Vienna, 22 November 2012 Press release

UN Human Rights Committee adopts Austrian resolution on human rights in the judicial system

Spindelegger: “Severe warning of the world community against torture, inhuman conditions of imprisonment or lengthy pre-trial detention”

Vienna, 22 November 2012 – “By adopting the Austrian resolution, the world community gives a severe warning against torture, inhuman conditions of imprisonment or lengthy pre-trial detention.” Human rights violations in the judicial and the penal system must not be tolerated in Austria or anywhere else in this world. With this resolution, Austria makes a contribution to the world-wide promotion of the rule of law and does not shy away from addressing difficult topics in a clear manner”, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the occasion of the adoption of the Austrian resolution on human rights in the judicial system by the Human Rights Committee of the UN General Assembly. The resolution was adopted by consensus, with 72 states declaring their special support of the wording.

One particular emphasis of the Austrian initiative is the protection of children and young people when they have contact with the judicial system and their subsequent rehabilitation and re-socialisation. Spindelegger continued: “The death penalty and life-long imprisonment for minors are unacceptable, and this is clearly stated in our resolution. This also extends to violence against children – whether in detention, in a closed home or a psychiatric institution – which is absolutely forbidden. The resolution demands that all states implement effective measures to prevent violence in the best possible way. This demand is also one of the results of the international expert consultations that took place in Vienna in January. I am pleased that it was possible to prepare the ground with this meeting in Vienna and to provide new ideas for the prevention of violence against children in detention”.

For years, Austria has been campaigning for the observance of human rights standards in the judicial system by initiating resolutions on UN level, both at the Geneva Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in New York. It is the goal of this commitment to reach an improvement of the human rights situation in the judicial and the penal systems worldwide.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
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