of Austria, produced orders to limit the availability of information to critical, liberal and mainstream news outlets, including Falter, Kurier and Der Standard20. When the orders were exposed, many called for the resignation of Herbert Kickl, the Interior Ministry's minister; he knew that the orders were antidemocratic so 'he tried to defuse the scandal and said he was committed to press freedom'20 - but his actions spoke louder than his words.

Slavery (2018)15
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims15
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
20Lebanon0.17
21UAE0.17
22Finland0.17
23Austria0.17
24Switzerland0.17
25Brazil0.18
26Jordan0.18
27Netherlands0.18
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi15, Eritrea15, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

2. Gender Equality

#Austria #gender #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
11Singapore0.07
12Belgium0.07
13Luxembourg0.07
14Austria0.08
15Spain0.08
16Italy0.08
17Portugal0.09
18Canada0.10
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote30
Pos.Lower is better
Year30
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
8Latvia1918
9Estonia1918
10Kyrgyzstan1918
11Austria1919
12Slovakia1919
13Belarus1919
14Germany1919
15Netherlands1919
World Avg1930
q=189.

Austria is notable for its equality between the sexes and this has been a feature of the country's culture for quite some time.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#Austria #equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)17
Pos.Higher is better
Score17
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
20Canada62
21Colombia58
22Finland57
23Austria56
24Ireland53
25Ecuador50
26Australia50
27Peru50
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence31. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws32. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries31. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Austria Overall National and Social Development

#Austria #human_development

Social & Moral
Development Index
33
Pos.Higher is better
Points33
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
12Iceland80.3
13Canada80.2
14Luxembourg79.3
15Austria79.3
16Australia78.6
17Hong Kong77.5
18Taiwan77.5
19France76.9
20Japan75.0
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#Austria #islam #religion_in_Austria

"The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief" but "there are some restrictions on speech that might offend religious feelings" which are sometimes abused to protect Christians, at the expense of others.34

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)34, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Austria states:

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. There are some restrictions on speech that might offend religious feelings. Section 188 of the Austrian Criminal Code, called 'Vilification of Religious Teachings', criminalizes "Anyone who publicly disparages a person or thing that is the object of worship of a domestic church or religious society, or a doctrine, [or other] behavior is likely to attract legitimate offense..."35

Cases of Discrimination

On Dec. 11, 2009, Catholic clerics in Vienna sued the cartoonist Manfred Deix for two drawings on the website NEWS.at which depict God and the EU prohibition against crucifixes in schools, respectively.

On Jan. 22, 2009, the Austrian politician Susanne Winter was sentenced at a court in Graz to pay a $24,000 fine for "humiliating a religion" by saying, among other things, that Muhammad was a pedophile.

On Dec. 11, 2010, 63-year-old Helmut G. was convicted for offending his Muslim neighbor by yodeling while lawn mowing. The neighbor claimed Helmet was trying to mock and imitate the Muezzin, the Muslim call to prayer.

On Jan. 15, 2011, Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf was convicted of offending religion because she exclaimed, about the Prophet Muhammad's nine-year-old wife, "If that is not pedophilia, what is it?"

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)34

Current edition: 2019 Jan 13
http://www.humantruth.info/austria_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Austria (Republic of Austria)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #Austria #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #eu #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #islam #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #religion_in_Austria #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

i Newspaper. UK newspaper. See Which are the Best and Worst Newspapers in the UK?. Published by Independent Print Limited, London, UK. Respectable daily news paper.

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. ^^
  10. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  11. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  12. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  13. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  14. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  15. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  16. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  17. Sources:^^
  18. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018) .^
  20. i Newspaper (2018 Sep 27). Article "Far-right ruling party tries to gag critical media".^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  33. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  34. IHEU (2012) .^
  35. caslon.com.au/blasphemyprofile9.htm. In IHEU 2012^

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