In parallel to the rewarding of human right personalities, the Bruno Kreisky Foundation has also developed other activities in the area of Austrian and international human rights politics. Together with like-minded Austrian human rights groups and organisations, the Foundation has taken part in building an Austrian human rights network and in formulating the Catalogue of demands of the Austrian non-governmental organisations for the structural establishment of human rights in Austria. This was subsequently presented to the Austrian government and Chancellor Viktor Klima.
The Human Rights policies of the Austrian Republic were critically analyzed in an intensive round table discussion between Mary Robinson, at that time UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Austrian Human Rights groups. The occasion was an opportunity to present the Catalogue of demands of the Austrian Human Rights NGO, which recommended measures such as the creation of the human rights committee in parliament that has since then been created.
As a result of the Networking of Austrian human rights NGOs in 1997 and 1998,the Bruno Kreisky Foundation for Human Rights in cooperation with the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Stadtschlaining (ASPR), with financial support from the chancellory and the ministry of foreign affairs, developed the project Capacity Building. In the course of this project, between 1999 and 2002, more than 30 experts from Austrian human rights NGOs have been trained in international election observation missions and in conflict mediation at the ASPR. The graduates of the Capacity Building project are today paramount to the pool of Austrian experts for international missions.
A pilot project on transnational human rights formation was also undertaken in 1997 together with schools from Vienna, Hungary, and Slovakia. After seminars overlapsing several days, students from the three participating countries met together in Vienna with human rights experts from various fields.
Since 1997, the Foundation has been a member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), a network of more than 80 human rights organisations from the European Union and the signatory states to the Barcelona Declaration (Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian autonomous territories, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Libya as observer). In cooperation with the Bruno Kreisky Foundation for Human Rights, in 2000 a working group on Palestine, Israel and Palestinians of the EMHRN was founded in Athens. Since 2003/2004 four conferences of the working group have been held in Austria under the chairmanship of the Bruno Kreisky Foundation as primus inter pares. The main aim of the working group is to coordinate the activities of its members from the occupied Palestinian areas, Israel, and Europe toward support for human rights both in societies and conflict zones. The working group publishes since 2003/2004 an annual monitoring report emphasizing on the human rights perspective of the EU/Israel relations.
A Human Rights Review of the EU and Israel 2003-04
Related Commitments to Action
(by Susan Rockwell/Charles Shamas, 2004)
A Human Rights Review of the EU and Israel 2004-2005
Mainstreaming or Selectively Extinguishing Human Rights?
(by Susan Rockwell/Charles Shamas, 2006)