8.4.3 Associations of citizens, advocacy groups, NGOs and advisory panels
The Austrian League for Human Rights advocates for the implementation and the compliance of human rights with a special focus on the situation in Austria and the European Union. Being the oldest human rights organisation in Austria, the institution was founded in 1926 as part of the International Federation of the Leagues for Human Rights.
SOS Mitmensch is an association committed to the promotion of human rights and which pursues the aim of equality and equal opportunities for all. SOS Mitmensch was founded on 10 December 1992 and with a Sea of Lights demonstration opposed the "anti-foreigner plebiscite". The association is funded by private donations and many of its staff are voluntary workers.
ZARA – Civic Courage and Anti-Racist Work was founded in 1999 with the aim of promoting civic courage and a racism-free society in Austria as well as fighting all forms of racism.
ENARA – European Network Against Racism Austria is a union of NGOs throughout Austria with similar NGOs beyond Austria, in particular in Europe, which promote equality of all people and in particular act against racial discrimination.
The Rights, Opportunities, Diversity Network is a nationwide loose union of NGOs working in the fields of integration, asylum and anti-discrimination. The objective is the promotion of a concept of integration aiming at the creation of equal opportunities for all. All ethnic groups are included.
The Network for Social Responsibility (NeSoVe) promotes development and monitoring of social responsibility by companies in the interest of groups (stakeholders) affected by company policies. It regards social responsibility by businesses as company management that is transparent, social, economic and ecologically sustainable and free of discrimination, which pursues a comprehensive approach and involves the interest groups affected in the selection, implementation and control of corporate social responsibility measures. The union of employee interest-group representatives and NGOs in the NeSoVe create an information and communications hub that can take new paths in the support and organisation of monitoring of company activities as well as in the development and implementation of project ideas in order to achieve a broad sensitisation for the issues and to demand the respective responsibilities from the political, legal and commercial levels. The NeSoVe is supported by the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and by the chambers of labour of Burgenland, Carinthia, Styria and Vienna.
The Austrian Focal Point for the RAXEN network of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights – FRA) was established in 2000. From 2000 to 2006 it was composed of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, the Institute for Conflict Research and the University of Vienna Institute of Linguistics. Since 2007 it has consisted of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights and ZARA (see above).
The Initiative menschenrechte. jetzt. – human rights. now. – brings together more than 270 non-governmental organisations in Austria in support of a Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review, initiated by the UN in 2008. Based on the government's report, a Working Group of the Human Rights Council will assess the implementation gaps in Austria's human rights performance. In addition, the Working Group will also utilise information provided by civil society.
The Klagsverband is a Litigation Association of NGOs Against Discrimination. It was founded in 2004 as an umbrella organisation of NGOs already working against discrimination and consulting victims of discrimination.
The vidc.org – Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation was founded in 1962 on the initiative of Bruno Kreisky. The main political focus of the VIDC is to enhance a critical public debate on issues related to colonialism and racism and to establish an international dialogue based on equality and respect.