Call for Austrian National Action Plan against Racism

PeopleOther ♦ Published: March 14, 2023; 23:20 ♦ (Vindobona)

Racism is not just an individual problem, but a structural one, explained the "No Hate Speech" Movement launched in 2013 on the initiative of the Council of Europe. In a recent dispatch of the Austrian "No Hate Speech" Committee, the situation in Austria is admonished.

Austria also has a difficult past with regard to forms of racism. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons,Dnalor 01, CC BY-SA 3.0

Many members of the Austrian "No Hate Speech" Committee call for a National Action Plan against Racism. Among others, the Aids Hilfe Wien, the Federal Youth Representation, the Children's and Youth Ombudspersons, the Mauthausen Committee, the association Neustart and the anti-racism initiative ZARA support the appeal to the government.

The development of a National Action Plan against Racism and Discrimination is part of the current government program. In its Action Plan against Racism in September 2020, the European Commission had encouraged member states to adopt National Action Plans themselves by the end of 2022 - this deadline has already been missed, warns the Austrian "No Hate Speech" Committee.

The need for a national strategy against racism, extremism and hate speech was highlighted by the "racist statements made by a politician to a school class and the subsequent right-wing extremist actions in front of the school in question," according to a controversial statement made by Lower Austrian state councilor Gottfried Waldhäusl (FPÖ). According to ORF, Waldhäusl had said to a school class with an immigrant background that if the FPÖ's political ideas were implemented - and thus without them - "Vienna would still be Vienna".

Members of the "No Hate Speech" Committee, therefore, appeal to the federal government to start drawing up a National Action Plan against Racism as soon as possible. Anti-racism experts should be involved in the creation of the action plan, the statement said.

"The effects of racist discrimination are serious, not only for those affected but for society as a whole. Swift action is therefore called for," committee members said in support of the call. The "No Hate Speech" committee, which also includes ministries, wants to raise awareness of the issue of hate speech on the net and thus combat racism, sexism as well as discrimination on the net.

No Hate Speech Comitee