http://www.stangl-taller.at/claudia/beruf/national coalition

Claudia Stangl-Taller, Ombudsoffice Upper Austria

SECOND REGIONAL MEETING OF NGO FORUMS IN EUROPE

STOCKHOLM, MAY 26th-28th 1999

Austria, National Coalition,

Conference of Ombudsperson for Children and Youth

 

NGO´s and the political will

Methods for monitoring and lobbying of national NGO reports to the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child.

Austria has a federal state structure, being divided into 9 federal states. Therefore Austrian Ombudsoffices for Children and Youth were set up in all nine Austrian states. In addition a Federal Children´s Ombudsperson was established within the Ministry of Environment, Youth and Family.

This Child and Youth Ombudssystem was founded by the Austrian Youth Welfare Act, a federal law of principles in 1989. So the Ombudssystem is as old as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Conference of Ombudspersons for Children and Youth consisting of the Ombudspersons for Children and Youth in Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg is a member of the National Coalition of Austria (hereinafter called "NC").

The NC for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a national umbrella body in Austria which represents a wide range of non-governmental organisations and independent institutions concerned with the rights and welfare of children and was founded in 1997.

Other members are for example:

The first NGO report of the NC was presented in June 1998 in Geneva at the presessional meeting for the Initial Report of Austria.

Austria signed the Convention and ratified it with reservation on 5. September 1992, which means Austria will perform the contract through passing its own laws within the meaning of the Convention. The Convention is not directly applicable and the rights are not written down in the Constitutional Law.

The Initial Report of Austria was ready in fall 1996, more than two years after the required date. NGOs have not been sufficiently involved in the process, the ombudspersons received the Initial Report to make comments on it within a period of one week.

The NC demands, that NGOs and independent organisations will be involved from the beginning for the next report.

The first NGO report &endash; from March 1998 &endash; regarding the Initial Report contains a lot of demands and recommendations.

Here are some:

Referring to the title "NGOs and the Political Will" you see that NGOs can do a lot to influence the political will. But there is still a lot to do.

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