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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Austria, the criteria for removing and placing children in alternative care settings are not harmonized, and unnecessary surgical interventions are performed on intersex children. The committee also clearly states that the Austrian climate protection regulations are not sufficient to guarantee the child's right to the highest attainable standard of health.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenUnnecessary medical and surgical treatments are performed on intersex children. The Committee recommends to prohibit the performance of unnecessary medical or surgical treatment on intersex children where those procedures may be safely deferred until children are able to provide their informed consent.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee recommends to Austria to continue to take preventive and protection measures to address female genital mutilation, including the provision of social, psychological, medical and rehabilitative services and training of relevant professionals and awareness-raising programmes. It also recommends to abolish the law that bans young girls from wearing headscarves in primary schools, classing them as ideological or religious clothing, because it may lead to girls’ exclusion from mainstream education.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to raise awareness among the public, those working with and for children, civil servants and law enforcement officials about the importance of cultural diversity and inter-ethnic understanding, in order to combat stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination against, inter alia, children belonging to ethnic, religious or racial minorities, including Roma and Muslim children.
Situation of children with disabilities

Data is missing for children with disabilities in alternative care and there is no comprehensive plan for the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities. Schools, playgrounds and other public spaces are not accessible and children with disabilities are rather seen as an object than as right holders. Comprehensive measures for inclusive education are not implemented. The Committee recommends to ensure that children with disabilities have effective access to public services and spaces and improve the physical accessibility of all public and private buildings, spaces and means of transport in all Länder.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenUnaccompanied child refugees over 14 years are not offered the same support as Austrian children. For example, the daily fee for care is lower. Child welfare and protection authorities are not immediately involved when unaccompanied children are identified at the border. The age-assessment procedure does not always respect the dignity and the best interests of the child.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee urges Austria to establish mechanisms, procedures and guidelines related to cyberbullying and grooming to ensure the speedy and effective investigation of such cases and prosecution of perpetrators. Also, it recommends to provide systematic training to law enforcement officials, social workers and prosecutors on how to investigate and prosecute complaints of cyberbullying and grooming in a child- and gender-sensitive manner that respects the privacy of the victim.
physical health

The committee recommends to the state party to strengthen measures to address obesity in children and actions to promote a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity. Also, they recommend to ensure the availability of qualified and specialized health staff in all Länder, particularly paediatricians in rural areas.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned about the prevalence of psychological health conditions, such as those related to anxiety, depression, self-injury and attention deficit and eating disorders. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to continue to increase the availability and accessibility of child and adolescent mental health services and programmes.

Impacts of climate change

Children’s rights to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and an adequate standard of living is not compatible with Austria's insufficient climate mitigation politics.

Business sector

Instead of 0.7 per cent of gross national income Austria only uses 0.29 per cent for official development assistance.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned that the number of children in detention has increased. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that Austria starts working towards a time limit of 30 days for children in pretrial detention and ensure that the circumstances under which such a time limit can exceptionally be extended is clearly defined in law.

Specific observations

Children born out of wedlock to Austrian parents do not receive Austrian citizenship retroactive.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fifth and sixth periodic reports released on 6 March 2020.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022