Asylum See more.

Asylum entails refuge and protection from danger or persecution. Being able to “seek and enjoy asylum from persecution” in another country constitutes a human right (Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948), which every citizen on Earth enjoys—365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

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Refugee See more.

Article 1 of the Geneva Refugee Convention defines a refugee as a person who, due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, ethnicity, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, is outside the country of his or her nationality or permanent residency and is unable or unwilling to avail him or herself of that country’s protection because of such fear.

Legally, refugees are people who fulfill the criteria of the Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) and shall, therefore, receive refugee status. In addition, there is a second form of international protection, subsidiary protection (refugees according to the European Convention on Human Rights).

Source: UNHCR

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Subsidiary Protection See more.

(Article 8, Austrian Asylum and Immigration Law)

Subsidiary protection is granted to refugees who do not fulfill the requirements under the Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) but who are refugees under the European Convention on Human Rights, e.g. they might be exposed to inhumane treatment or torture upon their return home. They too require protection from being forcibly returned to their country of origin and the protection of a new homeland. Yet, in many European countries that provide asylum, they have fewer rights than refugees under the GRC, which has proven to be one of the biggest obstacles to integration.

Source: UNHCR

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“The White Card” See more.

(Article 51, Austrian Asylum and Immigration Law, 2005; Temporary Residence Card)
“white card” among asylum seekers and their advisors. It is issued after approval of the asylum application and entitles asylum seekers to remain in Austria until the application process is completed. However, it does not entail permanent residency. If the asylum application is denied, the right of residence is terminated and the white card is withdrawn.

Source: Sebastian Schuhmacher, expert on immigration and asylum law and the application process

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Unaccompanied Minor Refugee See more.

Unaccompanied minor refugees are persons who are within the EU’s borders without the company of a legal guardian. The term minor refers to persons under the age of 18. With regard to proceedings and jurisdiction, the law differentiates between minors of foreign origins and refugees.

During asylum application process, minors are represented by the child or youth welfare department.

The number of children around the world who are escaping from war, poverty and persecution is unknown. For teenagers and children it is especially difficult to leave conflict regions since, for the most part, they do not have the necessary resources for an extended flight. Crossing the outer borders of the EU presents an enormous obstacle and potential danger for those young people. Many pay for the attempt to reach Europe with their lives. But even if the outer EU border is crossed, safe haven awaits in very few instances only. In many European countries they are threatened by jail, isolation and discrimination. The dreams of economic success and a life in freedom and dignity burst like a bubble.

In 2008 872 unaccompanied minor refugees (UMR) filed asylum requests in Austria. In 97 cases the ages given were deemed implausible by the asylum authorities and, after age assessments, the applicants were declared of legal age.

Source: Asylum Coordination Austria

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Determination of Age See more.

Currently no scientifically foolproof method exists for determining the age of an adolescent within a range of less than several years. Yet the asylum authorities continue to find physicians of various disciplines who, against their better judgement and for considerable fees, perform age assessments. During appeal proceedings, such age assessments are regularly dismissed, and even the professional medical association has clearly expressed its doubt concerning their reliability. A medical determination of legal age offers the authorities primarily the opportunity, within the framework of the Dublin II Convention, to deport more people to other European countries than would otherwise be possible with minors.

Source: Otto Hollerwöger/Integrationshaus

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Asylkoordination Österreich

Connecting people - Patenschaften

UNHCR Österreich – UN - Hochkommissariat für Flüchtlinge

Integrationshaus Wien

Caritas Wien


Verein Zeitraum

Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst

SOS Mitmensch

Ärzte ohne Grenzen

Verein Ute Bock

Netzwerk Asylanwalt

ECRE Europäischer Dachverband der Flüchtlingshilfseinrichtungen

Pro Asyl